The questioning starts well before conception: Will I be able to get pregnant? How long will it take? What if I can’t?
The worry, doubt and fear seem to be ever-present. And the statistics don’t help – especially if you are older. They remind you that after the age of 35, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant significantly decreases and her risk of miscarriage and genetic abnormalities greatly increases. So, regardless of how spiritual you are, it’s easy to get discouraged early in the process.
This is where the journey of surrender begins.
Most of us don’t know how fertile we are until we try to get pregnant. Ah the irony of spending years avoiding conception and then doing everything we can to facilitate it.
I got married three days after my 39th birthday – making time “of the essence” with regard to having a baby. And, while People Magazine was filled with celebrity moms in their late 30s and early 40s, I was fully aware of the facts and challenges of getting pregnant naturally at that age.
My mom was 40 when she had my younger brother, so I figured this might bode well for me. In addition, I had spent the last decade or so focused on my health on all levels – including emotionally and spiritually. This didn’t prohibit the fear, doubt and worry from showing up, but it did support me in keeping them check.
I was blessed to conceive after only three months of “trying.” We were elated and petrified. The fear, doubt and worry persisted and the journey of surrender intensified. My husband and I meditated every night before bed and said a special prayer for the viability of the pregnancy and the health of the baby. I counted every day and marked every week.
The nausea began around week seven and continued to get worse throughout the first trimester. “Morning sickness” was actually “all-day sickness” and although I was voraciously hungry, and I was repulsed by the look and smell of most foods. I was more tired than I’d ever been in my life and felt uncomfortable from morning until night. Surrender, surrender, I kept reminding myself.
I had always been super active and tried to exercise – even if it was just taking a walk. Many days, it was virtually impossible because of how terrible I felt. The effort to maintain my slender physique was futile, as I gained weight rapidly and my body expanded in all the places I had worked so hard to “sculpt” over the years. Another layer of surrender…
After three and a half months of feeling like I had the flu and just when I thought I couldn’t take one more day, the nausea began to subside. By week 15, I started to recognize myself again. One morning, I actually made breakfast for my husband who was taken aback to even see me in the kitchen.
Each checkup, the doctor tried to see the baby’s gender. We were eager to know, yet the baby had other ideas. Yes, the message to surrender rose again…
The ultrasound during the amnio at 17 weeks was a lengthy one. The baby was moving a lot – making us hopeful we’d learn the sex. Nope. Not a chance. We had to be patient and surrender to the process – that was beyond our control.
Now, I’m nearly 19 weeks and we just found out we are having a boy. One question answered – a million more to go.
There are many definitions of surrender including: to relinquish control, to give up in favor of another, to give over (or resign) oneself to something. As a first-time mom, I think the lesson of surrender is one of utmost importance. The idea of relinquishing the need to control, giving up my “comfort” temporarily in favor of my son’s life and giving over any fear, doubt and worry to God, the Universe or a higher power will support me tremendously throughout my journey of motherhood. And, I know that this journey has only just begun.