lessons learned in my third trimester

39 weeks today.

it has been quite a ride—one that I can’t say I was fully prepared for despite my attempts to “prepare” for pregnancy. In my mind, I thought exercising, eating healthy foods, meditating, and reading positive birth stories would be enough preparation. Never did I anticipate that what was required for me was a whole lot of grace, peace, and strength.

Never did I think that pregnancy and this little boy would be teaching me SO much about myself.

At 36 weeks, we found out that baby boy was in a breech position. At first in hearing the news, I, of course, was devastated but definitely walked out of the office with a bit of hope. Everyone said, “do not worry, there is still plenty of time…” but 37 weeks came and went, and then 38, and now here we are at 39, and he is just not movin’. We attempted it ALL to try to spin this baby. From acupuncture, to chiropractic, to hours of being upside down on an ironing board, to cold packs where his head is, to Cameron singing all of Elvis’ famous hits at the bottom of my pelvis, to doing handstands in the pool, to Maya abdominal massages, you name it, we tried it. We even attempted an ECV (External Cephalic Version), which after 4 attempts little guy just would not budge. It certainly has been a roller coaster of emotions—days of hope, days of grieving the birth I had envisioned, and days of fear.

So here I am, sitting with both fear and faith. While these two things don’t really go together, that is where I am. While my fear lies in the place of not knowing how it will all unfold, I have complete faith that the Lord is with me.

I will sing to the Lord,

because he has been good to me

Psalm 13:6 

 I know, too, that there is a lesson, an opportunity for growth in every “mini-crises”. So here are my hard lessons learned in my third trimester:

  1. Surrender. It is the first step the Lord has called me [us] into in this role as mama.  And every day, every moment really, will have to be an act of surrender, because we can think all day that we have it all under control. We can have the illusion of control, and that will get us through for a little bit, but the reality is, nothing, not anything, is really in our control. It is a hard one to accept, but trusting that the Lord’s plan is better is where He is inviting me to be. So today, maybe not tomorrow or in 2 hours even, but right now, I will be in that space of surrender.
  2. Faith of those around you is sometimes the only thing that will get you through. I am reminded of the story of the paralytic in Capernaum that was brought to Jesus by his friends. It was his friends that carried him through, it was his friends that went as far as to lower the man on a mat through the roof. It was their faith that Jesus saw. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5 . I have had a lot of people praying for us and over us, and for that I am forever grateful for those who have carried me through with their hope and their faith. 
  3. El Sol. One of my aunts shared a story with me about when she was overwhelmed and super down about the fact that she couldn’t nurse her third. She wanted to so badly be able to nurse her, and it just wasn’t happening for her. Struck by the inability to be “that” mom, her mother, my Abuela, said to her, “¿Por qué buscas las estrellas cuando ya tienes el sol?” What my abuela was trying to say was, why are you searching for the stars, when you already have the sun. It made me think, which I am sure my aunt realized in that moment too: why do we strive for perfection—whether it be a perfect pregnancy, perfect birth or the perfect way of mothering—when the most beautiful gift is already in our hands.
  4. All is as planned. Through my pregnancy, when asked, where I would be delivering, my response was always, “well if all goes as planned, the Atlanta Birth Center…” I realized that I said that out of fear—fear of judgement, fear of skeptics, fear that there would be some sort of complication that would force us out of the birth center. As I processed the news about baby boy being breeched, I replayed that response over and over in my head, and then I heard a soft whisper, “Gabi, all is as planned…” While I hate the in between, the waiting, the tension, when things aren’t as planned, I must trust that all is as planned as He planned it, and that He will be at the place where I am going. Like the blind man, in John 9, who needed to walk back to the water with mud in his eyes to see if he was really healed of his blindness. We, too, must walk with uncertainty and without clarity to the place God is calling us to go to see what He has for us. After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” John 9: 6-7 To trust that while we are in the dark, in the journey to our own pool of Siloam that what He has for us there is far greater than what we could have ever imagined ourselves. That our story is and will always be redeemed because He wrote it. 
  5. God is Sovereign. Rather than try to summarize this one, I will just write the lyrics to a song that gave me hope and faith in these last several weeks.
There is strength within the sorrow
There is beauty in our tears
And You meet us in our mourning
With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting
You’re sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding
You’re teaching us to trust
Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us
You are wisdom unimagined
Who could understand Your ways
Reigning high above the Heavens
Reaching down in endless grace
You’re the lifter of the lowly
Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me
And Your promises are my delight
Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good
You turn it for our good and for Your glory
Even in the valley, You are faithful
You’re working for our good
You’re working for our good and for Your glory
6. Pool. GO. EVERYDAY. in your third trimester. If I could have lived in a pool the last six weeks, I would have…

One thought on “lessons learned in my third trimester

  1. I am glad I was able to at least provide the Pool! I love you and this abuela will be there for you! Even if I have to put my two dogs in a kennel!

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