The last time I was in the hospital I think I asked that question about 15 times. I asked right before they stuck me with an I.V. in the side of the arm; new experience that turns out to be more painful than they let on. I also asked when they proceeded to stick me in the back of the hand because the side of my arm wasn't working. I asked before the catheter and before they injected medicine into my I.V. that they said would be a little "uncomfortable" (Fire in your veins is not just a little uncomfortable FYI). I really wanted to know exactly how much pain everything would cause me so that I could at least be prepared. As it turns out, I could not be prepared for any of the pain I felt because unless you've experienced any of that before there is no way to truly gage the amount of pain it'll cause you.
I find this to be true of more than just hospital visits. It's something I've been struggling with for the past 2 months with our new baby on the way. I am very excited to be pregnant again and God has truly blessed us. It's actually kind of interesting to read my last post and see how much longing I had and it makes God's mercies more real for me. I feel like the woman who touched His cloak :). However, I knew that despite how badly I wanted a baby that if I were to be able to have one again I would have a hard time being able to truly find joy in the experience. After we found out in September I began asking God, "So, how much will this hurt?" Maybe not exactly in those words but more like, "So how long do I have before I have to let go of this one?" "Certainly you wouldn't answer my prayer just to let another one slip through your hands." "How will it happen this time and maybe can you give me a little more warning if it does." I even found myself praying that if I were to lose it that I could at least lose it with all the pain and bleeding that the books say ought to be happening. I just didn't want to go into an ultrasound to be blindsided again. Yes, what a miserable way to feel about your baby. I agree. Satan did a number on me the first month or so of the pregnancy. Everyday was a struggle to not cry or simply give up for fear of the unknown. I was writing off my babies life before it had a fighting chance. This wasn't because I didn't want a successful pregnancy, I just wanted to be prepared this time even if that meant not allowing myself to become too attached to loving my child fully.
I recently asked a friend of mine who had also experienced miscarriage but thankfully also became pregnant again, how it is that she can have so much joy despite what she had already been through? She told me that it wasn't easy for her either and that she struggled with trusting a God that she trusted the first time with her other baby but who had seemingly let her down. But she went on to say, "I had to just learn to let go of my fears and surrender this baby into his arms... Question everything you can control and let go of the things you can't. There are a lot of things we can control, like what we eat, taking our prenatal vitamins... But ultimately with your miscarriage and mine, there was nothing in our power to stop that. I learned to accept that and to stop letting my doubts and fears weigh me down." That knocked at my faith and humility in an incredibly convicting way. I was holding on to my fears thinking that the more I tried to prepare for what I wasn't ready for last time that I could regain a feeling of control somehow. I wasn't surrendering my fears or my babies life into God's hands. My false sense of control was destroying my joy in having the baby and making my fears worse by ultimately convincing myself that I would lose it. I too had to learn to let go of my fears and trust God with ths new chapter in my life and in my belly. It took me a while but with the encouragement of my wonderful husband and my family I was able to pray freely to a God that DID NOT fail me before. He made something very beautiful out of something I know even He would love to be different. Like in the story of Lazarus. We still live in a physical world where death happens but this was not the perfection God originally made. Seeing His loved ones hurting and feeling grief himself, Jesus even wept in pain over this reality. But things had to be done a certain way to display His glory and in the end God brought a dead man to life. And in my life he is raising me up out of my deadness into Himself daily. He is reminding me that I am not this person who has to fight to know answers and be prepared. I am a human who isn't strong enough to live this life without Him and I have to let my weakness be His strength. I have to let go of my fear to let him begin to give me that peace and reassurance I've needed. I'm able to do that more now than before, but it's still hard. The time between appointments is excrutiating. I still let fears seep in and like a weed kills a rose, my fear kills my joy. But when that begins to happen I recite Psalm 139 in my head and remind myself of just how involved God loves to be in the artful design and structure of His creations, especially the ones that he knits together in mothers' wombs :)