Pregnant belly!

As a heavily pregnant woman, it’s hard to not obsess about my baby’s birth. Every moment of every day I am aware that I am very, very pregnant. I stand up, and my round ligaments cramp. I go for a walk, and I feel my sweet baby weighing down in my pelvis. I cook dinner, and my feet explode with swelling. I can't even go to the grocery store without someone remarking on the size of my belly!

Earlier this week, I saw my midwife for my 39-week appointment. After hearing my baby girl’s heartbeat and having my belly measured, it was time for the check-up where they see how my body was progressing towards labor. I was initially excited because I was days away from being full-term, so there must be signs that my girl was about to make her decent! But no - I was told that there had been no progress since my last check at 37 weeks. Hearing this news was so very depressing. I am ready to have this baby. I am huge. I feel uncomfortable. I can barely sleep. And then to hear that she was not coming imminently utterly disappointed me.

Then fear crept in as I realized I may have to be medically induced. I was induced with Pitocin with Victoria and this is not an experience I would like to repeat for many reasons. In fact, I have made every effort to have a low-intervention pregnancy and birth so that I would not have to deal with Pitocin!

And so I came home frustrated, fearful, and downcast. I was annoyed with my body and discouraged by my lack of progress. I have tried so many tricks to naturally kick start labor, including (but not limited to) walking, eating dates, sitting on a birthing ball, eating fresh pineapple, making a curry, and scrubbing the kitchen floor, and still NOTHING??!

The problem is that my frustration is not helping anyone. I’m becoming more and more emotional and the only ones who are suffering are my family, especially my daughter. Victoria can be happily playing whilst her grumpy mother is sat on the couch, glued to her phone, perpetually goggling, “naturally induce labor”. She asks for something (usually something to do with Cookie Monster!) and I roll my eyes because I am simply “over it”. I’m distracted, fed up, and my patience is waning.

How many of us are in a time of waiting? How many of us are fed up with the process and simply want to get to our promises? How many of us are discouraged, frustrated, and disheartened by what seems to be a lack of progress in our lives? Are you waiting for a God-given spouse? Or perhaps you are praying for a promotion? Or maybe you are waiting for God to answer your prayer for healing?

The truth is that most of us are in a time of waiting. We have prayed and prayed, and prepared and prepared, but still our promised answer is not yet here. Like me, you are so very aware of your promise ALL. THE. TIME. You might not be peeing every 20 seconds, but your heart is screaming how pregnant you are and how ready you feel for the next season.

But according to my midwife, as well as my uber wise doula, births are not initiated by stress and anxiety. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Babies come when they feel safe and there’s peace. So when I fight, stress, and pressure myself, I am actually hindering the process.

I think the same is true for God. We fixate so much on the end “prize”. We look around at others and we see that they have what they want, so why can’t I have what I want? We work ourselves up into a state of frustration, disappointment, and pain.

But I have learned that God is a God who is more concerned about our hearts than He is about our circumstances. He wants us to be emotionally whole, rather to have all the things we have asked for. And He is a God of peace, not strife. God does not want to fuel our anxiety but lead us beside still waters to restore our souls (Psalm 23). And so, like my baby, He will wait for the tension, stress, and anxiety to cease before He opens up His hand to us.

So I making a choice. I am CHOOSING surrender. I am choosing to trust my body, trust my baby, and trust my God. I am choosing to not fight but to yield. And this is not an apathetic or passive decision. Surrender isn’t saying, “Whatever will be, will be.” No! True surrender is active. It’s saying to your heart, “You have got this! The promise WILL come. But make a choice to enjoy today, stay present, and focus on what you have, not what you lack.”

Let’s all CHOOSE surrender. Let's stop hindering ourselves and allow our hearts to refocus. Let’s quit fighting God. Trust Him. Trust yourself. Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14). It's time to stop holding ourselves back and allow our real strength to come shining through. The promise is not far! I promise you!! Just hold on a little longer!