1. Keeping the Big Picture in MindIn the moments where I'm most worried or fearful about all that is to come, I'm learning to remember the ultimate joy at the end of this journey: the blessing of raising our sweet child. I know that I won't necessary love things like the gestational diabetes test, getting an IV, or pushing through labor (literally), but I know that all of these things are necessary ends to a means. And if that ending places our beautiful baby in my arms, I know that everything will be oh so worth it. I won't care what I have to go through to get there: meeting Baby K, finding out their gender, naming them, and raising them up to love the Lord will be the sweetest, hardest, best journey ever. So it's all worth it.
2. Thinking Positive and Believing in MyselfI looked in the mirror the other day at 9Round and found myself asking, "Can I do this? Can I really bring a child into the world?" And then I stopped and considered that I was 20 weeks pregnant, coaching softball, and still working out daily. And I thought, "Heck yeah, I can do this! I'm going to rock this!" Why is it that it's so easy to let ourselves be negative, but we're so slow to be positive and believe in ourselves? I'm finding that a positive mental attitude can quickly erase the fears that whisper to me randomly throughout the day. I'm choosing to believe that I can do this, just as so many women have before me, and so many will after me.
3. Finding and Reaching out to a Support SystemI have been absolutely blown away by the incredible support of all the amazing mothers out there! From helpful advice on cribs and car seats to celebration of my pregnancy, moms have engulfed me with love and encouragement, and I am truly grateful. Of course, my family and mama friends have also been so wonderful, and I couldn't do this without them. But it has been oh so encouraging to see the love and support from so many who don't know me, yet are fabulous listening ears and encouragers! Y'all rock!
4. Being Honest about My FearsBeing willing to share our hearts and struggles together with vulnerability is a huge part of heart behind this blog's mission statement: to love fiercely, learn fearlessly, and live fully. I've found that holding in my fears only lets them eat away at me, making me into a monster who boils up and eventually spills over with emotion. So I'm choosing to be honest about my fears: with my husband, with my friends, and with those I love most. Even if it means waking my sweet hubby up in the middle of the night, crying about something random and seemingly unimportant, I'm doing it. Because I know that I need to be honest with myself and with others in order to work through these fears.
5. Trusting that God's Plan is Good...No Matter WhatA few weeks ago at church, while I was leading the song "It Is Well", I found myself moved almost to tears by these lyrics: "So let go my soul, and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know his name...And through it all, through it all, my eyes are on you. And it is well with me." In the moments when I find myself most worried or afraid about labor or motherhood, I stop and remember that God is good, that He is sovereign, and that His plans are to help me and not to harm me. So if there are complications or problems along the way with our baby, labor, or everything in between, I am finding myself saying, "It is well, Lord." I know that His plans may not always be what I want, but they are what I need. And I find hope and peace in knowing that ultimately He has brought us to this place, given us this child, and provided us with more than we could ever dream of. So I know He is good, and that I am not in control, which is so freeing.
The journey from being afraid to have a baby to knowing I was ready for one was definitely filled with tears, joy, and the realization that my fears were not enough to keep me from yearning for a child. But along the way, God has always been good. I know that there may still be times when I freak out about labor or worry about things to come that are unknown, uncertain, and scary. But in the end, I trust that I am equipped to be a mother, that I have been chosen to have this particular baby at this particular time for a reason, and that God will not let me fall. I'm so grateful for the amazing support system that I have, for mama friends to be vulnerable with, and for the opportunity to bring our sweet child into this world oh so soon.
I'm leaving you with some of my favorite powerful and encouraging songs. I hope that their truth and peace will calm your soul and mind just as they have for me (and not just for pregnancy fears). Be sure to check out some of my other posts on motherhood too, and shoot me a message if you'd like to chat more about pregnancy, fears, or really anything!