I'm having a baby in four days.
After walking through the maternity ward at the hospital in downtown San José today, it is starting to feel a bit more real. (Doing 30 minutes of prenatal monitoring while listening to a set of new parents learning how to feed their baby didn't hurt either.)
Emotions (and probably hormones) are flooding me from all directions. I can almost tangibly feel it - I start to get excited, to feel the joy of this moment, and then something in me tries to put the brakes on the excitement, to hold out on the amazement until I actually see my beautiful baby girl. It is a constant battle to embrace the moment, to feel the joy of anticipation.
What makes it hard to feel joy is that almost-gone-but-still-there nagging feeling of "What if?" What if I am walking into pain? What if there is an unknown, extremely difficult assignment just ahead?
What if what I think (and have every reason to believe) is going to happen doesn't?
Disengaging from emotion is really the only way to keep from feeling the painful what ifs. The problem is, the only way to feel life's joy is to first know life's pain. Shutting myself off from pain also keeps me from experiencing joy.
When God gave us this pregnancy in this time in this place, He continued His work of redemption. We wanted to have a pregnancy of peace - of faith - of resting in Him without a constant struggle with anxiety and fear.
Lillian's name represents who God has told us she would be: our child of peace.
Lillian: means God is my vow
Faith: for us, this name represents peace - peace that is only possible through resting in Him by faith
Today we learned that God is working even more redemption through this pregnancy than we knew. Since our language school classes start next week (don't worry, I'm not starting until October 1, but Jimbo has to start ASAP), and since the sonograms reveal that Lillian is very ready for life outside the womb, my OB agreed to move the C-section date from next Tuesday to this Friday! This is great news.
The redemption factor: this Friday would have been the 28th birthday of my brother, Troy, who died almost three years ago. Troy died on our sister Tamra's birthday - my sister the fifth born. Lillian will be born on Troy's birthday - Lillian is also a fifth born. Both Lillian and Tamra will always have birthdays that include joyfully painful hole - a Troy-sized hole.
Since Troy died in 2009, many of our friends and family have, on his birthday, gone to Krispy Kreme (or other available donut shops) for a Boston cream donut to remember Troy. It looks like this year I will not be finding a donut shop with a Boston cream donut (it was already going to be very interesting to pull this off in San José, Costa Rica, where I'm pretty sure Boston cream donuts do not exist).
So I leave the maintenance of this tradition to you and other family and friends. Maybe you could even eat an extra one for me (and for Jimbo, and for our kids:). As you relish (or just think about) a chocolate-covered, cream-filled donut, will you pray for us? This is an exciting transition, but it's still a transition. We are thankful to have Jimbo's dad and sister here to be extra hands and feet for the next few weeks. Pray for us and for each one of our kids as we enter this new world of being a family of six together while attempting to learn this language called Spanish.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ." 2 Cor 10:4