Being a mommy is incredible. Seeing that dot for the first time was amazing, but a couple weeks ago when I finally saw my child's shape for the first time, watched him (default until we find out for sure, although "he" is my guess) wiggle his little arms and legs, and had the realization that the wiggling was happening right there, inside me... wow. Hearing the heart beat and letting it finally sink in that that little heart is beating inside of me. Thinking that as I lie in bed at night, the Maker of the entire universe is forming tiny kidneys, liver, brain cells, muscles, bones, teeth, fingernails... while I do nothing but sleep. While I go about my daily tasks of taking blood pressures and making referrals, this little body is growing and moving and forming.
And on one hand this puts the weight of the world on me. How am I going to support this child? Do I have the wisdom and patience to train and discipline? Do I have the energy and joy this child will require? On the other hand, I have never felt more helpless. It is less of a fear at this point, but there is still some concern for miscarriage, which I will probably have until the day I hold my child in my arms. And there is really nothing I can do about it. I can't put my hands around my growing belly and hold my child in place. I can't form his cells and DNA and keep a fatal mistake from happening. I can't form the placenta and position it correctly. I can try to eat the best I can, try to gain the proper weight, try to get adequate rest, but ultimately, the fate of my child is not in my control.
Nor will it ever be. I heard a song by Evanescence, and while I'm sure she was not thinking of a child when she sang it, that's what came to my mind. In conceiving a child, just like when you marry, you give your love to someone. And there's no guarantee it will remain. It could end too soon. It could end in tragedy or anger. You could become estranged and never speak again. You could be hurt deeper than you could ever have imagined. With every new love, a new world of possible hurt opens up. But I think anyone who's been there would say it's worth it.
Having a child also gives an entirely different perspective on healthcare than I could ever have had. Hearing the screams of a teenager in anguish over finding out she's pregnant, and knowing that child doesn't have a hope of being born healthy, if it even has a hope of being born at all since its mother wants to kill it before it even takes its first breath of air. Holding the hands of the child who's in for an evaluation of possible abuse. Carrying a tiny, malnourished child who doesn't have a home to go to that night, nor food to eat, but mom found the money for cigarettes and a six-pack. And then sitting back down at my desk, and looking at the picture of my baby. God forbid anyone ever dream that I would harm my child. Yes, it's somewhat unexpected, and definitely earlier than planned, but this child is loved. This child is wanted. This child will see in me, Lord willing and by His grace, a picture of unconditional love, self-sacrificial, willing to die. May he see in me something that will help him understand the care and love God has for him.