Warning: Honesty ahead.
I’m tired. I haven’t had a normal night’s sleep in at least two weeks. Maybe a bit longer. Oftentimes in pregnancy, I develop restless leg syndrome which spends all night every night jerking me awake. And once I get woken up too many times, I guess adrenaline or cortisol or something kicks in and I get too awake and antsy feeling to sleep at all. The nights pass by lonely and frustrating. Here’s an example of a typical night.
10:40 Fall asleep with optimism
10:55 Wide awake
11:15 Fall asleep again
11:45 Back to sleep
12:10 Back to sleep
1:00 Give up on sleeping and get up for a while
1:00-2:30 Read the Bible, read my book, have a snack, do yoga stretches, walk around the house, do laundry
2:45 Fall asleep again, with optimism, again
3:00 Wide awake
3:10 Back to sleep
3:20 Wide awake, give up and get out of bed again
3:20-4:30 Facebook, stretches, read the Bible (usually 1John), read my book, feel pathetic, beg the Lord for intervention, cry
4:45 fall back asleep
5:15 Wake up, force self to stay in bed because the day is about to start
5:30 Crash hard
7:30/7:45 time to get up for the day
So, I’m tired. And for whatever reason, I’m not finding a solution. I’ve started a magnesium supplement that will eventually help (I hope) and I’m trying every homeopathic thing I can think but I’m tired.
And yesterday was a discouraging day. I started bleeding (not a lot, just a little) on the way home from the Outer Banks on Sunday. I monitored it all night but then the O.B.’s office called the next morning. The nurse had news of Thursday’s glucose test…which I failed spectacularly. So, I have gestational diabetes and I’m bleeding and I am not sleeping. I feel a little borderline as I tell the nurse about the bleeding. She says she’ll ask the doctor and call me back.
Bottom line, I must go to the hospital and be monitored because Nora is viable now and bleeding might not mean miscarriage…it might mean micro preemie.
At the hospital,they aren’t sure where the bleeding is coming from or why. I’m not having contractions, my water hasn’t broken. It could be literally nothing or it could be a precursor to preterm labor, placenta deterioration or who knows what else. I am given a steroid shot and I must return today for another one.
The steroid shots will serve to develop very immature lungs. Just in case.
At this point, I am discouraged and frankly, a little bit mad. We’re dealing with some financial struggles, which is frustrating. We want to do so much for the Good Samaritan orphanage. It’s so hard to see those needs and be unable to meet them. We’ve got a plan or two and it will of course be all right…because all that we have is His anyway…and He knows our needs. He has promised that if we are faithful to Him in our finances, He’ll make sure we are provided for. That’s the kind of Father He is. And so, I’m choosing (and it is an act of discipline) to surrender that worry to him. But it wants to sneak into my mind and wreak havoc, to usher in Discouragement. So, it’s an ongoing process of surrender and it’s been good for me- a stretching of my faith. I have not given in to despair over it, or even really very much worry. I keep seeing those storehouses in heaven and I know that God will honor our financial faithfulness to Him. His words says He will.
But this other stuff. I’m tired of Nora being in danger. I’m tired of problem after problem with this pregnancy. I’m still sad about her twin and I’m even often still sad about the loss before that too. I’m tired of this kind of hard thing being my husband’s main experience with bringing our children into the world. Of the four he has fathered, we have one here, one in a fragile state and two in heaven. He’s a wonderful father and an excellent man of God and I wish this whole thing had been more easy and less hard on him. And, I want my babies. All of them.
I want Nora to be born safe and sound. I want to hold her and raise her and tell her of her destiny. And we are not guaranteed anything. Not just us, the Carters, but us, the people of God. Loving God, knowing Him doesn’t mean the absence of pain and heartache and trouble.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
When John (not the original John, but my John, the priest of our house, John) quotes this verse, he will say, “You don’t often see people standing on this verse. Everyone wants to claim the ones about prosperity and love and favor…but this is no one’s favorite life verse.”
But you know what? I like it because it’s real and it’s true. And He told it to us that we may have peace. Yes, that we may have peace knowing there is trouble in this world, peace in knowing that we will endure hard things. No matter how “good” we are or how “bad” we are, no matter how much planning or striving we do…we’re going to face hard things. But He has told us this that we may have peace. And the peace is this- He stands with us. He walks with us. He sees the end of the story and in the end of the story, He has overcome the world.
So, I’m not doing it. I’m not going to get discouraged. I’m going to process through the anxiety of the past days, and I’m going to process through my irritation at having Gestational Diabetes (which I’ve never, ever had, in six kids and nine pregnancies.) I’m going to give that to the Lord and you know what? I’m going to be honest about where I am. But I’m not going to lose hope or lose faith or open the door to Discouragement and Poor Me. It’s a fine line and I’m going to have to navigate it while clinging to God…but I think that may be the whole point anyway.
He has overcome the world. And He loves me. And He loves Nora…and Asher and Peter and Claire and Lila and Chase and Aubrey and Julia. And He will not forget any of us.