What You’re Going Through Is Not Just For You

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).

What you’re going through is designed specifically FOR you, of course, but it’s way bigger than you. Times of joy are contagious–they give hope to those around you. Times of hardship prove you’re human, and if you endure, they give hope to those around you. Whatever season you are in, there is hope on the other side of your circumstance.

Since I posted the blog about our struggle with infertility in March, and then the follow-up post in September about our baby’s chromosome test, Joshua and I have spoken with what feels like countless couples who have battled through similar circumstances. Worrying chromosome tests, heart-breaking diagnoses of infertility, miscarriages, still-births… a whole spectrum of emotions and realities so few people, especially women, feel the freedom to talk openly about. My request for prayer about our circumstance seemingly opened a floodgate of conversation about these incredibly difficult topics. And I’m so grateful for it.

I used to assume that pregnancy was easy. Outside of nausea, achiness, and my abdomen stretching to the limit, I thought the whole thing would be fine as long as I ate right and exercised. Once I got pregnant I realized that a million things can go wrong. So it has been an incredible gift to feel so surrounded by family, friends, and acquaintances in this season. People praying for us, cheering us on, asking how our Etta is doing–I am overwhelmed by the love of our community. We’ve also had the opportunity to pray for and support others who’ve been vulnerable with us. This is how the Church is meant to be. When one part is hurting, the others rush in to help. God is so clever.

Today I am 33 weeks + 4 days along, and our baby girl is moving every day. She responds to Joshua’s voice and R&B bass (thanks D’Angelo), and we’ve finally started to assemble her room. We had another sonogram with the pediatric cardiologist this week, and he’s still concerned about her heart. They’re not getting the view of her aorta that they want. We also found out that she’s small for her age–towards the bottom of the growth chart, but not off of it. A high risk OBGYN (first time we’ve seen one of them, boo) warned us that if she falls off the growth chart, it could indicate placental insufficiency. That could be reason to induce me at 39 weeks, so I could start breastfeeding Etta and fatten her up. All of these pronouncements of “could” and “maybe” aren’t diagnoses, but of course they’re worrisome, and the last thing I want to hear. I’ve been hoping to deliver at our midwives’ new birthing center completely naturally; no IV, no interventions… I’m trying to focus on what the Lord has told me about our daughter, and what He continues to say: that she is okay. She is going to be fine. But the road to her birth has not been easy, and I was never promised that. Lord help me to have faith. Give us courage and help us make the right decisions in the storm of information and options.

We’d still appreciate your prayers. We have our first baby shower next week, and I want to rejoice, not worry. This girl is coming no matter what. Henrietta Akela Blankenship, named after my mother’s mother, Enriqueta Morales, and the wolf who saved Mowgli in the Jungle Book. We’re so excited to meet her.