November 12, 2012 by theresiugoes
The next milestone we were waiting for was 12 weeks. I don’t know what about 12 weeks makes it the magic number – there is of course still a chance (although reduced) of miscarriage after that point.
What an awful term that is, “miscarriage”. Like you were carrying something, and you dropped it. It has connotations of failure, of ill-ability.
I wouldn’t say I was plagued with the fear of miscarriage, but those early mornings in the bathroom made me think “please, Lord, help this baby grow.”
We told a few people as we neared the 12 weeks: our families (who delightfully shared in our joy); our minister (his wife had apparently guessed it 3 weeks earlier), one of my lecturers at college and my boss (I was more absent from class than present), our doctor (who couldn’t wipe the smile off his face), and my pharmacist (who came around the counter to embrace me and high-five husbandsylv). It was so wonderful to be sharing the news – people were genuinely excited for us, rejoicing in the new life growing inside me. And concerned – encouraging me to rest, regularly checking on my well-being, and offering help of any kind. It warmed my soul.
But as I bent over the toilet bowl, or clutched side of the bed rocked by nausea, I feared how we would tell them if we lost the baby.
I especially feared telling my niece and nephew. They were so excited about having another cousin, and so interested in the baby’s development. It was terrifying to think how and what I would tell them if the baby didn’t make it.
So 12 weeks was the milestone we were hanging out for. And when we reached it, we breathed such a sigh of relief…and finally everybody could know! I had initially thought I wouldn’t announce it – just let people see the growing bump and work it out. But my-oh-my, when the time came, we were so ecstatic, we wanted to shout it from the rooftop!
So, as I sat in the doctor’s office at 12 weeks and 6 days, I started messaging some of our dearest friends. And as the joyful replies came pouring back, the tears poured down my face.
This baby was so loved, by people it hadn’t yet met!
This baby was already adored, even though it didn’t even have a name!
And this baby was going to grow in a family and community, no matter how geographically widespread, that was warm and loving and faithful and caring.
And then I realised that even if we did lose the baby, we would survive. Not because of our own strength or emotional competence, but because there were so many people around us, loving us, caring for us, and lifting us up in prayer.
Community and family is one of the most precious gifts given to humanity. We are not alone in this life, we do not fend for ourselves as lone warriors. We have friends, we have family. We can face life together. We share life. We rejoice in life. Together.