Sunday, July 27, 2008

Images of Baby Willis


Our journey toward parenthood is illuminating the mysteries of the divine hidden in the human experience. As we monitor the development of our tiny baby, we are awed by the complexities of existence . . . the intricate and miraculous weaving of body, soul, and spirit in the secret place.

We had the opportunity to glimpse the life unfolding in my womb on Friday morning. Tears streamed down our faces as the grainy image of our baby appeared on the screen before us. We absorbed the beating of his/her tiny heart (142/bpm), soaking it into our souls. It was a moment in time that will never leave us . . . the first tangible sign of the life springing forth from our love.

Above is a snapshot of our ultrasound. Baby Willis is facing left. The hollow circle to the right is the yolk sac, its primary source of nourishment until week ten (or so I’ve read). If you look closely, you can see his/her profile . . . eye spot, nose, open mouth. . . I could stare at it for hours!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Reveling in New Worlds


The life that grows in my womb is awakening new worlds in my soul. I sense the pleasure of God hovering over my body and filling my belly as he crafts our baby with merciful hands. . . meticulously weaving the fiber of his/her being. He is fashioning our child with purpose. His plans exceed the scope of our insight and imagination. . .

He is more.

I cannot describe the joy that brings warm, salty tears to my eyes and causes my heart to swell within my chest. I feel more aware now, than ever before, of God’s love and attentiveness as he strategically crafted me in my mothers womb and orchestrated my days. He has remained present, despite my disposition- whether clinging tightly to his promises or abandoning them in search of more.

Truly, he is faithful and merciful.

He is our God, and it will be an honor to awaken future generations to the reality of his truth. . . the truth that crafted all creation and spills into the deepest recesses of every soul.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Calm Before the Stork


I am hesitant to wrap language around the hours that preceded this one, fearing it will not adequately capture the totality of our joyous revelation, yet it would be unjust not to try.

The need to strategically plan is a prominent characteristic Allen and I share. We are inwardly compelled to operate with thoughtful purpose. We attempt, as best we can, to chart out the road ahead, yet often sense a force greater than reason superseding our preparatory attempts. . . ever-so-gently guiding us into more than we could fathom.

“A man plans his way in his heart, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

2010 was our aim. Until then, our plan was to entirely devote our energy to the rigors of graduate school. [Allen is dually-enrolled in Liberty University’s Seminary and Berklee School of Music, and I am working toward a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy through Liberty.] We initially thought integrating academia and parenthood would be virtually impossible, so we attempted to cast off our biological compulsions and remain focused.

Several months passed and a distinct question began to rise in my spirit. I attempted to suppress it, but it consistently resurfaced.

“You claim that I’m Lord of your life, but am I Lord of your womb?”

It haunted me . . . brought me to tears . . . angered me at times. I knew the answer, so I began to pray. If God’s timing had arrived or was much closer than expected, I needed him to reveal it to my husband. As priest of our home, Allen needed to be the one to initiate this monumental step.

I expressed my inner compulsion to relinquish control while cooking with him one Sunday afternoon. We both cringed at the thought but were met with a soft remembrance in our spirits that God can be trusted. We reasoned that there were sufficient physical and emotional benefits to ceasing hormonal contraceptive and agreed that we would begin to revert to more natural methods, giving the Lord a bit more room to work if he willed.

Days turned to months and each one stimulated vision for our future children. We began to daydream together about their personalities and names and nursery d├ęcor (like I previously stated, we are planners through and through), but we were not “trying.”

During the latter days of June, my energy waned. I began to feel consistently lethargic, which is extremely out of character for me. I began to take naps after work and turn in early at night. It didn’t register that this could be a sign until there was no evidence of menstruation.

I purchased 3 Clear Blue Easy pregnancy tests on the 29th of June (the day before my 26th birthday). I took the first that afternoon and received a negative result, so I pushed the possibility of pregnancy out of my head (as best I could) and waited, concluding that my body was still adjusting to the absence of hormone and my period was simply delayed.

July 2nd, I called Tarah after work. During the course of our conversation she asked if I was pregnant. That’s a typical question, usually posed jokingly because she knows we’ve been attempting to wait, but she’s well acquainted with my maternal instinct. I answered, “No. I don’t think so,” but the question lingered within. . .

Could I be?

I got home before Allen and decided to test again. I sat the device on the window seal to process and went into the bedroom to change. I came back minutes later to see the word. . .

“PREGNANT”

My hands instantly began to tremble. My body was cold. My heart pounded in my ears. I walked into the dining room and fell to the floor weeping.

My baby is here!

I instantly began to cry out to God. My spirit felt more sensitive than it has in years.
“You have graced me with motherhood! You have entrusted one of your own to my care!”
The weightiness of this revelation was almost more than I could bear. I sensed the pleasure of God falling . . . his essence spilling strength into my body, and I was fully aware in that moment that I desperately needed him to remain close and sustain me on this new journey.

The dining room door creaked open. . . Allen looked down to find me weeping beside the positive pregnancy test and with love in his eyes, he embraced me and laid me down on the hardwood floor. We held one another and uttered, “Thank you, Lord. . . Thank you. . .” We received the gift of parenthood in that moment. I sensed it. Our spirits tenderly absorbed the revelation of this new life (our tangible love).

The next morning (yesterday, July 3rd), we visited my gynecologist for confirmation. The urine sample came back negative, so they drew blood and administered a pelvic exam. The results were not instantaneous, so we left in a state of bewilderment.

After a stop by the library and Taste of Tokyo, we made our way home, and I decided to take a final pregnancy test. Once again, it was positive! At that point, I was assured of our new-found reality. Literally minutes later, Allen’s phone rang. It was Stacey, my nurse, screaming, “YOUR PREGNANT!”

Allen and I held each other teetering between laughter and tears. We were filled with utter elation!

Parenthood will be one of the most refining, sanctifying experiences of our lives. There will be joy and struggle. I am convinced it will usher us into realms of love and of the divine we’ve yet to venture. Our faith and intimacy with God will undoubtedly increase as we more fully rely upon him for strength, provision, wisdom, and direction!

These are sacred days!
We are soaking them in!

For those of you who are curious, our tentative due date is March 7, 2009 (3 days after Allen’s birthday)!