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)!

13 comments:

Mary Floth said...

Jes, I don't know what to say. This is all so special, and you two are going to be amazing (an understatement) parents. WOW!!!!! I couldn't wait for this season of your life to come, and I'm so glad it's here. CONGRATS to you both and blessings upon the three of you. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Tarah Myers said...

It's hard to hold back tears while reading your story. It's written so beautifully, capturing all of your emotion as always. I can't believe the time has finally come for you to be a Mommy!!! It's what you were made for through and through. I'll be praying for your little one. Tell Allen I said congadulations as well! I love you so so much and can't wait to see you with a big, pregnant belly :) don't worry you will be absolutely stunning!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. Parenthood is amazing...planned or not. I'm so excited for Dawson to have a cousin! I don't know Allen but he is so lucky to have you as his wife and mother of his child.

Stephanie said...

Oh my Gosh Jess! I'm so unbelievably excited for the two of you. Your words are so beautiful that I found myself reading with eagerness and tears streaming down my face. I know you and Alan will be wonderful parents. I love you both dearly! I can't to see you with that big pregnant belly! =) Steph

Adrienne said...

Yay!!! Congrats Jess!!! I'm so happy for your little family :)

Cassie said...

Congratulations! You're in for the ride of your life, girl!

Michael, Adrian, & Cole said...

What a beautiful entry! This is why I love journaling/blogging so much. Your little one will have this to look back upon and see how you loved him/her from the very beginning. Congratulations!!
Also...where have you bought a home? Michael and I have two kayaks that you can borrow anytime you wish (better get it all in before the little one arrives!)

Robb's new adventures said...

JEs,

Congrats!!! You guys are going to be incredible parents and I am so stinking excited for you. Of course I will be praying for you over the next few months as you deal with the morning sickness thing. I truly hope that it is nothing like amy's. Congrats again and enjoy the ride from here on out. You will be AMAZED!!

Robb

Joey and Nikki said...

Thought of you over the past few months...
Recently, the thought of you being pregnant has come to me...
Didn't even know you had a blog, and yesterday journeyed into your life to discover what feels quite suiting for this time.. you are in fact pregnant! This was the one persisting thought on my mind looking for you...
this is grand.
do you have an email address.
Love. Nikki

Holy Cow! Canada said...

Congratulations! I am so excited for the both of you. Your blog is absolutely beautiful. Being parents is truly an amazing gift and you will both be great parents! Lots of love - We miss you all lots.

Holy Cow! Canada said...

I have to leave one more comment - You could sell that picture for a magazine cover - wow!

John Barker said...

Beautiful, beautiful!! Baby Willis is about the luckiest to be blessed with such intelligent loving parents. We love you guys...all 3 of you and are praying for this exciting time!

Jenilee said...

Oh Jess! I cried as I read your explaination of the Day of Discovery. It brought me back to the overwhelming emotions of learning of pregnancy and becoming aware of the responsiblity. Its such a precious thing. I am so in love with my two boys I can't even explain it and I know you will find yourself saying and feeling that more and more as each day passes and as your imaginations and dreams of him/her increase. I think one thing that has made pregnancy and parenthood so precious to me is when stephen and I have pondered in our hearts before the Lord what our children would be like, petitioning him for insight... and he gives it! to see prophetically over our children before they come, and then to see them walk in what we have seen has a profound way of offering hope, encouragement, deepening our love, and drawing us into the Father's heart. Especially when we see the same things separately, and can confirm them to one another. It becomes more of a shared journey that way. Discovering the secrets of the unknown separately but together. There's too much to type here, but we definitely need to talk. Ican't wait to hear your heart. I love you!
Jen