So for those of you who may have missed the exciting news, my husband and I are expecting our second baby in October! Now as joy filled as this news has been, it has also brought with it some horrible memories for me.
Now with your first pregnancy everything is new and exciting - the scan, the tiredness, the sickness. It all shows that new life is growing inside you. With the second, it is all a hassle as it has to fit in with your existing life and child! Throwing up whilst trying to serve your one year old his breakfast is not fun. Neither is falling asleep whilst watching Mr tumble and hoping he doesn't realise and come and poke you in the eye.
But my biggest fear and problem has been the memories of labour. I am now well aware that this pregnancy will culminate in one excruciatingly painful day. I can no longer dodge watching "one born every minute" and keep my naivety - it is etched on my mind forever.
The words of Genesis 3:16 have been ringing in my mind:
To the woman he said, "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.
And I have cried tears just thinking about this and wishing it wasn't so. You see it wasn't that my first birth was horrific. If you asked the midwives they would say it was normal with minimal complications. But it was long and at the end I had my one choice taken away from me by a midwife who was rude. I won't go into the details, but there is something about those moments when your body has gone into autopilot to try to get the baby out where you just want an ounce of control, and it was taken from me.
So what is there to say that it won't happen again? Nothing. But then if God is the one who made labour painful in the first place, then surely he is the first place I should turn to to understand these fears and to find a way to control them. You see God gives us everything we need to get through whatever we are facing. He knows that we are living in a world where daily we have to deal with the consequences of sin, and for us ladies painful labour is one of those consequences.
But today, on Easter Sunday, I choose to look to my beautiful saviour Jesus hanging on the cross. He could have asked God to take that pain away, he could have taken the easy way out, but he didn't. Because he knew that if he saw this thing through to the bitter end that new life would be the result. That something bigger was at stake. And although child birth isn't exactly the same, if I can get past my fears and the pain, if I can see it through the the bitter end then I will get the blessing of new life to hold in my arms.
I asked some mums in an online group for Christians called Captivated what they did to make it past this fear, and a lot of them said that they found a verse that really spoke to them, that empowered them, and they focussed on that instead of the pain. They prayed and worshipped through their labour, just as Jesus did on the cross, and so that is what I will try to do this time round. Hopefully in the next few months God will reveal a verse to me to treasure in my heart. If not then I can simply look to my suffering saviour and know i can't possibly be in as much pain as the man who carried the sin of the world on his shoulders.