Three Attitude Adjustments During Pregnancy
By Natalie, Contributing Writer
Pregnancy is such a mixed bag, don’t you think?
On the one hand you have the miracle of LIFE filling your body.
On the other hand you also get the garden variety of emotions and physical stresses that come with the complete package. If you’re lucky, that is. If you’re not so lucky, you get worse. That can include anything from bed rest to miscarriage to infant loss.
But wait a minute.
Luck has nothing to do with it.
We humans have this bad habit of thinking we’re in control—or that if we’re not, we ought to be. That’s just Lie Number One in a string of lies that drag us down at every opportunity. Let’s take a brief look at a few mud puddles we wallow in (or waddle in, as the case may be) when we are pregnant.
But let’s not stop there. We’ll also open the door to seeing the big, beautiful ocean of God’s truth—with all its glittering depths—inviting us to jump in and enjoy.
Mud Puddle #1: I Look and Feel Lousy.
We love this one, don’t we? Nausea and puking. Aching backs. Hurting hips. Itching bellies. The 2 ml of urine in our bladder feels like a gallon. Can’t walk. Takes 15 minutes just to turn—like a whale on a spit—in bed at night.
Our face is fat. Our hair is flat. The maternity clothes are always adorable when we’re NOT pregnant, but as soon as we see that pink line, the fashions take a turn for the worse.
What do we have to look forward to? Labor and delivery. Sleepless nights. Sore nipples. Six weeks of bleeding. Loud bawling and hysterical laughing all in a 60-second period of time. A real joy ride. We commiserate with our girl friends while rolling our eyes and rubbing our bellies. Our bodies are falling apart!
God’s View: You’re His Creation and He Has Equipped You.
To bear an eternal soul is huge.
It has ramifications that will affect thousands, maybe millions of people long after you are gone. When you are carrying that child, you are playing a crucial role in the drama God is writing on earth. God created you for THIS! And He will give you the strength—one day at a time—to do your part.
- My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
- He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
- I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10
Mud Puddle #2: What if Something Goes Wrong?
Pregnancy is a vulnerable time for a woman, and there truly are a number of things that can go wrong at any time during those nine months and/or during labor and delivery. Fear of what could happen is a common, paralyzing emotion. We can stuff it and pretend it isn’t there sometimes, but as soon as something even appears as if it may go haywire, our imaginations run wild, and our futures look bleak.
God’s View: The Past, Present, and Future are in His Hands.
Will He be there to catch you if the worst happens? Yes, He will. God is sovereign over everything that happens in a bird’s nest, in the galaxy next door, and in the four walls of your home. He will not give you grace to get through tomorrow—today. So don’t borrow tomorrow’s trouble. Rest in Him one hour at a time. He’s not going to let you go.
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
- When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee. (Psalm 56:3)
- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:6-8)
Mud Puddle #3: I’m Going to be Stuck Here FOREVER.
You might already have little toddlers and preschoolers in your home while you grow this new little life inside. This is the most challenging stage of motherhood, in my opinion. It’s emotionally and physically draining. There are no older children to help keep the little ones entertained or to run and grab a diaper for you.
The days bump into one another in an endless chain of sameness.
There isn’t much “fruit” on the tree—yet. This makes it easy to wonder “What’s it all FOR?” And just like those last few weeks of pregnancy, when you really do have irrational thoughts of being pregnant for the rest of your living days, you begin believing you are stuck in a time warp with no end in sight.
God’s View: Life is Short. Eternity is Long.
Consider a dot on a page no bigger than a period. Imagine a line going out from that dot and traveling all around planet earth—a million times. The dot is your life. The line is eternity. What you do in the dot will affect what happens on that line. This is a serious and incredible truth!
- For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)
- Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)
- What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14)
Our culture screams at mothers to “get a life.” It would like to keep you down in your mud pit thinking that’s all there is. I’d like to propose that isn’t the life we’re after.
It’s something a whole lot bigger.
What truth do you remember when you need an attitude adjustment?
Sneak Peek into the Future: VisionaryWomanhood.com is publishing a book July, 2013 called Three Decades of Fertility. In this unique book, ten women share their real life stories of fertility in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Their stories are full of life and death, hope and sorrow, victory and defeat. The common thread woven throughout the entire book is God’s faithfulness in it all. If you’ve ever wanted to learn from the experiences of older women in their 40’s and 50’s – this book will be your opportunity.
My husband and I were just talking about #3 the other day. I was telling him how society, some around me, make me feel guilty for staying home with my children. For not “getting a life.” I have friends who work full time and can never get it all done, always running around stressed out. After I talk with them, I feel guilty that I am not as busy as they are, and I start to feel like what I’m doing doesn’t amount to much. Why do I allow myself to feel this way? Staying home with my 3 kids is the greatest gift in the world, but I allow my insecurities to sap that joy!
We all struggle with doubts—especially on those “bad days.” You are ABSOLUTELY doing an incredibly important work, not only on behalf of our culture and society, but for the Kingdom of God. There are eternal destinies at stake. What could possibly be more important? I think the enemy loves to make us short sighted and distracted so that we will allow these years and this work to slip by without realizing their impact on eternity and on thousands of lives. May God grow your vision and fulfill every dream of yours for a purposeful, meaningful life here on earth!
I’m not sure this article could have come at a better time. My husband and I are expected our 7th child right now, after suffering our 1st miscarriage in January. Being pregnant again has caused a cautiousness in our emotions that we’ve never experienced with our previous six children, before our miscarriage. I’m am in the throws of first trimester emotions and physical issues, and my doctor is concerned about this pregnancy, again something that has never happened to our previous pregnancies before our miscarriage. I feel like we’re walking brand new ground as brand new parents, instead of being somewhat seasoned in walking this road. On one hand, the understanding that life is precious and from the Lord has only deepened in us since our miscarriage. On the other hand, we’re very careful to remember that at any turn this life could be taken from us. It’s causing a bit of stress, though we know to trust in the Lord’s ways and wills and sovereignty. I never thought myself to be grateful for the “mud puddles” of pregnancy, until this one! Now I pray that an attitude of gratefulness and gratitude can help me keep my mind focused right where it should be always… at the throne of grace. These verses are unbelievably perfect to remind me day in and out of His promises. Thank you!
It’s amazing how a loss can cause a seismic shift in our hearts and in our perspective. You are in a great place Rebecca. A place of dependence on the Lord for the life of your child and for peace of mind. May God’s peace fill you with joy as you keep your thoughts “stayed on Him.” Lord, protect this little life growing in Rebecca, and use this pregnancy to make Yourself more intimately known by her. Amen.
You’re right more than I can express about loss changing perspectives. Thank you for your prayer, Natalie – truly!
Here’s another reader for whom you’ve written the article just on time! I’m in the third trimester, basically waiting any day now to get to see my baby for the first time, and getting really impatient (more because of the fact that it takes me 15 minutes to roll to the other side because my hips are hurting too much from laying too long on one side, but then again what’s too long when you can’t sleep because you have to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes or more?!) I have to say your post instilled a certain peace of mind. Everything has a reason and even if I can’t understand it, I know God does, and he does his best, so I’ll try to do mine 🙂
Absolutely! God has you right where He wants you—needing Him more than anything. You’re going to make it to the finish line where a precious treasure awaits. Congratulations Roxana!
What a blessing this post is! I am 17 weeks pregnant with our first baby. My body is already dashed with stretch marks. I battled morning sickness pretty good there during the first trimester. And as each week passes. I’m met with new fears. What if I miscarry? What if it’s twins (not planning to get an ultrasound)? What if my home birth plans fail? What if I tear and am “ruined” forever? What if I get all the frustrations my friends and family share about parenting little ones and none of the joy? What if my child has special needs? What if my baby is stillborn? And my favorite mos silly fear I have been most confronted with lately…what if I’m not REALLY pregnant? I truly do have to place my faith and trust in The Lord, knowing He placed this little life inside me. He has a plan for this baby’s life that will not be deterred by my fears. Thank you for the encouragement.
YEAH LEAH! You are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime! Motherhood! It is SO WORTH all of the trouble, wear and tear. You will experience fierce love such as you cannot imagine right now. I’m so happy for you—you are blessed!
Thank you for writing this! I needed this so badly today. I am at the beginning of my third trimester with my third baby and I am just feeling completely defeated today. THIS was a GOD send!!! I prayed that the Lord would encourage me some how and this was it. Going to write some of those verses on my belly in henna so I don’t forget!!
LOL! I’d like to see that! 🙂 God will give you grace for each day Aimee. The next three months will fly by even while they are dragging. (Don’t ask me how that works – but it does!)
Thank you so much! I am 36 weeks and have been feeling miserable lately. I am running a daycare out of my home, so on top of my 2-year-old, I’m chasing around 3 other kids 2 and under. I’ve been wallowing (and waddling ;-)) in my uncomfortableness a lot lately. I really needed to hear this and be reminded that God is with me even in this! Thanks!
You’re on the home stretch! Congratulations! You’re going to make it!
This was beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
on behalf of –
A Moment with MOM
Such an encouraging article. I am looking forward to reading the new book as well. I’m thankful for all the cyber “friends” and “mentors” who share with us younger mothers b/c unfortunately I don’t have this kind of encouragement and support from family, friends and my local church body.
YOU are who we are thinking of when we write. The Internet has opened up a way for all of us to connect, and I believe God is using it for great good.
Thank you for this. I am unexpectedly pregnant with number three. At age 41. Six years after I thought we were done. I know God has a plan for this baby and our family that far outweighs what I could imagine. But…He has completely ‘wrecked’ my plans, both short and long term. I know this baby will be a great blessing, but I’m still struggling to be happy about it. So thank you. I can use all the encouragement and right-thinking that I can get!
Judy, I promise that in ten years, when this little boy or girl is 9 years old – you will be SO HAPPY you charged ahead and embraced his/her life. This child is going to be a huge treasure to your heart one day. God has given you a beautiful diamond in place of the plastic bauble you were hoping for. I am praying right now for you – that God will help you to “see” this with your spirit so that you can find great joy in it!! 🙂
Thank you very much for your encouragement.
I’m in my fifth pregnancy (after 10 years!). And fear is always on the background of my thoughts, because in my fourth pregnancy I became very, very ill. This was caused by a chronicle bowel disease. All the time I was very anxious about a new pregnancy, but nevertheless we longed for it.
And now, God allowed us this little child(I’m 12 weeks pregnant). W’re happy, but in spite of that I fear…you know? I’m from the Netherlands and I’m thankfull for sharing with the whole world your biblical, views on so many female subjects! Greetings, Jeannette
Oh Jeannette, I am praying that God would spare this life to you and your husband, enabling you to raise it here on earth for your joy and His glory. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Is. 41:10
This was a really encouraging read for me – thank you! I have 3 weeks left of my 3rd pregnancy. My older 2 children are 3years and 20 months old – so this really is a challenging time! How we moms need to keep these wonderful truths in view!
Congratulations Liesl! May God safely deliver this precious treasure into your arms soon! Enjoy your soon-to-come baby-moon! 🙂
Wonderful post, beautiful and encouraging scriptures. Thank you! My little ones are 5, 3, and 1. 🙂 One of my absolute biggest fears has always been having one of my babies be seriously ill. My oldest two have never even had an illlness that required a visit to the pediatrician. My husband and I have been through the scariest times of our lives this past year as our baby girl was losing her vision at 5 weeks old from an extremely common virus that attacked her body in a strange way (I’m sure some of you are wondering, and no, it’s nothing that is vaccinated against). There were misdiagnoses and weeks of hospitalization. It was eventually diagnosed correctly and she amazed everyone with how quickly she healed (she is one prayed over baby :). This same virus came back when she was 10 months old and attacked her brain (completely shocked the doctors) causing her to have seizures and go nearly comatose. My baby woke up for days and didn’t look at me any differently than the nurses. There were times she didn’t seem to see/feel/know anything. Our whole church gathered and prayed and begged God for a miracle and when they were praying she woke up and we could tell she recognized us. She still had rough times but she healed and amazed everyone. She made her doctor cry with joy when she saw how well she was doing. All this to say, God has taught us that when He promises to give you the grace and strength needed for each day, He *truly* does. He IS near to the brokenhearted. No, we didn’t know that everything was going to be okay- at one point I was asking when I should go get a breast pump because I assumed a feeding tube was going to be needed. Yes, it was the hardest times of our lives. Yes, my faith was strengthened. I often hear people say that people have more faith in God in times of tragedy because they have to believe in something, maybe for some people who don’t really know Him this is true. But for His children, faith is strengthened because He keeps His promises.
Wow, what a God-honoring testimony. The rest of us cannot relate to your exact circumstances, but your hope in God and your testimony that He is faithful even in the MIDDLE of heart-wrenching circumstances is a BLESSING to us. Thank you for taking time to share a little bit of your story Megan.
What a great post! It really ministered to me, as I am sure it would to any woman in this season in life. I have 2 little boys, 2 1/2 and 3 months. My last pregnancy was harder than my first, because I had a little one to take care of already, plus i had some complications at the end (high blood pressure, failed inductions, etc…) In the end, I can see the Lord’s Hand on the whole thing, and He was even gracious enough to allow us the homebirth that I had set my hopes on, once I learned to trust Him (but that’s a different story 😉 )
I just have this feeling in the Spirit that we can’t possibly be done having children, but part of my is afraid of someday being pregnant again, and having to deal with the stress of blood pressure issues, exhaustion and some of the less important, but still annoying, aspects of pregnancy.
I enjoyed also the reminder that society has their priorities all mixed up. This mommy-hood is one of the most important things anyone could do. Raising the next generation for Christ!!
Thank you for this encouragement and reminder. I’m 38 weeks pregnant with baby #5. I also have a 6, 4, 3, and almost 2 year old, so my days are very filled. Recently, I’ve been having some anxiety over this next labor and delivery. It was good to be reminded that God will give me just what I need, when I need it.
Thank you for such a timely reminder. I’m at almost 30 weeks with a surprise baby #6, and as much as my husband and I love and want this little one, I’ve struggled a LOT with the timing and the age gap… the rest of our children are 17-7. Our oldest starts college the same week this baby is due. !!!! To be facing starting over, diapers and interrupted nights and potty training and everything else that goes along with the blessing of a new life, is a little daunting at times. 🙂 And this pregnancy has been so much harder in every way, physically as well as emotionally… I just needed this today.
I’ve been struggling for 13 yrs,not feeling like i was done having children. i have 4 wonderful children ages 13.14,18.20 and my husband has had two vasectomies ,one after baby #3 when the doctor recommended not having more children due to a difficult delivery Thank goodness it didn’t work and # 4 came and was an easy delivery.I’m 38 and will 39 in September and it’s really been on my heart that if i don’t do something soon it will be too late. I have some health issues, i’m now diabetic and on meds for that.and i need to lose weight. Also it would cost 5000 dollars to have vasectomy reversed which we don’t have. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do, i know relatives would think we’re nuts but i can’t stop thinking about more children! help… and we know how God feels about children.
Thank you so much for this article! I have read it several times during these last few weeks but especially needed it today. I am 38 weeks pregnant with our first two, twin boys. I have been blessed to have a very easy pregnancy. No morning sickness, no health issues, no bed rest, and I carried them to term. But today the enemy was trying to get me into a pity party because despite how faithful God has been during this pregnancy, I am still pregnant and tired of being pregnant (mud puddle #3). I’ve had contractions for the past few days, which got stronger and today they just stopped. Then I heard God tell me, trust in my timing. He has such a miraculous plan for these boys and their birth story. Thank you for the reminder that He is ultimately in control, He has the best plan for us, and our attitude needs to reflect that even when we don’t “feel” like it.
I so needed this post today! I had just had an emotional breakdown last night about stretch marks, of all things (my poor husband had to help pull me together). Thank you for the Scripture reminders and encouragement. I have only 4 more weeks to go, and know that God will get me through. 🙂
Ahhhh….just in time. Just the way the Good Lord does things, no? I’m in the first trimester of my fourth pregnancy, on bed rest due to a lot of bleeding. Baby’s heart beat is strong, praise the Lord! My three other children are 12, 2 and 6 months old. And today I’ve been feeling sorry for myself….but the reminder that I was created for this, and that God loves me, limp hair and all, was exactly what I needed to hear. Doesn’t hurt one bit to have a hubby that refers to me as his “beautiful, sexy, pregnant wife”! 🙂 I’m so thankful for him and my 12 year old….not sure how I’d be able to handle the other two young ones on bed rest! Thank you for the great article….I’ll be passing it on! 🙂
Thank you so much for writing this article. I am almost 9 weeks in my first pregnancy and it has been hard. I prayed for this child and over this child for a really long time. I am one of those who have endured a very hard first trimester: all day sickness and vomiting, tachycardia, and so much more. I have recently been struggling from the guilt of having such negative thoughts such as “I hate being pregnant.” When I read the part about “To bear an eternal soul is huge.
It has ramifications that will affect thousands, maybe millions of people long after you are gone. When you are carrying that child, you are playing a crucial role in the drama God is writing on earth. God created you for THIS! And He will give you the strength—one day at a time—to do your part” I started to sob. Sometimes, we just need someone else to remind of that this very temporary moment of physical distress is something that will impact millions for the times to come.
Thank you so much for this reminder <3