I never looked forward to getting pregnant. And when I did, I had a hard time initially connecting with the peanut-sized person growing in my tummy. For those first few months of my pregnancy, I didn’t even feel pregnant so I had to wholly rely on the honesty of those two pink lines that promised to change my entire life in 9 months and counting. If I was being honest, the very idea of carrying around a developing human being inside me always sounded a bit more sci-fi than sacred, so that didn’t help me much to cherish the whole process (Why did I watch the movie Alien when I fourteen?).
I still remember the moment my husband and I found out I was pregnant. Within seconds my mind jumped from, “A baby?!! How amazing! I can’t believe this!” to “Oh my gosh, I’m going to have to deliver this baby. I can’t handle that.” to “Am I going to have to quit my job? Can we afford this? We are totally not ready to parent a child. Will we even like being parents?” I was happy, excited, terrified, a little panicked and totally overwhelmed. And as reality began to set in, those pink lines often reminded me more of what I was giving up than what I would gain.
At the time, my husband had just quit his job so that he could focus on completing his Master’s degree at seminary. That made us completely dependent on my job working as a Business Development Manager for a nearby consulting firm. I had been blessed with this job the year before and was experiencing unexpected success and advancement in my position. My career path was very bright with my boss even promising the potential of six figures within the year. Of course, I immediately realized that having a baby just might put a detour in my career’s fast track to greater success.
Not only was our financial stability at stake, I also had to worry about my marriage. You always hear that having kids is the hardest thing on a marriage and honestly, I didn’t want anything to jeopardize Noah and I’s healthy relationship. We were already so happy. Would we still be so happy living with little sleep, changing lots of diapers, and listening to constant baby cries? And then there’s the crying! I love peaceful solitude. My favorite time every week was the Saturday mornings I spent sitting in a coffee shop sipping a mocha and savoring a favorite book. Would I have to give up all of my personal time for the next 18 years? In many ways those pink lines seemed to symbolize the grand finish line of my happy life. In 9 months, I’d have crossed over into motherhood never to return again.
Although I would never have actually considered aborting our baby, I can sympathize with pregnant mothers who neither feel any emotional bond to their baby fetus nor want that growing person to ruin everything they’ve got going on in their lives. The unknown is scary and change is hard so having months and months to anticipate the drastic unknown changes of child rearing can easily make anyone want to escape or somehow go back to the way things were.
Well, now I’m on the other side. I have a baby and her name is Grace. She did drastically change my life in more ways than I could have ever planned for. I’m not working full-time toward a lucrative career any longer. I don’t casually indulge in weekly coffee shop visits or spend quiet evenings doing whatever activity I please. I do change almost 50 diapers a week and feed my baby 6 times a day. I guess I expected these things. But let me tell you what I didn’t expect. I did not expect all of the inexpressible joy that Grace would bring to me.
Having our baby has brought me more fulfillment than I have ever experienced in a paycheck, a sales win, or a job promotion. Instead of feeling held back, I feel as if I’ve been given the new ability to live in a constant state of overwhelming love (which I never even knew existed before!). Every morning, Gracie gives me a big gummy grin when she sees me walk into her room. After her first feeding, she always wants to cuddle with Mama and then quickly go back to sleep in my arms. Throughout the day, I always look forward to her silly stories that she shares in her bubbly squeals. And I don’t even mind her crying because that also means I get to comfort her. That’s when she always nuzzles her head under my chin and buries herself in my embrace until she feels safe again.
Nowadays, Gracie is growing up quickly and giving me new gifts every day. As she matures, I eagerly enjoy each new ability and treasure her progress. Who knew that my child rolling onto her stomach would make me as proud as if I’d won a big proposal? Or that I’d enjoy singing the itsy bitsy spider more than sipping coffee at Starbucks? The point is, if I’d aborted Grace, all of her gifts to me would have been aborted with her. What I thought would be a burden in my life has turned out to be my greatest blessing. I am so thankful that my husband and I chose to believe the Bible’s promise that “children are a gift from God” (Psalm 127:3) even when we hadn’t experienced it yet for ourselves.
If you are ever in my shoes facing an inconvenient pregnancy, I pray you take the time to consider both sides of your future. Don’t let our culture pressure you into seeing your baby as only a burden. I promise you, God gave that child the gift of life and entrusted him or her to you as a blessing, not a curse. If you trust in God’s plans for you and your family, He will strengthen you for the task and reward you for your obedience. His plans for you and your baby are good plans, the best plans (Jeremiah 29:11) – and if you abort your child you abort the blessings He had in store for you too.
If I’d aborted Grace, I may have more time to myself or more money in the bank, but I promise you I’d be missing out. I wouldn’t trade this for the world.