The Past Nine Months....

We are kinda in a holding pattern with the birth of baby Thomas, so I thought I'd take some time and blog. His due date was Monday Nov. 16....so if you'll take a quick look at a calendar you'll notice that we are about 3 days over due date with no real signs that he'll come today, though I suppose anything can happen.

In any case, all the waiting around and trying to be patient has allowed me some time to think back over the past nine months. Karen announced the other day that there are 52 weeks in a year, and she has now been pregnant 41 weeks, so she's NOT been pregnant for only 11 weeks this year. Needless to say, it seems like she's been pregnant forever.

I remember finding out. I was actually not so surprised. We had decided last December that we would....eh em...remove the goaly so-to-speak, and just see what would happen. We never said we were "ready" to have a child. I don't know what it means to be ready. I still don't feel like I am ready, nor do I think I could ever be ready. It seems to just be something you do without any frame of reference. So we decided to just see what happens. So Karen mentioned in late February that she wasn't feeling so good, so immediatly I said "your pregnant!" I didn't really know, but I sorta had a feeling. Turns out I was right, and after 5 pregnancy tests we decided we better get an appointment with the OB/GYN.

It was only a week or so after that we were going home. I was playing a retreat in Macon, so we decided to go ahead and tell our folks. We went to my parents house on Thursday night, just to hang out with them. We bought them a card that on the front said "Your having a grandchild". So we had Mom and Dad to sit on the couch together and open the card. I remember distinctly the look on my moms face. She read it, and then after a second it sunk in, and she threw the card on the floor and ran over and hugged us. It was a moment that will forever be etched in my mind. I have a feeling they were ready for grandchildren before we were ready for children, so they were pretty excited!!

On Friday we went to Karen's parents and told them in a similar manner. It was Mr. Bruce's birthday, so we got him a card that said "Happy Birthday Grandpa!" It took him a minute to figure out, and his reaction was rather subtle. However, Karen's sister Becky Sue was there, and she let out a scream of joy! I remember that night clearly as well. They all seemed really excited!

The next couple of months after that were pretty rough. Karen was quite sick most of the first tri-mester. We made two trips to the hospital to try to help with the nausea, vomitting, and splitting headaches. It was awful. I felt so sorry for her, and felt helpless because there was nothing I could do to help. She was a trooper though!

After about July things started to settle down. She was getting sick less, and was starting to develop a little "baby bump". We found out 20 weeks in that we were having a boy, and just knowing what we were having made the planning for fun....and more real. I of course was ecstatic about having a boy. I always wanted the boy first for several reasons. The first is so I would never be outnumbered. I mean sure, we could potentially have 2 more girls when we decide to have another child, but at least I'll have my boy to play with. Karen only has the one sister, and I always felt like my father-in-law was just outnumbered. He handles it well of course, and for that I commend him. I'm just not sure I would be that patient. The second reason I wanted a boy first is so that we would at least have a big brother. In the case that we have a girl next she can have a big brother to her...you know...protect her at school, beat up her boyfriends, etc. And if we have another boy, well that would be cool too!

So from July until now things have been really good. We spent lots of time getting the room ready, registering for showers, and buying clothes and things for this little fella we've never met! It's been quite surreal. Karen is a beautiful pregnant lady! That whole pregnant glow thing they talk about, well I'm not sure I've seen the glow, but there has been something unmistakeable about how she looks.....just amazing!! And I've never been so proud of her. She has handled her pregnancy with such grace and patience. I can't imagine what she is going through, not only having her body change, but also having another life growing inside of you. It blows my mind. She has done so great, and the whole process has just reminded me of what a great mother she is going to be!

There are a couple of lessons I have learned through these past nine months. The first is that I have very little control over most of my life. Realizing that there is a little life being formed in Karen's womb has reminded me of God's sovereingty. He is the one who is forming that life, the one who sustains his health, the one that will protect and keep him healthy through the labor, the one who has allowed Karen's body to nousish and hold him, and the one who will keep Karen safe through labor. There is literally nothing I can do to ensure either's health or well-being. I have no control over whether or not he will have 10 fingers and 10 toes. I am just trusting God that he will be as God intends, that the labor will go as God plans, and that throughout Thomas's life, God will be in control from beginning to end. It is a hard thing to grasp for me, as I like to think I am in control most of the time. I pray for dependence on God for the entirety of this parenting journey, for I have no idea what I am getting myself into.

I have also learned the blessing of a child....even though we've not offically had him yet. There are so many couples who long to have children but can't. Just knowing that we were able to concieve is a blessing. My heart goes out to those who struggle to concieve. So even when we have long, sleepless nights, I pray that I'll remember what a blessing it is to have this child, and that there are tons of people who would give anything to experience this. As I say that, I pray that peace will be given to those who are struggling to have children. One of my favorite scriptures through this time is from Psalm 127:3-5 "Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"

Finally, the lesson that Karen and I are learning presently is patience. We are so ready for Thomas to come and we desperatly desire to meet the little guy. But we are still just waiting. So we are trying to be patient, realizing that things will happen in God's time. The scripture that encourages me is from Psalm 40 "I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined to me and heard my cry." The rest of that entire chapter is great, you should read it. You can also google Psalm 40 and U2....they did a song based on the scripture!

The past nine months have been amazing. At times I wasn't sure I was going to make it through. There are other points where it has already been the most exciting times of my life. I am thankful for God granting us this child. I pray that he grants us wisdom, patience, understanding, and a heart more like his as we enter into this chapter of our lives. I pray that Thomas will grow up to love Jesus, that he will be spared from major mistakes that could lead him to a life of pain, that he would have wisdom beyond his years, and that he'll experience joy and peace through life. And I pray that I won't pass out during the labor!

We'll let you know when Thomas arrives. I have a feeling that there will be many blogs to come about our little boy!!!

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We're excited for you and so ready for little Thomas to emerge (that felt weird to say).

So happy for you, buddy.

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