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Unplanned and Unexpected

This is not how it’s supposed to be. This can’t be right. Are we even really sure? I’m not ready yet. No, really. I’m not.
But it’s happening anyways.
Let’s go.
On Friday, August 16, I was driving back home from helping a friend with a work event, noticing how beautiful the full moon was as it sat low in the sky. I got home, peeled my shoes off, and plunked on the couch, as I often did during this 8th month of pregnancy. As I fell asleep on my left side, I never dreamed I would be holding my baby less than 24 hours later.
If you’ve ever met a pregnant woman, chances are, you know she’s earned a Frequent Flyer pass to all existing bathrooms, and I was no different. So as I returned to my bed around 2 am, something happened. Sparing the details, I called to my husband, and we promptly started doing what any good Millennial would do in this moment: Googling “how to know if your water broke.”
Twenty minutes and a phone call to the on-call OB later, we were on our way to the hospital (which we had yet to visit or fill out our pre-admission paperwork). And the whole way there, both of us were excited, but there was a palpable feeling in the air: concern.
We were not ready.
The next day, we were going to be cleaning out the now guest room/storage of all baby gifts to put together the crib and changing table, to actually create a functioning nursery.
We were not ready.
I hadn’t written any thank you notes for recent baby showers.
We were not ready.
We hadn’t taken the car seat (that someone gifted us) out of the box or washed any onesies or readied any hospital bags. Heck, we were only 2 weeks into our 12 week birthing class.
We were not ready.
But Baby was coming anyways.
Flash forward to hour 7 of inactive labor; my doctor broke the news that even though I desired natural childbirth, we were going to have to get things going with pitocin, for mine and the baby’s safety.
I started sobbing.
This was not how it was supposed to happen.
My parents had gratefully just arrived from almost 4 hours away, but my husband and I had yet to talk about a birthing plan, techniques for easing natural labor, or what to do in case of any emergency.
This was not how it was supposed to happen.
I am told this is how many women feel when they learn they are unexpectedly pregnant. A bit of excitement, some fear, much concern, and significant unpreparedness.
Our baby was planned, but his labor and birth were not. Luckily we had great resources and support system to get us through it all. (Shout out to my parents for constructing every inch of that child’s nursery.)
But unfortunately, many women are not so lucky.
Young girls are more concerned with how they are going to tell their parents that a mistake led to this life-changing child, hoping they will see it as a gift.
Older women are concerned about telling their spouse and mostly grown kids that another one is on the way and that retirement has been pushed back.
The mom with 5 kids already immediately wonders how to feed yet another mouth.
And the single mom working two jobs frets about how she can take any time off to have this baby.
Even the Christ child was born to parents, materially unprepared, into a world not truly ready for the Messiah’s coming. And certainly not how He came.
But in all of these things, and in my own unplanned journey, the unexpected gift of my son did not mean he was also unwanted.
And I imagine many of these moms feel the same way.
This Christmas season, I am so grateful for the gift of counselors, medical staff, and volunteers at pregnancy resource centers who help moms find support and resources to answer their immediate “hows.” My heart is filled with joy at the thought of women being able to put aside significant fears and concerns in order to enjoy their pregnancy because of these centers.
And I will continue to support these centers with daily prayers, volunteer hours, and donated resources to make sure that every child is assured his birthday.
Even though unplanned and unexpected are typical to describe the situations in which these clients find themselves, I pray these women may find rest knowing their physical and emotional, spiritual and social needs can be met in order to love their baby and bring it into the world.
By the way, our little John was born happily into this world a mere 2 hours after labor was induced. He is a tremendous gift to our lives, especially now that he’s giggling.