It's been a trying three months for a variety of reasons (first trimester exhaustion is no joke), but that's a different post all together. What's made the last three months so difficult has been the overwhelming fear that accompanied my first trimester after miscarrying last fall. My miscarriage isn't something I've written about or really shared with others and even now, I feel hesitant to put it out there at all. The details are unnecessary but the results were real and left me feeling my good luck with pregnancy and babies had run out. My extended family has history of various pregnancy struggles. I was diagnosed around 18 as "unlikely to have children naturally with ease". With this, I felt like the other shoe had dropped and prayed about the possibility of an only child instead of the more we had talked and dreamed about.
I realize that this feeling and my fears may seem a little irrational and pessimistic. But it was a difficult, scary experience that I never got to truly process and grieve through. Somehow by mid-November we bought a house, I made it through my first semester (and then second) as a teacher, all while chasing after a rambunctious little boy. Which is why, when I held another positive pregnancy test, I was overwhelmingly anxious, researching everything I could do prevent another early ending. I also hit my knees. Hard. My prayer life had been strong through Lent but the Easter season brought temptation to slack off. But the arrival of someone new to pray for led me to adoration often and desperate to tell others what was going on because I yearned for that power of prayer behind me.
I took comfort in the Rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet, quiet adoration, and the intercessions of St. Philomena and Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, all of whom are patron saints of pregnancy or difficult pregnancies. And although I didn't realize it at the time, God was keeping His promises made in Philippians 4:6-7.
"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Little by little, there was deep, abiding comfort in the prayers I offered up. Sincere vulnerability with my midwife even let me have an early ultrasound, letting me see our tiny little person moving around at about 10 weeks! Our God is one of abundance and love and He did not let me down. By the time we were able to finally announce our news to the general public with confidence, I felt nothing but a simple, pure peace.
Pregnancy can bring such a variety of emotions and experiences with it, from trauma to joy. If you are struggling with fertility in anyway, please know that you have my prayers and Divine Mercy intentions as this pregnancy continues.
Sts. Perpetua, Felicity, and Philomena, pray for us!