A week ago, I brought life into the world. It was most definitely a team effort, though. My Mom and my Mother-in-Law pitched in like the goddesses they are. My husband championed throughout the last crazy 9 months, my OB team were rockstars and countless of other family and friends were there to help in any way they could. For a second pregnancy, I felt really prepared... at first. I knew the drill, I prepared myself, consumed all the right foods, took the vitamins and dreamed all these amazing dreams...then came the discouraging results. "Katrina, you're not gaining any weight", Dr. P told me. "Your Anemia is climbing, Katrina... I see some pre-mature labor signs, Katrina... I think we need to do another c-section, Katrina..."
Two years ago, with Kailyn, I experienced a horrific journey regarding how delicate life can be. Though God brought us both through that labor, I must admit that the thought of another c-section brought back so many scary memories and I found myself harboring a lot of fear and uncertainties as I carried Jaelle. I’m talking about thoughts that kept me tossing at night like, what's wrong with me? I felt like my condition was some how my fault; that my body wasn't as sturdy or strong as other women and that I could have tried harder, or maybe I should have relaxed a little more- not doing so much cleaning or walking up the steps or traveling or whatever... .
Basically, I felt like I had let my new baby down. Inside of me, she was relying on me- on my vitamin intake, on my weight gain, on my existence. But my skinny, small and Anemic body didn't seem to be of much help to her, or to myself, for that matter. I ate as many green leafy vegetables as possible, I kept hydrated, ate organic fruits, switched to cage free eggs, increased my protein... I did every thing, but my doctor still strongly recommended surgery as a precaution for what nature may have had in store for me. "We want to try and avoid the trauma from your first labor experience", I was told.
The focus and the primary objective was to keep us both safe and to birth a baby under the least amount of stress as possible. Sadly, this increased my stress and I felt guilty about not being able to give a natural birth.
Sometimes, we see our lack as a loss. Sometimes, we see our limitations as burdens or as inadequacies. Sometimes, though we do all we can, we can't be in control of it all and that's real! No matter how much we prepare, pray, and plan, life has a way of letting us down and giving us doubts. I know this is true for so many of us, if we're honest and it's difficult to admit.
I hate being told that I am unable or unfit to do something or that my plan won't turn out. I struggle with feelings of embarrassment at the thought that I am not successful in something. But as I endured another terrifying operation, all I could think about was active faith.
What is Active Faith?
I've come to learn and re-learn and realize that faith is not an affirmation of ourselves, but it's an agreement with God- that He is true to His Word, which tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Not everything in life will unfold the way we plan or prepare it to. We know this... there are some things that are simply out of our control. whether we are a new mom bringing on the unforeseen challenges and joys of motherhood, or a college student still trying to navigate through life decisions and career choices, or girlfriends who have turned into wives or whatever the case may be, our success is never found in our abilities, but in our decision to live out active faith in a God who actively loves us.
God Will Take Care of Us
As I am sitting on my couch with my sleeping 6 day old daughter, I inhale her entire existence and I praise God that she is here. Her arrival wasn't in the way I had hoped for. There were lots of set backs, disappointments and self-doubts throughout my pregnancy with her and though the worst is over now, there is still weeks of recovery ahead for me as I begin to heal, physically, from the inside out. That's life, you see... improving from the inside out. It's tough and doesn't always occur on our time, yet God is merciful to bless us in ways we never could have imagined- in ways that our plans would have never allowed.
God promises us that we can depend on Him in all circumstances and at all times. Since we know that God does not change (Heb 13:8) then we can believe and rely on the truth that His love and promises for us won't change either. Just as He told Jacob, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go... for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Gen 28:15), so His Word declares for us.
Life is messy... even without surgery! We were never promised that our circumstances would be handed to us wrapped in ribbon. It's easy to freak out in doubt and frustration or even self-judgement, but we can hold on to promises from our loving God. Just as He told Moses, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of th