It was late summer. I rushed home from the store at 6:30 AM and dropping a mess of grocery bags on the floor, I flashed a hopeful smile to Andrew before heading straight for the bathroom.
Pregnancy test in hand.
Approximately 3 minutes later, I emerged with a big grin and a tiny +. A new blessing was on the way.
I spent the day beaming, quite a change from the day before when I wasn’t sure and actually terrified of the prospect. Baby #5??
But now that I knew, I was all aglow. What could matter more?
I thanked God for a new baby, thanked Andrew for being open to life with me, and I felt beautiful.
I was a little unsure as to how I’d manage so many little ones at home, but God has sustained us through all sorts of surprises, so I didn’t fret much. That evening, Andrew burst home from work, “Let’s tell the kids!” We recorded their reaction when we told them their prayers had been answered (and they had been praying!). Our oldest two were ecstatic. They ran around squealing and giving me hugs, and asked over and over if it was a boy or a girl. Our 2 year-old kept pointing at me asking, “New baby, Mama?”
I was already excited, but their obvious glee gave me peace. This baby is already a gift to them.
To make a long, emotional story short, we learned the very next day that we weren’t expecting. My OB confirmed that I wasn’t pregnant and actually never had been. My test gave a false positive.
I was devastated – how do you mourn someone who never existed?
The bliss that lifted me sky high came crashing down and I was heartbroken; but more than anything, Andrew and I were concerned about how the kids would take it. I overheard their waking chatter that morning, “I can’t wait until we meet our new baby!”
Cringe. How were we going to handle this?
Andrew did the talking.
He stated quite simply that the test that told us we were having a baby was wrong, “There isn’t a baby in Mama’s tummy this time.” He spoke casually and the boys responded well to his no-big-deal tone; better than that, they were encouraging and kind. My 5 year-old son, seeing me sad, took my hand in his, “Don’t worry, Mama. I’m sure God will bless us with a new baby soon.” My 3 year-old son invited me to sit next to him on the couch, did his best to put a blanket over me, and spent the next half hour rubbing my shoulder and giving me gentle kisses on my forehead. I was stunned by their attention and sweetness. All I could do was sit and receive.
Looking back, it’s easy to see the big truths my own sons demonstrated; truths that when you give a good thought, apply perfectly to the crisis of Life we face in the U.S.
1) Babies are blessings.
When our daughter was just 3 months, our oldest (5) started praying we’d have a baby again and made it clear that his desire was REAL. When we told our kids we were expecting, he was the most over-the-moon.
While parents and adults in general can be intimidated by a new addition, kids see only joy and a new playmate. Their eagerness conveys the whole of a person is greater than growing anxious over details. It just comes naturally.
My friend Jessica’s little girl with one of her newborn siblings; not pictured is a sweet, additional twin
2) Comfort those who mourn.
Though we didn’t experience a loss in terms of miscarriage, our 3 year old comforted me as though someone had passed away. He maintained his gentle, quiet presence and I’ll forever remember receiving such consolation touched with his innocence.
Any woman in pain needs that same gift – someone to gently receive her and remain. Someone to listen and show the love of Jesus over harsh judgement. Someone who will be there consistently to offer a shoulder and support.
The March for Life is Friday.
And I think it’s paramount that we remember the mothers as well as the millions of babies lost to abortion. Because each soul hurt by abortion cries out in pain in one way or another.
The simple reactions, so readily offered by my children, embody the kind of mercy we need to extend to mothers in crisis situations – whether stunned in unexpected pregnancy, mourning from miscarrying, or trembling in the painful wake of abortion, a mother needs to be received in love and assured of God’s blessings for her specifically.
This is an invitation to give to these mothers.
Give your heart in sincere prayer for them.
Give your eyes, hands, and shoulders for them to see, feel, and cry on.
Give support to crisis pregnancy centers – a lot of the time, that doesn’t mean financially. It can mean donating supplies or stretching your talent to serve.
Because we are made in His image and called to imitate, that means reflecting the gentle compassion of Jesus Christ, whose own precious Mother was once in a crisis pregnancy herself.
Our 24 hour experience of bliss, sorrow, and comfort from our sons was eye-widening. Who better sees the value of another life than a child?
Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ (Matthew 19:14)