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Free Indeed

In my last post (which you can read here) I began sharing about the journey over our past year to try and fall pregnant with our second child. After trying for four years to conceive our firstborn, we didn’t really know what to expect the second time around. Hugo’s conception, pregnancy and birth was a miracle and completely unexpected, despite our active attempts. With nothing medical or physical holding us back, we really had no answers as to how we fell pregnant with Hugo, except the grace and blessing and power of God! After eight months of trying the second time around, my body finally began ovulating again since the birth of Hugo (I was still breastfeeding and he was now 15 months old). So I guess we could really ‘technically’ start trying now that we knew everything was in working order and doing as it should. And so we began trying again, again ;)

I was certain that whatever it was that had held us back from conceiving for those four years of trying for Hugo was not going to be a problem anymore. Not this time, and not any time. Whatever it was, I felt, was broken, we were released from the stronghold and released into fertility. Yet the month came and went and on D-Day I was disappointed to find out that we weren’t pregnant this month.

…or the next month…

…or the next :(

Old thoughts and feelings started creeping back into my heart and mind. Feelings I thought I would never have to experience again. How long are we going to have to try this time? Is Hugo ever going to be a big brother? Is he going to be ten years old before we can give him a sibling? I tried to keep these thoughts at bay, after all, deep down I didn’t believe them. I had faith and knew that God is good and faithful and will bless us with good things – not because we deserve it or have earned it, but simple because God is good and his grace is all we need. But there was one moment when I woke in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep, tossing and turning with these anxious thoughts causing a whirlwind in my mind. And then the dreaded thought that I had been trying to hold off from thinking eventually surfaced to the forefront of my mind… “Are we going to have to contend for EVERY single one of our children???”

The thought of going through that intense, emotionally draining, spiritually challenging, physically debilitating battle again was enough to almost break my spirit and my hope. But it didn’t. All I had to do was look at the beautiful, perfect child in my arms to know that God’s promises are real, he is good and faithful and he is capable of miracles! Hugo is so much more than our much desired firstborn son – he is the living breathing proof of God’s power, the evidence of God’s faithfulness, the physical manifestation of our faith, hope and prayers and the testimony of the promises and Word of God in our life. He is our daily reminder, and I don’t say ‘daily’ lightly, that God can and does and will continue to do amazing, powerful, supernatural, hope-against-all-hope miracles. NOTHING is impossible with God.

Hugo is so much more than our much desired firstborn son – he is the living breathing proof of God’s power, the evidence of God’s faithfulness, the physical manifestation of our faith, hope and prayers and the testimony of the promises and Word of God in our life

They always say that it’s darkest before the dawn, and in this case it was so true! Although I hadn’t given in to hopelessness and despair of ever having another child, I was just so empty of any energy to put up another fight and go through the intense battle of contending for a second baby. That month I couldn’t really tell when I was ovulating. I went by my numbers and dates and hoped they were correct, we tried all month but during it all I just didn’t feel like that was it. I didn’t think anything of it to be honest, and I had accepted in myself that this month wasn’t even an option. But then two days before my period was due I suddenly, out of nowhere, had this faith arise that it still could be it. I didn’t have that instinctive sense that I was pregnant, it was the just sense of ‘faith’ that all things are possible.

I am so glad God gave me that extra boost of faith right at the eleventh hour. I really feel like those last two days did so much in my spirit and for my growth and intimacy with God, just trusting him and knowing that whatever happened, either way, he is still good and he is still faithful and he still loves us and blesses us and none of that is dependent upon me or whether we were pregnant or not. I felt like I finished on top. You know how sometimes we finish a test or a trial but we only just barely make it over the line…exhausted, defeated, debilitated. The victory is ours, but we feel wasted in every way to get there. This wasn’t one of those moments (thank goodness!) it was an Ephesians 6:13 moment – “…Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” It’s about having the victory when you’ve still got plenty of fight in you! You’re still full of passion and rearing to go! It almost takes someone to tap you on the shoulder to grab your attention and say ‘Hey, hey, relax! You’ve won! You can put your weapons down now!’

I’m so grateful that I was able to finish on top this time, not defeated and discouraged and full of despair. I look back over my journal for those last few days and see words of thankfulness and gratitude for all God has blessed us with despite being pregnant again or not. I see prayers of desperation for our friends and people we know who are trying to fall pregnant for the first time, the second time the third time. I don’t ever want to give up on them, and I won’t! Not until they hold the same joy in their arms as we do and until they declare that their quiver is full! I see words of thankfulness for all of my friends who are able to so quickly fall pregnant and who conceive so easily almost by just looking at one another! Their babies are no less a blessing than those of us who have to fight for them. I see words of prayer and declaration over this baby who I wasn’t even sure whether they existed yet or not; prayers of physical development, growth, formation, health; prayers of a supernatural pregnancy for me with no morning sickness or tiredness, no complications; prayer for a supernatural labour with no pain, no intervention, no complications; prayer for the person that God has created to be in my care – his very own child who he is holding me responsible for loving, nurturing, developing, discipling and shaping and moulding into a God-seeking, Jesus-loving, Holy Spirit-empowered world changer. Wow, what an honour!!! I was so full of faith, so on top of the world, yet I didn’t know either way whether this was the month that we would celebrate with tears of joy.

And then it hit.
The pain.
The physical pain of the impending answer – ‘No.’

In literally milliseconds my heart and spirit seemed to plummet from the ecstasy of the spiritual high to the depths of crushed hopes and dreams

I remember it so clearly, I was in the shower that morning, literally speaking out thanksgiving and praise, speaking in tongues (as I love to do in the shower, ha!). Then, in the very midst of my praise and joy, I felt the twinge. That’s all it was, a little twinge deep within my tummy. But I knew that twinge all too well. In literally milliseconds my heart and spirit seemed to plummet from the ecstasy of the spiritual high to the depths of crushed hopes and dreams. I remember thinking to myself, ‘it might not mean anything, it might be nothing,’ but my heart ache had already set in. I know it sounds ridiculous because this discouragement only lasted an hour, but I felt like this played a pivotal part in the finale of this journey for me. I was so full of joy one minute and so easily shaken the next, by something so small and insignificant. It was actually that very realisation and revelation that caused me to snap out of the huge despair I had so easily allowed myself to fall in. Was I that easily shaken? Was my faith that shallow and superficial that something so ‘physical’ could cause me to believe anything other than the Word of God? I was so ashamed of myself and my seemingly spiritual immaturity! That was the kick in the butt I needed, and in less than an hour I had talked and prayed myself out of it. Even though the physical pain increased, which each month usually signalled the impending ‘nope, not this time,’ so did my faith. I had spent the last eleven months believing and declaring Gods truth and the Word and his promises over my body and denying the physical facts. The fact was, my body was telling me that I was about to get my period. The truth was…I was pregnant!

The fact was, my body was telling me that I was about to get my period. The truth was…I was pregnant!

The pain went on for a few days, but no sign of anything else. On the Saturday night, the day my period was due, I told Gavin that if I didn’t have it by the morning we would do a pregnancy test. I woke up the next morning, still in pain, still feeling like it could come at any moment, but with nothing I went into the bathroom and did the test.

I sat on the side of the bath with the test lying on the sink next to me. I couldn’t bring myself to look at it. I had four years worth of looking at negative tests month after month. Even getting one out of a packet still stirs up anxiety within me, not excitement as it should. Because of our experience I’m left with a stupid fear of pregnancy tests, and this one was no different. I simply couldn’t conjure up the courage to even look at the result – what if it was another negative?

Poor Gavin was sweating it out back in the bedroom! He knew exactly what I was doing in the bathroom and when I didn’t run out screaming in excitement he took it upon himself to burst in, grab the test, sit down in front of me, have a good look at it with his perfect poker face before declaring………

“Nat…we’re pregnant.”

I can not explain the thousands of emotions that came over me in that moment as those words slowly but surely slipped out of his mouth. Of course there were the obvious feelings of excitement, joy, shock, thankfulness and celebration. Yes, I was super excited, just as I should be! But looking back, the overwhelming feeling of that moment frozen in time was FREEDOM! It was the feeling of release, the feeling of a massive burden lifted from my tired and weary shoulders. The feeling of the actual evidence that a stronghold that held so much power, for so long, is now once and for all and most certainly broken, destroyed and thrown into the pit, forever, never to return. Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you that feeling of relief, release, freedom and liberation I felt in that moment. I was unbelievably shocked and excited that WE WERE PREGNANT…AGAIN!!! But I was so much more affected by the definitive knowledge that we will never again have to struggle with trying to conceive.

Although the last 11 months had seen us trying for our second child, from the time when my body had actually started ovulating again to when we had conceived this baby was only a mere four months. Although that may sound like a long time to try for most people, we had just gone from four years of trying to fall pregnant with Hugo, to four months this time. Do you get that?!?!?! Four YEARS to four MONTHS! And although those four months had seemed so long and gruelling at the time, now that I knew we were pregnant, they suddenly seemed so short and this journey this time around suddenly seemed so easy. We were PREGNANT! And we fell pregnant, EASILY and we fell pregnant QUICKLY! We were beyond astounded and excited.

And just on a side note, let me add a little bonus miracle just for fun… During my ultrasounds when I was pregnant with Hugo the medical staff picked up that I had cysts in my left ovary (something I had personally questioned but which doctors had previously assured me wasn’t the case). In other words, I hadn’t been ovulating from my left ovary at all because of this, which meant we had only had a chance of falling pregnant every second month when my right ovary released the egg. At the right time after Hugo was born I was to go and get them checked out and perhaps removed through surgery. During this time we prayed over my entire reproductive system and declared healing, health and wholeness and went for some serious prayer ministry which did the same. When I went in for my twelve week scan this pregnancy, the sonographer casually informed me that that my left ovary had released the egg that this baby was conceived from! Gavin and I burst out laughing during the ultrasound! She had no idea why that was a laughing matter, but to us is was an answer to prayer! AND no traces of any cysts whatsoever! Divine healing with NO medical intervention! Yet another miracle to add to our list! Wow, God is amazing.

So here I am at the beginning of February, sitting here in my little cafe, writing this post to you with a perfectly healthy 16 week old baby wriggling around inside of me. I sailed through my first trimester without barely a hint of morning sickness or even fatigue (and yes, I’m running around after a 21 month old this time!). Let me tell you this – God is GOOD. God is FAITHFUL. God’s Word is TRUTH. His promises aren’t just for me, they are for YOU. What God has done in our life is what he can do in anyone’s, in much much worse situations, prognoses’, circumstances, impossibilities, whatever. ANYTHING is possible for those who believe!

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