During my first pregnancy, I was never nervous or full of worry. I looked forward to OB appointments. Besides a pretty significant battle with morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy, everything else was fairly easy. I thoroughly enjoyed pressing the red button for more pain medicine during labor. My daughter entered the world perfectly. At the time, I thought I had escaped the whole “pain in childbearing” thing thanks to modern medicine.
My second pregnancy started out similar. Although, by this time I had more friends who had endured terrible pregnancy stories. I wasn’t worried, but I also wasn’t naive this time around. Then on December 6th, at 21 weeks pregnant, we found out that our daughter’s heart had stopped beating. In an instant, I became very aware of the pain that can be found in childbearing. Once we entered the second trimester, we felt free to dream and plan for this little life. With the results of one sonogram, all those dreams and plans shattered.
Oddly enough, my greatest comfort over the past three months has come from Genesis 3. When God created the world, He created it good. He made Adam and Eve to be in relationship with each other and with Him. However, Adam and Eve choose to disobey God and do things their own way. God lays out the effects of their decision in Genesis 3. To Eve he says, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16).
Childbearing. Noun. The act of bringing forth children. Pregnancy.
I had read this section of scripture hundreds of times before. I always thought it referred to labor and delivery. But in late December as I studied the words, I realized it actually means all of it.
The longing for a husband to come in order to one day have kids.
The years of infertility and of trying to get pregnant.
The jealousy as others celebrate pregnancies and welcome infants.
The anxiety and fear over what if’s and questionable test results
The unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.
The stillborn child in the third trimester.
The early miscarriages.
The premature infant with disabilities.
The newborn who only lives a few minutes, hours, or days.
My child who left me at the halfway mark.
The lack of care and empathy from others as you suffer in one of these areas.
There is much pain in childbearing.
I’m sitting here thinking of my own pain and the stories of all the people I know. Over the past three months, I’ve heard so many stories of loss and pain when it comes to pregnancy. So many of my people have bleeding wounds or scars due to this area. Many of you reading this know this pain well. I honestly don’t know how to respond when people share about their new pregnancy right now. Good Luck? I don’t think I’ll want to hear congratulations in the future, maybe simply a promise to pray for God to be near.
The comforting thing about Genesis 3 is that God tells us the world is going to be this way. Pregnancy is the area for women where we are going to be very aware of the brokenness in the world. God is not surprised by our longing, worry, sorrow, pain, heartache or disappointment. In fact, He has a purpose for it.
Our pain in bringing forth children is supposed to be what makes us long for redemption, for a Savior. It is supposed to be what makes us long for a new way of living and for a new earth. It is supposed to make us yearn for Jesus.
There are a lot of things I don’t understand about this form of suffering. There are so many why questions that go through my brain. But there is something comforting about knowing that God was prepared for this. I may not have known it was coming, but He did. None of it was a mistake, especially not her little life.
God wants me to want Him more. As my longing and wanting for my daughter increases as the day approaches when I thought I would hold her, I am praying that my want for Jesus would be even deeper than the pain.
Pain in childbearing is part of His plan for the redemption of the world. I don’t understand it. It is not my plan. But, I’m going to trust Him.
To anyone who is currently enduring this type of pain or has in the past, I am so sorry for your heartache. I wish I could wipe it away. But, I do know the One who promises to make all things new and who will wipe away every tear from your eyes. He is the one who remove mourning and pain. My prayer is that your pain will push you more towards Jesus.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world” – John 16:33