Written by Gwendolyn Fiola
Since it was a fresh start to a new year, on January 5th my husband and I sat down and decided what we wanted to do with our year. We made financial goals, relationship goals, spiritual goals, and physical goals. We also talked about whether or not we wanted to add on to our family this year, but we decided it wasn’t on our agenda. After a great talk, I felt excited for 2016! The next morning after my period was eight days late, I decided to take a pregnancy test. It actually wasn’t uncommon for me to be late, but I just wasn’t feeling right. My boobs hurt, I was extra emotional, and I had some slight pulling in my tummy. I took a test to ease my anxiety, and then I saw it: a positive sign on a pregnancy test.
I think I went into mild shock. I know I should have called my husband Rob first, but I called my nurse sister first. I was in a bit of denial, and I wanted to be calm when I told him. My second call was to my dad because besides my husband, he is the most calming force in my life. While on the phone with him, I watched the second test develop a strong, positive line. Then I called Rob.
He was happy, surprised, and more in denial than I was. He insisted he leave work and we go to the nearest walk in clinic to see a doctor for a blood test. Yup, positive. We were going to have a baby in September whether we were ready or not. All of a sudden our 2016 looked so much different than what we expected it to be.
In total honesty (and I will sound completely ungrateful) I became detached from the situation. I felt no attachment to the baby growing inside of me. I cried a lot. I was terrified of what my body was about to go through, and I became even more terrified of the looming responsibility that lay ahead of me. Add in the fact that I had uncontrollable morning sickness that began 2 days before I took the test and I was miserable.
Then I had a series of reality checks. The first was at approximately 7 weeks when I woke up with a sharp pain, sending us to the emergency room. Once we arrived, the pain had subsided; however, the doctor there had convinced me I had an ectopic pregnancy. I cried, and for the first time it was for the baby. We had only known about it for two weeks, but suddenly the thought of losing it was too much. I knew this baby was wanted.
My second wake-up call was when I saw my family doc the next day, and he told me how many women would kill to be in my situation. He told me how many women he had seen and referred to fertility clinics. He told me how many people had struggled for 1, 5, even 10 years to see that positive sign on a pregnancy test. Unfortunately, it took compassion for others to get outside of myself and be thankful for this baby.
And thankful I became. I became so excited for this little bean. Even now that she could come any day is still something I can’t wrap my brain around.
I am now 36 weeks and have not had an easy pregnancy so far. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum, also known as intense morning sickness (which still plagues me now some days), which caused me to lose 20 pounds. I went into the hospital for preterm labor at 19 weeks and have been in preterm labor risk since I was 30 weeks, putting me on bed rest. However, in the midst of it all, this seems worth it. We found out early it was girl, and we are told that despite my body not handling pregnancy well, she is a healthy little gal!
I am almost done with my pregnancy and have very strongly realized that preparing for a baby is so much more than just putting together a nursery and buying cute baby clothes. It is the preparation that Rob and I will be responsible for raising this lovely baby girl into a beautiful, God loving, mature, responsible adult. It is our job as parents as she grows to transfer her dependence from us onto Jesus. It is my job as a mother to show her what a loving and healthy marriage looks like. It is her daddy’s job to show her how a real man treats a woman. It is our job to make sure she learns respect and boundaries for herself and for those around her.
Early on in my pregnancy I had asked God to place a strong sense of responsibility on my heart as a parent. I asked Him to always help me keep the big picture in check, and the thing with God is, He always pulls through. I know some days I may regret that choice in the moments, especially when it’s easier to give in to a tantrum than it will be to hold my ground and teach boundaries… or when my teenage girl has a hissy fit because I won’t let her do what “all her friends are doing.”
I am treasuring every moment of being pregnant, even the hard ones as I know she will only be inside me for a short time. Before I know it, we will be at her high school graduation.
Every day I put on praise and worship music and place it on my belly and sing to her the songs I plan to sing while I’m rocking her in her nursery. Rob daily puts his head on my belly and talks to her and prays for her. It is about being intentional parents now so that we are intentional parents later.
My faith gives me joy, love, and excitement but also a strong sense of responsibility. I always want to be thankful for my little lady even on days when I haven’t slept or she is testing my patience. I know that there will be days I will fail and fail hard, but it’s about deciding to be better tomorrow. I am so honoured to be her current home, and I am excited for her to enter this world and to have the privilege of being her mommy.
Gwendolyn Fiola lives in Winnipeg, Canada with her husband of two years and rescue pup Charlie. You can usually find her with a coffee in one hand and a tater tot in the other. Rob and Gwen are excited to welcome their first baby at any moment. You can find Gwen on Instagram or on her blog.
UPDATE: Little baby girl, November, was born on August 31st, weighing in at 8 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches long! Her mommy and daddy are in love and can’t imagine life without her!