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Still No Baby to Hold

I started my maternity leave last month. I was nearing the last weeks of pregnancy and I was tired. My body ached and my mind was filled with all the things I needed to do to prepare for our new baby. With my history of birthing babies, I thought it would only be a few weeks before I could turn my mind back to this space and what the Lord had for me here.

I was wrong. So wrong.

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My mind was blown a long, long time ago, but I still manage to wake up a little more surprised everyday at my reality. I thought I would be holding a baby by now, muddling my way through family visits and well wishers. I thought my body would be halfway through recovery and my baby’s eyes would be opening right now. I thought my husband would be at his new job while I was home picking up the baton of full-time stay at home mom to three little boys.

And perhaps we’ve done some of those things, are doing some of those things, but without a baby to hold. All those things remain a part of our present and future – and none of it is part of the past just yet.

I’m still muddling my way through family visits and well wishers. My mom is still doing my laundry, people are bringing us meals, and sending us gifts of encouragement everyday. My body is one day closer to recovery, but not on the side I imagined. My baby’s eyes aren’t open, but he’s growing and healthy …and well, snug as he can be. My husband isn’t at the office that hired him, but he’s communicating with his boss and getting to know him while I learn to be a mom of three little boys with one of them still inside of me.

I’ve been doing a lot of fist shaking lately. Fist shaking at God that is. But this morning I woke up with a thought on my mind that I couldn’t shake.

He never promised us a baby by now.

Prodromal labor is awful, but it wasn’t the start of a promise. My oldest coming out at 39 weeks and my second coming at 38 weeks wasn’t a promise that this baby would come at 37 weeks. Miscarrying a baby last year wasn’t a promise that my faith wouldn’t be tested again.

Yet I adopted a promise that I believed to be from God.

I didn’t realize it, but I did.

I adopted the promise that I would be holding a baby by now and claimed it as mine. Forgive me, Lord. You are the potter and I am the clay.

I didn’t expect the end of pregnancy to go like this. I didn’t expect it to be such a spiritual battle. I was blind, but now I see … at least a little. I’m no fool to think I see clearly. But I’m learning to see things His way and not my own.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~Isaiah 55:8-9

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know Whose Hands hold my future. I’m limited in what I can do right now for my family, but I’m learning this year that the Christian life is so much less about doing and so much more about being.

Being loved.

Being forgiven.

Being free.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. ~Ephesians 2:8

It’s something He’s determined that I will understand.

I can love fiercely because of the love of my Father.

I can live joyfully because of the One who died for me.

I can give praise to the One who created me because of the freedom He bought for me.

And this can all be done regardless of my circumstances, feelings, or mess ups because it’s not about what I do but who I am.

I am loved.

I am forgiven.

I am free.

Strengthen me, Lord, for a new day. And if it pleases you, can I please hold my baby tonight?

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26 Comments

  1. Hang in there!!! I was expecting my second one to come early too because I had a doctor tell me that there was no way I’d make it to my due date… I wish he would have never set me up for false hopes! Praying that it happens soon for you and that you can enjoy these last few moments of kicks from the inside. (I always miss those after delivery!)

  2. I went through eight weeks of prodromal labor with my daughter, ending with a precipitous birth and borderline hemorage on her due date. You definitely have my sympathy! Hang in there, mama.

  3. I’m 37 weeks with my 6th. I went through prodromal labor with all my other ones until induced because of dilation (ironically without contractions or ones I couldn’t feel) and super quick deliveries (precipitous labor). My first came at 37 weeks and I was shocked when my second didn’t come until his due date so I totally get this.
    This one they’re talking about inducing at 39 weeks, but for the first time nothing is happening so I don’t want to rush it if baby isn’t ready. Hoping something happens before then without me unexpectedly having a kid at home. Continuing to trust God and trying not to worry. I also had a miscarriage last summer. I love that verse in Isaiah and have been reminded of it often. I’m Praying that you have peace and a safe delivery.

  4. Hi,thank you for posting this.It was an answered prayer.I had just asked God when will my time come.when will I win,but His thoughts are certainly not my thoughts……be blessed

  5. This resonates well.Waiting for baby #3 and beginning with prodromal labor on my due date which continued for five days was an emotionally and spiritually challenging experience, which was surprising. But it invited me to trust God and lean on his truth above and beyond my own expectations and “plans”. Surrendering fully led to some of the most beautiful and intimate times with the Lord and the eventual amazing birth of my son was worth the wait. ❤️

  6. Awww dear mama. My 4th was like that. My 2nd & 3rd were early and super fast birth and labor. My 4th….was 10 days late, 9.5 hours of labor. And I was dilated to 5 cm for 2 weeks before she was born….my midwives really thought she would literally drop out after the other births..
    But. I will be so surprised if you do not go into labor within 24 hours. I recognize that resignation in your voice as an eject button I’ve experienced with several of my pregnancies. ..rest and be of good courage!

  7. The waiting is so hard! My oldest three were all “late”, so delivering at 37 weeks this time was a completely different experience. Your baby boy is comfortable and getting strong and ready to meet you all! Though I do hope it is soon too!

    Getting our hearts set on something God never promised us is so easy to do. We do it without realizing and it can cause such turmoil and stress. But the relief that comes when we realize and surrender to His plan– that brings peace and a deeper contentment in Him. I am thankful that in the midst of the struggle and the longing for your baby, God is right there with you, strengthening your heart and your faith.

    Praying for you and baby!

    1. Amen! I always get so frustrated with myself when I realize I’m adding to His word and His truth. :-/ So grateful for grace and forgiveness of the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit to set my feet back on solid ground!

  8. I completely relate! I had my first 2 at 39 weeks, and thought our third would come at 38 or 39. Well, God brought her at 41 weeks, 2 days!! He taught me so much through it and I wouldn’t change it for the world! He taught me about surrendering and waiting in Him. I’ll pray for you and your family as you wait!

  9. As a previous Labor &Delivery Nurse for 22 yrs, I’ve heard your story from so many before. And I don’t know why doctors give so many moms false hopes because hormones can change so fast there towards the end of the pregnancy and labor can come quickly when the doctor can say, “it’s going to be a while!
    ” However, I would remind moms that God asked for 40 weeks to build a baby and that’s in the contract! If he comes sooner then that’s your bonus, but not to plan a day before, and sometimes it takes 42 weeks. Like the mom mentioned above, enjoy these last few days of movement inside, because when he’s delivered, that’s when I really missed having them so close for so long.
    Prayers for a safe and quick delivery.

  10. I’m 35 weeks pregnant with our second child and having lots of contractions and a little dilation. My MIL started hospice last week after battling cancer courageously and her prognosis is a few weeks or so. She lives about eight hours away so only my husband can visit at this point. Our three-year old daughter has some developmental delays and her special ed preschool teacher would like to have her evaluated for Autism again (so far all her screenings have had a few red flags but mostly seemed like it’s not ASD). My father is disabled from a bicycle accident and stroke so while my mom wants to come help, she really can’t. We moved to a new state last year for a new job for my husband. All these circumstances are stretching my faith so much. I don’t know that God specifically chose these challenges for me but I do know He’s calling me to rely on Him more. I’m surrendering control like never before in life – but really, I’ve never truly in control. Great post and reminder!

  11. Praying for you and your family. It will all be over soon and you can get to your new normal!

  12. Thanks for share these wonderful words. I pray that you get to hold your son tonight or tomorrow. You have become an inspiration to me. I wish God’s good graces on you and your family.

  13. I’m there with you! 4 days past my EDD and it is surely a spiritual battle!!! I just want to hold my baby and get back to caring for my big family!!!

    Thank you for sharing!

  14. I know this may not sound very encouraging, but my first was 12 days late; my 2nd was 1 week late; my 3rd was a miscarriage way too early around 9 weeks; my 4th, he was a whopping 2 weeks and 3 days past his due date. A late November baby became a mid- December baby… This is the promise I hold on to. God knows my babies due dates. He planned for their perfect birthdays, at the time, I just didn’t know it. But resting in knowing that He knows really helped the anxiety, and frustration that can happen when you think “this is it, today is the day” Leave your hand open with anticipation, but flexible anticipation and trusting God.

  15. “the Christian life is so much less about doing and so much more about being.” God, my Father, is teaching me this right now too… He rocks our world, tests/strengthens our faith, and makes us grow in ways we never could by giving us the gift of a child(ren).

    My youngest of four has just turned three… Over the last few months we’ve been waiting for a final diagnosis (we’re waiting now for the genetic test results) but believe our little angel has the form of Leukodystrophy with Vanishing White Matter.,,

    Talk about an emotional roller coaster!! I’m learning much more to just be. Be in the moment, see the beauty of little things through little eyes, slow down, breathe, love, feel… And cry.

    I have experience God in more real aways over the last three months than I have in three decades! He is making me face more than I ever thought I could through His strength and showing me what it really means to have Him as my rock and fortress… He has made me seek Him and find/see/understand the answers to questions I thought I would only ever ask as a passing thought. He is making me know Him and discover who He had made me to be by just being….

    His thoughts are soooo much higher than my thoughts and His ways are not my ways!!!! But I will praise Him for that and be thankful that He is God!

    1. “Talk about an emotional roller coaster!! I’m learning much more to just be. Be in the moment, see the beauty of little things through little eyes, slow down, breathe, love, feel… And cry. ” <- this. definitely this! Well said.

  16. Praying for a safe and easy delivery soon! Today is my mom’s birthday and Saturday is mine, so it is a great time to have a baby!! 😉 Due to a medical condition, my son was born 2 weeks early via c-section and I wasn’t able to hold him right away. Knowing more when expecting my daughter I was excited that the hospital I would have her at allowed me to be with her after c-section and not be separated. God had other plans though and I was on hospital bed rest for pre-eclampsia. My daughter was born just over 4 weeks early and went straight to NICU. My plans of holding her right away didn’t happen and actually I didn’t get to visit her for over 24 hours! Looking back on it now, it makes me sad…but I also know that God had a plan for it all! I always remember the song lyrics “IN HIS TIME, IN HIS TIME HE MAKES ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL IN HIS TIME LORD, PLEASE SHOW ME EVERYDAY AS YOU’RE TEACHING ME YOUR WAY AND I’LL DO JUST WHAT YOU SAY IN YOUR TIME.”