I had another doctor appointment today, this time with the other doctor in the practice. She also seemed nice, and everything seems like it's going just fine. She wants me to take a glucose tolerance test next week, the one-hour one. I wasn't too surprised by that, considering I am at a pretty high risk for developing gestational diabetes. Both my mom and aunt have type 2 diabetes, this is my sixth pregnancy, and I have had 2 babies over 9 pounds. I'm surprised I didn't have to take an early test with the last pregnancy, to be honest. Not something to look forward to, though. Bleh.
One thing I thought was a little odd was you know how doctors always have those drug company posters lining their walls? Well, the ones in this exam room were all for some form of birth control! There was a big one comparing 3 different kinds of permanent sterilization, and some more with various kinds of birth control pills, etc. Weird. I like the ones with developing babies on them! Then, during the appointment, she had to ask all the questions about all my previous pregnancies, since we didn't cover that in my last "probationary" appointment, LOL.
Doctor: "Are you considering some form of permanent sterilazation when you are done with this pregnancy?"
Me: "Umm, no."
Doctor: "Well, will you be considering changing to some form of more reliable birth control?"
Me: "Umm, no, not really."
Doctor: "Well, you realize you are at a greater risk for uterine rupture, hemorrhage, etc., since you've had so many children."
Doctor: "Is this going to be your last baby?"
Me: "I really don't know! Maybe, maybe not. We'll have to see."
Geesh! Enough with the sterilization talk! It makes me want to commit to singlehandedly driving up the birthrate over here! So I'm thinking that these doctors are maybe not big proponents of big families, LOL. I mean, really. I'm sure that women who have large families do have a slightly greater risk of those things, but I personally know a lot of women with many more kids than me, and they have all been fine. In fact, my friend Christine, to whom I was relating the conversation, said that she grew up in Irish Catholic Boston, where almost everyone she knew had 8-9 kids, and she didn't know anyone who had any of those issues! Oh well. It's not like I can change doctors, LOL, or that military doctors would be any better about this issue. But then I got this Elizabeth Elliot devotional in my email today, and it actually spoke to some of these issues, although from the perspective of a worried grandmother.
When I learned that my daughter Valerie was expecting number five, my insides tied themselves in knots.
Val and Walt were both very peaceful about it, willing to receive this child as they had received the others--as a gift from the Lord, remembering His words, "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me" (Luke 9:48, NIV). But my imagination ran to the future and its seeming impossibilities--"Poor dear Val. She has her hands more than full. What will she do with five?" Before she was married Valerie had told me that she hoped the Lord would give her six. I had smiled to myself, thinking she would probably revise that number after the first three or four. Practical considerations rose like thunderclouds in my mind. Money. Another room to be built onto the house. Homeschooling (Valerie was teaching two already!) How would the new child receive the attention he needed? Etc., etc.
Then I began to look at the advantages. I was one of six children myself, and loved growing up in a big family. Children learn early what it means to help and to share, to take responsibility and to make sacrifices, to give place to others, to cooperate and deny themselves. Why all this turmoil in my soul? Well, because I loved my child! She was tired! Her hands were full! Maybe later, maybe when the others were old enough to help more, maybe... O Lord!
I tried to talk to God about it. Breakfast time came, we ate, washed dishes, school began in the children's schoolroom, and I went to my room, my heart churning. What does one do?
I write this because troubled young women have come to me not understanding their mothers' reactions to the news of another baby. Was it resentment? Did they not love the grandchildren they had? Why would they not want more? Was it nothing but a meddle-some yen to run their children's lives? Was it a revelation of a worse attitude--an unwillingness to let God be God?
It was this last question that I knew I must wrestle with as I knelt in the bedroom. Most things that trouble us deeply come down to that. I had to bring each of my wrong responses definitely and specifically to God, lay them honestly before Him (He already knew exactly what I was thinking), confess my pride and silliness, and then, just as definitely accept His sovereign and loving will for Valerie, for her family, and for me as the granny. Only God knew how many countless others, even in future generations, He had in mind in bringing this particular child into the Shepard family. He was granting this family the privilege of offering sacrifices for Him, participating in His grand designs. YES, LORD. Your will is my conscious choice. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.
Even though the feelings don't evaporate at once, they have been surrendered, and the Lord knows what to do with them. Mine had to be surrendered over and over again, but He took them, and over the next few days He transformed them. And when the news of Number Six was broken to me two years later, I was able to say Thank You, Lord, and to add that tiny unknown one to my prayer list.
Evangeline Mary, born November 9, 1988, was lovingly welcomed by all.