By ZUAQUIS ROSS
With all of the advice given to me before becoming a new mommy, no one ever told me about the amount of worrying one does during and after pregnancy. Parents worry themselves with questions like, will my baby be healthy and will I be a good parent? My best friend's daughter has the flu; should I keep away? I’ve gained so much weigh—will I ever get my old body back? I haven't felt my baby move for a while—is everything ok? Will my baby make it through?
It didn’t get any better after I gave birth; I’ve found myself constantly stressing about my daughter’s weight and whether she’s getting enough to eat. I constantly question myself—“How does she compare with other children on the percentile charts? Has she had enough wet diapers today? Is she crying too much? Oh my, her hands just touched the germy restaurant table… she’ll definitely be sick tomorrow!
New mommies are constantly in stress mode.
After suffering a miscarriage with our first child, my husband and I were very nervous about our second pregnancy—we worried about everything. And then we’d remind ourselves that it’s bad to stress out during pregnancy, and do our best to calm ourselves. To help, we turned to prayer, realizing how important it is to talk to the Lord about our baby while she was developing in the womb. We can eat all of the healthy foods we can, abstain from drinking alcohol, exercise, and do all the things necessary for a healthy baby, but we also need to rely on God and his ultimate protection.
Philippians 4:6-7 reads:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We prayed a lot for our unborn child and found that only through prayer did God give us peace and strength about being pregnant, giving birth and raising our daughter.
On January 16, 2008, God answered our prayers and I delivered our daughter Abigail into the world, weighing 6 pounds and 5 ounces. My husband was able to be in the delivery room during my cesarean. And together, we thanked God for Abigail's safe birth. We both now understand what the expression, "Children are a gift from the Lord" means. Our little one is, for sure, the perfect gift: Healthy and cute as a button. With just one look into our eyes, she filled our hearts with pure, unadulterated joy. She is a blessing. We pray that she will grow up healthy and learn to pray to God during the good and bad times (especially those teenage years). And we pray that one day she will have a peace that transcends all understanding.
For those that are now expecting, my best advice to you is to enjoy being pregnant, but also pray for your unborn baby and allow God to have an active role in helping you raise your child. And for all of the veteran mommies out there, let us not forget that we are not alone in raising our children. We have a heavenly Father waiting to help us. All we need to do is reach for His hand.
When you do turn to Him to help you navigate your job as a parent, remember this verse:
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” —Phil. 4:13
Zuaquis Ross, a former event planner and marketing and Web site manager for Atlanta magazine, is the author of the parenting prayer journal, “We Are Expecting! A Keepsake Poetry and Prayer Book For the Expectant Parent!” The stay-at-home mom makes a home in Atlanta, GA, with her daughter and husband; they enjoy serving on mission trips, spending time with family, and traveling. See more about her book at www.We Are Expecting.com.
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