If you were to ask my what my level of faith was before I got pregnant, I would say that I at least had faith the size of a cantaloupe. Well during the majority of my pregnancy, I was struggling to muster up faith the size of a tiny mustard seed.
Let’s recap this journey and discover how I began to recognize the tricks and schemes of the enemy.
It all started right after my husband and I got married. In 2016, the two of us became one and during our first few months of marriage I began feeling like I wasn’t going to be able to have a child. I was confused where this sudden fear came from but it came and it came strong. I only shared this fear with a couple of friends because I didn’t want to give life to such a thought. I went from not wanting to have a child yet to thinking “what if I can’t have any kids? What will my husband think? He will be crushed!”. The thought of this scared me so much but I knew I had to play it cool. (WRONG! This is exactly what the enemy wanted me to do. Pretend for others while I was mentally breaking down. He wanted to keep me silent instead of making decrees and speaking to these feelings and thoughts.)
Now, let’s fast forward. In the beginning of May 2017 I began to feel a little weird and I took a pregnancy test… NEGATIVE. So I was acting nonchalant but I was terrified. I didn’t want to alarm my husband so I took this test by myself without telling a soul. (WRONG! I later learned that this was exactly what the enemy wanted me to do AGAIN. He wanted me to keep this to myself so that no one can pull me out of this. He didn’t want me to share with my husband so that he could speak God’s word over this situation. He wanted to keep me alone so that he could beat me down.) I continued living day by day but I was truly beginning to feel really sick so I took another pregnancy test and it was NEGATIVE. Now, I was really getting sad. My mind began to make all kind of scenarios of how I wasn’t able to have a baby. I couldn’t find the faith to believe it. I would try and then I would get defeated every time I had a negative pregnancy test.
On June 1, 2017, I found out that I was pregnant! Yay! I rejoiced and laughed at the enemy. He thought he could steal my joy! He thought he could take this from me but NOT THIS TIME! My husband and I rejoiced and so the real journey began. We went to the doctor and they confirmed that I was pregnant. During the next couple of months, I was still dancing at my church, working really hard and moving around like my normal self. My husband and I moved out of our apartment and into our first home and people began to tell me “Tara, you have to calm down. The first trimester is so important for the babies growth. If you don’t slow down you could possibly have a miscarriage.” At first I didn’t care what people said because I had faith that God would see me through this pregnancy but the more I heard these words, I began to worry. I remember one night after we moved everything in the house, I was in so much pain. My husband and my bonus daughter weren’t home and I was there by myself. I could barely move and I had terrible cramps. I rolled out of the bed and onto the floor and I cried. I cried so hard that I began to have even stronger pains. That night, I just felt like I might have lost my baby. Instead of having faith, instead of speaking and believing God, I chose the opposite. I began to believe the report of the enemy. (WRONG! I knew better than this. I don’t know why all my faith went out the window. Why was I sitting on this floor crying and defeated? Tara, how many times has God showed Himself mighty in your life? Come on girl! Believe God! ) At this time I was only about 12 weeks pregnant and I knew that if I didn’t take control of this situation, this would be a longgg and miserable pregnancy.
Let’s travel to 16 weeks. We got an ultrasound and our baby was doing amazing. We found out the gender but we gave it to my sister to hold under we find out at our gender reveal party. During these weeks, I felt amazing. I was done purchasing everything for the reveal party, I sent out all the invitations and all our family confirmed that they would be coming in town. The day of the gender reveal and the day afterwards, there were definitely quite a few things that came my way to steal my joy and honestly I let them. I’m usually not a person to get annoyed and upset easily but this pregnancy was bringing it all out. I was crying and getting upset over things that I would normally let go. (WRONG DECISION! Tara, never let anyone steal your joy! No matter what! God has blessed you so many times and especially through this pregnancy process so why let anyone steal this away from you?) I’m so thankful for my husband because he truly was dealing with my mood changes with such ease. I know he wasn’t used to me crying so much but he was always there with open arms ready to console me.
As I entered the second trimester, I began picking up a lot of weight and feeling extremely tired. I went to one of my doctor’s appointments and my doctor noticed that I was already almost 30 pounds heavier and I still had another 18 weeks to go. She told me that I needed to slow down eating but I was so hurt because I wasn’t over eating. I told her that I am eating more because I never used to really eat breakfast and now I was faithfully eating three meals, every day. As the weeks went by, the pounds kept coming on and my self esteem was completely SHOT! I would look into the mirror and just cry. I was used to being a certain weight all my life and seeing myself like that was heartbreaking. (WRONG THINKING: Tara, God has chosen you to be a mother over one of his precious babies. You were just scared that you couldn’t have a baby, then you were scared to lose the baby and now you are crying about being over weight? How do you think God feels? Imagine how you would feel like if you were in a relationship and you did everything for that person and as soon as something didn’t go their way, they began to complain? Would you like that Tara? Come on girl. You have to do better.) I began to feel bad for my husband because I noticed that every time he would compliment me I would say “No, I’m ugly.” or “It’s ok Babe. You can tell me the truth. I know I look bad”. To make matters worse, people were starting to comment on how big I was getting. People were making comments on my face getting big, my legs, ankles and nose. I would get so sad internally. I just couldn’t understand how people don’t have enough sense to not say certain things to people. Not only to pregnant women but to people in general. When people would say things, I wanted to shout “I’M CARRYING ANOTHER LIFE YA KNOW!” but of course I didn’t. I would just smile and laugh it off. Growing up I dealt with self esteem issues and I never thought I would get back to that place again in life but during this pregnancy I did. I eventually had to begin speaking to myself and repeating scripture. I had to tell myself that I was wonderfully and beautifully made. I had to tell myself that God gave me the special honor to be a mother. It wasn’t easy but it got better and better each day. I had to keep pushing forward. I had to keep being positive.
Finally, I was in my third trimester and I was feeling GREAT! I was doing what I needed to do. I was eating good, drinking lots of water, getting more rest and my job allowed me to work shorter hours. Throughout my pregnancy I had a random itching going on every now and then but I didn’t pay too much attention to it. It progressively began to get worse and worse. One night, I was crying because I was itching so bad all over my body. My husband would try to help me scratch but nothing would do. We finally told the doctor and she ran some test. The test results came back and they emailed me all these graphs and charts. I didn’t know how to read them but I figured that they would call me if anything was serious. I continued going on with life itching because maybe it was just a pregnancy thing. Well, a few days before Christmas we received a call that they were diagnosing me with a gall bladder and liver disorder called Cholestasis. They informed me that my baby would have to be born by 37 or he could possibly be born stillborn. They told me that I would need to come in immediately and that I will now have to go to the doctor twice a week to get on a monitor to check the baby out. They had medication that I will need to take to help my body and to help relieve the itching. Honestly, I heard NOTHING else but STILLBORN and I completely lost it in my office! My co-workers were so shocked and sad for me because they had never seen me cry like that. I had to immediately call my husband and I can hear the concern in his voice but he had to calm me down and he immediately prayed for me and over this situation. The crazy thing is that the night before I had a dream that when I gave birth, the baby wasn’t alive so it scared me so bad to get this news the next day. After we prayed, I wiped my tears and I continued to work. I told my sisters and best friends but I didn’t want to tell to many people. The next day, I went to the doctor and they explained everything to me. We went from having 6 and a half more weeks to only 3 more week until my baby was born. I was scared, nervous, anxious, excited and did I say SCARED! (This is when I knew I had two options FAITH OR FEAR? I had to choose one but I knew that I could not have both. I knew that a double minded man was unstable in all his ways and I couldn’t be that unstable man. God had done so much for me, for us! How could I continue to not have faith in Him? How could I keep giving up on Him time and time again… especially after He proved his love and faithfulness to us so many times?)
One night I got in the shower, I put on praise and worship and I just cried out to God. I told Him that I would put all my faith and trust in Him but I needed His help. I knew that the baby could feel if I stressed out or worried so I needed God to help me make it through this storm. I asked God to continue strengthening my husband because I knew it wasn’t easy for him either. From that Saturday night, until the day my son was born, God was with us. We focused on preparing our home, loving each other, praying together, laughing together and being positive. I must say, I still had my moments but I was much better. Two nights before it was time to go to the hospital to get induced, I could not sleep. I kept having visions that my baby was not going to be alive once I gave birth. I HAD TO FIGHT THIS! I didn’t cry and lose it, I just began to read my word and speak life. The next morning, I messaged my dance sisters at my church because they are TRUE prayer warriors. After receiving prayers from them, I began to feel better. I got up, I got dressed and I enjoyed my last day before I went to the hospital. My family came in town, my husband and I went on one last date and I rejoiced in advance for the birth of my first born child.
In the end, my son was born healthy and happy and all I could do was cry and thank God. I knew the mighty God I served but God showed me just how much I didn’t trust Him even though I CLAIMED that I did. I thought I had “arrived” but God showed me that I still had room to grow. This pregnancy journey was one that I will forever remember. Not only because he will always be my first born but because I learned a lot about myself and my faith. Pregnancy isn’t an easy thing and I have so much respect for mothers all over the world. After this journey and the test of my faith, I now know that no matter the circumstance, I MUST TRUST GOD!
After his birth, in just one month, we were yet again tested with my sons health but you know what, I CHOSE FAITH over fear! I refuse to let the enemy torment me or keep me down any longer.
Faith or Fear you want to know? FAITH WILL ALWAYS WIN!