Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pregnancy and Facebook

So, one of the challenges of pregnancy has been keeping folks from finding out via facebook--which is less of a concern now, obviously, then it was during the tentative days of the first trimester. With family, friends, parishioners and friends of friends as "friends" on facebook I wanted to avoid being outed by those in the know before I was ready for everyone to know.

Having worked in a children's hospital I am more than a little conscious of the fact that a healthy baby is not a guaranteed outcome of pregnancy. I have no reason to believe that this baby is less than healthy or this pregnancy less than viable--yet, I also know the innumerable tragedies that can befall our little family in the months to come. So, letting my extensive group of contacts know that we are expecting has been a leap of faith which has been incredibly difficult to commit to.

Yet, pregnancy is something that can only be hidden for so long before it becomes a tad bit obvious that something is up. It's a very public kind of vulnerability and, as a priest I find that I am having to trust those with whose care I am entrusted in new ways. By letting my congregation share my joy at this new life I risk having to let them share in any pain that may come. I have to let them care for me through this journey and support me if things do not go the way we all pray they will. I don't find that caregivers tend to be very good at accepting care (altho' I have a wife who would make it clear that I am VERY good at accepting her care, perhaps a bit too good!) and to do so entails a mutuality that I find daunting. What, trust YOU with the care of my soul?

But, perhaps this is the very risk I need to take...perhaps my fear of vulnerability needs to be challenged and, for the next while, perhaps I need to just accept the loving (and sometimes overbearing) care as it is offered. Perhaps I need to be able to say, yes, I trust YOU with my soul.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Pregnant Priest

Now that I am 13 weeks and 4 days pregnant (yes, we know the EXACT day!) I think it's safe to tell you that the major project I'm working on has been a new human being! It has been a delicate dance these past months as we've told family and our close friends while still feeling that it was not yet time to tell the parish. So, we announced to the congregation today which was a wonderful thing--what a loving and dear group of people attend Church of Our Saviour! I can tell already that this is going to be a church baby...

That said, we do ask for prayers for a safe and healthy pregnancy and the safe arrival of baby C around his or her due date--April 21st. We by no means assume that all will be well (too much time in a children's hospital will do that to a person), but since all signs would indicate that all is currently well we are working to trust that this baby will really share our lives (plus the obstetrician thinks he/she looks great and tells us that everything is as it should be--so maybe I should trust her?).

I reflected with some musings on all of this a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share them here...

It's a strange longing, for the abstract in both cases, for the oft' times surreal presence of a loving God and the equally surreal presence of the small being who shares my body. My love for both feels all encompassing yet I have it only on faith that I will someday dwell in the loving arms of God or hold my babe within my own loving arms.

At the very tail of the first trimester I have seen the child kicking and waving in the grainy screen of the ultrasound machine while the cool gel coated wand glides over my abdomen. Yet, like the remembrance of the Christmas child in the last weeks of Pentecost, I begin to wonder--was it real, is it real, will it be? It's a strange realization that my hunger for a God who can be so difficult to see from day to day is matched only by my hunger for the child who is, just as much as God, a member of a world filled with the already but not yet of all that is promised.

So, I pray for my baby and for my God. I pray the prayer of a woman who is already a mother but has not yet held her child; and that of a child of God who finds it easy to forget that I have always been held by God. Telling the world of the baby in my womb and the God who fills my heart demands a leap of a faith that can be frightening--yet keeping the secret of this love troubles my soul and as my heart and head become encompassed in anticipation, love and fear, it becomes more difficult to hide the reality that I have indeed been transformed.

It is a miracle. Truly.

Friday, October 2, 2009

apologies for the station break

My apologies to all three of you who read my blog :) I've been working on a major project the last couple of months and blogging has fallen by the wayside for a bit. I'll be attempting more regular postings but my mind is rather occupied elsewhere at the moment! Ciao for now.