Every time that pregnancy test turns positive, I always resolve to model my pregnancy after Our Lady’s maternity. Meditating on the development of the child within, asking for the graces needed to be like Our Blessed Mother, and offering up all the unpleasant aspects of pregnancy should be a part of every Catholic woman’s pregnancy, right?
So why have I failed yet again, to do as I said I would do?
Probably because I am not Our Blessed Mother.
In fact, with my recent inability to sleep, constant forgetfulness and clumsiness and perpetual grumpy-frumpy exterior, I am not even my own children’s blessed mother most days. No, it is becoming apparent that the older I get, I seem to be more like Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth. And with this pregnancy especially, I have been blessed with the opportunity to identify more closely with St. Elizabeth in a few ways.
1) My husband was struck dumb. No really. He is always genuinely (though happily) surprised when I come to him with the news of my pregnancies. But now that my real hair color resembles something headed more towards silver than gold, this pregnancy seemed to have taken him by surprise a little more than usual. Thankfully, this dumbstruck phase only lasted about 9 seconds instead of 9 months, but the uncanny similarities between Jay’s and Zachariah’s affliction was not lost on me.
2) The season in which I am due. I am actually due in August. But since St. John the Baptist’s birthdate is also in the summer, my pregnancy, in effect, mirrors St. Elizabeth’s in that we both will be at our largest when the heat is highest. And neither of us have air conditioning….
3) I am now well into the “advanced maternal age” category. Let’s face it – I am old. And being pregnant in my mid 40s is a lot more physically demanding than being pregnant in my 20s and 30s. My 3-year-old has been running around in PJs for 3 days. Enough said.
4) I will be choosing the name of this baby. And my husband will agree.
5) I have had my Visitation. After 6 previous pregnancies, I have come to the realization that I am completely incapable of mirroring Our Blessed Mother in her maternity. And with this realization, I am now able to welcome Mary into my heart – not as a role model, but as my helper. I am in utter awe of her and humbly rejoice in her willingness to be by my side as my caretaker, my guide and my strength. She keeps me focused on God’s glorious will for myself and this baby, and I know that while she has many other spiritual children to whom she attends, the mother of my God has come to be with me in my hour of need and will remain close to me for the next several months.
And my baby is leaping for joy.
Are there any Saints you keep close to your heart during your pregnancy?
How does your faith carry you through those 9 exciting months?
Copyright 2015 Cassandra Poppe