Empty Hands In God's Fullness

by Mommy Anne Jayme

Hi! I Am Anne, and this is my birth story. It was September 2019 when I learned I was pregnant with my 3rd child. It was a beautiful blessing because a month before that I succumbed to some sort of anxiety when someone I knew took his own life. The new gift of life helped me in giving a million reasons to wake up and follow my daily routines. His kicks, my growing tummy, my cravings allowed me to be grateful to God and most of all, enjoy the pregnancy like I had with my two older children.

As this year started, my family envisioned it as a happy and promising one. We just started to have a new advent and Christmas tradition as we also anticipate our little baby Giuseppe (Joseph). I am also on my 6th month and there are still a lot of things I have been planning to do to prepare for the baby. When Taal Volcano erupted, it brought me a lot of thinking of the safety and preparedness of my family. As a mom, I was anxious of my family’s welfare and safety. The fear of going out with my two kids is real because of the threat of another eruption and ash fall might happen anytime. Then around the same time, I have been reading news about the new virus.

Two months after, ECQ took place, it was our 6th wedding Anniversary and I could not help myself but sigh in between eating our simple lunch. I have felt again a mix of anxious thoughts like how I was feeling the other year. The should be joyful anticipation was like a dreaded D day for me. The worries I had were: First, how will I go about with my check ups and birthing in Cavite where my OB is? Second, Will I be able to reach 40 weeks? Third, what do I need to prepare for my new child as this new virus might affect him or his health and how will I prepare his baby bag and other things? Fourth, how will I keep up with the new routine having a newborn? And, lastly, how can I take care for myself, my husband, my children and our home?

We haven’t gone back to the birthing center this time. My earnest prayer is to follow the birth plan I had with my 2nd child. But this time, I know, that I just need to stick to what is necessary – to be able to birth Gui safely. I told myself, the least that I can do is to be ready to bring myself alone in the birthing home. Second, I was troubled if I can reach 40 weeks. With the amount of news like learning about a case from one of our neighbors; people I knew who caught the virus, its spread, especially former co-missionaries who died, food security and the safety of my children., I was worried about the uncertain times.
These brought a heavy burden to me and I found myself really confused and dumbfounded. But a few weeks later, I felt the need to source out fresh and healthy produce when I saw a picture of spoiled veggies from a farming group in Facebook I am a member too.

This helped me focus on others and their needs by connecting the farmers to my community. I really felt that, as I want my family to be healthy; I need to make my neighbors healthy, too. The desire of a five (5) kilo worth of fresh produce for my household turned to almost 250 kilos worth of vegetables with 50+ households participating. My need allowed me to reach out and has helped me in taking those blues away as I am nearing my 38th week.

As I was thinking of ways to complete my needs and my baby’s, I thought of asking my community instead. Truly, in just a few days my baby bag as well as hospital bag were complete. From pre-loved to new items I bought from other moms in the community, I even have items that were given for free by my neighbors. I really felt loved and blessed. In the last stretch of pregnancy, I finally found my confidence in the grace and blessing of God. I found my heart brave because God is greater than my fears and concerns - If He can attend to those little details of my needs, how much more to the life in my womb? I am blessed to have a prayerful and very caring OB, Dra. Bev Ferrer with whom I share my thoughts and feelings. Every time I would read a new article or study, I would consult her and ask her questions. I also found myself reading further study from WHO, John Hopkins, DOH, so I can have a better grasp on what to do and expect. My friends in the first time moms chatroom helped me too, keeping me sane especially on how they go about check ups, their birth plans and how they take care of their families. My baby and I are covered with so much prayers. I found myself praying some more and holding on to the grace of life and love of Christ. On my 39th week, Dra. Bev’s reassuring love and support on going about my birth plan with the kids was finalized. The birthing class module I had with the Pinay Duolas Collective helped me also to keep in mind the checklist I need to do and prepare. Our need for a ride was answered when around April, a neighbour posted in our community fb page of his driving services. With my growing belly and stories about the pandemic increasing, I found in my prayer, God’s peace, the peace that strengthens and gives confidence. On my 40th week, midnight, I started monitoring my contractions as they are too painful already. When I thought it will be just me and my OB, she asked the nurse to call in my husband and 2 toddlers in the labor and birthing room. What a relief! In less than 15mins in the birthing pool the baby was out without a fuss. God is gracious! In this time of uncertainty, God’s goodness is real. He has His ways to outdo His love for us. I thank the Lord that He took away those worries I had for this birth and showed me how faithful He s to His promises. If there is something I learned with this birth is we cannot underestimate the work of God and how he can made manifest in our life and I the lives of the people around us. He turned my mourning onto rejoicing, my worries into confidence, my fears into calmness. His provision is more than enough not just financially, but the presence of people He gave us to make things possible. If there is a kind of cure this pandemic that needs to get notice is God’s presence in our lives. Yes, His love and provision never fails. He never fails.