Last night, I finished reading this little diamond in the rough - Expecting Wonder by Brittany L. Bergman. When I first ordered the book, Joel and I had just found out that we were expecting our first little one. We told our parents first and that snowballed into telling most of our family and friends. We had heard so many stories of miscarriage, but we didn’t want to live in fear and hide the pregnancy - regardless of how early it was. Then, the book sat in the box as my husband tried to hide the painful reminders of the child we lost: our first baby, who I like to think is now in Heaven where we will meet him or her one day. It has been a harrowing experience to say the least and my husband and I are moving forward one day at a time, but we miss our baby greatly!
For us, we decided that we would heal the fastest by trying again. We want children and to grow our family and that means trusting God to see us through; trusting that the next pregnancy will go well and we will be blessed with a Rainbow baby. But trying again after losing a child is infinitely more difficult than I had imagined. I know in my heart that we are both ready, but that didn’t stop the surprise overflow of emotions that accompanied the decision. So, hoping to bolster my own resolve, I removed the book Expecting Wonder from our cubby of baby gear (which we assigned to hold all of the things that we are now collecting in hopes of raising our sweet children one day) and decided to give the hopeful prose a shot.
I have to tell you that when I initially read the short description on the back, I believed that the book would be a good way to stay hopeful while I was consumed with the usual fears of being a first-time mother. And that in itself was a drastic understatement! What Brittany has done by bravely sharing her raw stories is absolutely incredible! Time and time again I was reassured that my worries and fears about my first pregnancy were absolutely “normal” (if it were even possible that that word exists as we picture it), and I began to realize that there is still hope. Hope that it wasn’t my fault that we miscarried. Hope that I can trust my body to try again and successfully carry a baby full-term. Hope that my husband and I can weather this storm of trial. Hope that just as so many couples have felt the pain of loss, that so many more have experienced the joy of bringing new life into the world.
If you are looking for inspiration to find hope amid the fear, give this little number a read. The short chapters are organized by theme so you can skip around if you are looking for a particular subject, anything from baby preparation to miscarriage scares and marriage advice to happy new beginnings. At the end of each chapter, the author includes what I found to be eloquently written little snippets that sum up the main idea of the collective stories in that chapter - all of which are short, light, and easy to read. It’s lovely to know that we are not alone in our journeys into motherhood. Regardless of the method by which we enter, this really is a huge transition and it helps to know that we are not alone.
Some of my favorite excerpts:
“Perhaps what leads us closer to fulfillment is not forging ahead with a single-minded sense of optimism that everything will always be fine, but choosing our next step with a balance of true hope, honest desire, and hard-won resilience.”
“The connection born out of vulnerability-with God, with ourselves, with our loved ones-doesn’t make the journey safer, but it certainly makes it richer.”
“Pregnancy is a gift meant to be enjoyed for however long we have it. We carried life, whether it was for two weeks or forty-two.”
“Wherever that provision comes from, I hope it will point to a community of fellow mothers who will carry you through the hardest moments of carrying a child, who will remind you to be brave and compassionate toward yourself. And I hope when your body and soul have come to rest in their new shape, you will pay the magic forward.”
“Regardless of what’s ahead for our partnerships, we can always turn to each other on the couch or at the restaurant or in the car, letting our exhausted selves meet for a moment, saying without words, ‘I’m here with you now. And I’ll find you again.’”
“We will arrive at a moment when the past nine months reach a crescendo and our bodies break open to release life: the answer to our questions, the evidence dispelling our doubts, the reward for our waiting. In the fullness of time, the formation of our motherhood will crystallize, just for a moment, as we step into our much-anticipated after.”
Packed full of helpful tips to remain spiritually centered during the journey, Expecting Wonder embodies the ideal that we can trust our bodies to “carry us through” and believe in God’s goodness to co-create the beautiful new life that we are so hopeful for. I am grateful to have found such a delightfully inspirational novel during my own journey and hope that you too will enjoy its pages filled with the light-hearted stories of a woman who has courageously turned her own journey into something that other women around the world can draw strength from. Learn more about the author, read her blog, and find links to order your own copy of Expecting Wonder here.