Pregnancy is a beautiful and often difficult season. A season of waiting, longing, excitement, worry and ultimately, total dependence on Jesus.
For me, I have never been more aware of my own humanity than when pregnant. I am not the One who breathed this child into existence. I have no control over how the pregnancy goes. I cannot guarantee that I will hold this baby in my arms. It is a time of learning to completely surrender all my perceived control and trust in God and His goodness and provision—no matter the outcome.
As I write this, I am nearly 27 weeks pregnant with my third child. We are in the midst of strange, unprecedented times in our country and world, as everyone is consumed with fighting COVID-19. Pregnancy is already an exercise in total surrender and loss of control, but this feels like an entirely different ball game! I’ve never needed prayer as an anchor in my life more than these past few weeks. And with the future so uncertain, prayer is the thing that is grounding me as I try to envision and plan the remaining weeks until this baby’s arrival.
Praying through Pregnancy
There are so many incredible prayers to turn to during pregnancy, from the Litany of Trust to the Prayer to Our Lady of la Leche. As I’ve prayed through two-and-a-half pregnancies, I’ve picked up some specific ways of praying that have proved to be really fruitful.
Pray through Symptoms
Offering up whatever symptoms I might be experiencing and uniting them, in my very small way, to Jesus’ suffering on the Cross has been very powerful for me.
Whether it’s morning sickness, headaches, extreme fatigue, food aversions, heartburn, or whatever you might be experiencing, you can offer up your discomfort and know that it’s consoling the Heart of Jesus to do so.
What does it mean to offer it up?
It doesn’t mean to pretend you aren’t struggling or to paste on a fake smile, but rather to pray that your discomfort would be meaningful and that Christ would use it how He sees fit.
Consider offering up your experience for a friend who longs for a child in their arms or one who lost a child. Offer for all those experiencing infertility or simply for mothers everywhere.
Additionally, give thanks for symptoms you don’t have! It can often feel like you’re just drowning in every miserable symptom, but a quick look at BabyCenter will likely remind you otherwise. Grab a journal and dot down some symptoms you’ve been spared!
Let the Baby’s Development Inspire You
Grab your favorite baby app, and let the baby’s development week-by-week inspire how you pray.
When the baby’s heart is developing, you can pray for a heart for Jesus and others, a heart for the marginalized, a heart for justice.
As the little hands and feet begin to form, pray that they would be the hands and feet of Jesus.
As the lungs are growing, pray for the Holy Spirit to infuse them with the breath of life.
You get the picture!
This has been a beautiful and powerful way to both connect with the baby being knit together beneath my ribs, and pray intentionally for them.
Pray for Dad
While pregnancy is a time of immense change for the expecting mom, it is also a great time to pray for dad! Although he may not be dealing with the not-so-fun symptoms of early pregnancy or feeling every kick and flutter, he is still adjusting and growing and preparing for the arrival of this child.
If you haven’t already, ask your husband how you can pray for him specifically as it pertains to pregnancy. It’s a beautiful way to grow together as a couple and be united in this vocation God has called you to—the mission of parenthood.
Turn to Our Lady and the Saints
How gracious God was to give us the ultimate model of motherhood in the Blessed Virgin Mary! If you’ve never had a strong devotion to Jesus’ Mother, now is the perfect time to start. After all, she understands what we as women and mothers are going through. She carried a child for nine months in her womb. She faced uncertainty during her pregnancy. She may have experienced loneliness and sadness as friends and family turned their backs due to her situation. She gets it.
She is a mother in every way, and she wants nothing more than to walk alongside you, intercede for you, and wrap you in her mantle of peace as you journey through pregnancy.
We also have incredible models and friends to look up to in the Saints. There are so many incredible examples of Godly mothers in the saints, like St. Zelie Martin, St. Gianna, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. As you prepare to be a mother—whether it is your first child or fifth—turn to the Saints and ask for their prayers! The Communion of Saints is a beautiful part of our Catholic Faith, and what a gift we have in it!
Pregnancy is a time unlike any other. It’s a time of total surrender and reliance, more than ever, on Jesus’ strength to sustain you.
May it also be a time of deeper relationship with Jesus, His Mother, as well as the Saints. May you experience great growth in your faith!
Our Lady of la Leche, pray for us! Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
What prayer practices have you found fruitful during pregnancy?
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