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When my husband and I first saw the results of the tests on our new baby growing in my womb, we both cried. But after all the excellent advice from friends and relatives and professionals, we started to realize we could do more. I began singing Baha’i prayers for children, like this one:
O God! Educate these children. These children are the plants of Thine orchard, the flowers of Thy meadow, the roses of Thy garden. Let Thy rain fall upon them; let the Sun of Reality shine upon them with Thy love. Let Thy breeze refresh them in order that they may be trained, grow and develop, and appear in the utmost beauty. Thou art the Giver. Thou art the Compassionate. – Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, pp. 34-35.
As I sang I modified the words: “O God educate my child. My child is a plant in thine orchard”, etc.
And I prayed for acceptance and protection, including this one from The Bab:
Immeasurably exalted art Thou, O Lord! Protect us from what lieth in front of us and behind us, above our heads, on our right, on our left, below our feet and every other side to which we are exposed. Verily Thy protection over all things is unfailing. – Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 172.
Our wise midwife gave us spiritual guidance, too, advising us to talk to the baby and explain, in facts, what information we had; and to explain that these emotions mommy and daddy feel occur because we are upset and have a lot to process and try to understand.
She suggested my husband and I sit in meditation to:
Connect to our own souls, to see what inner guidance we receive about this situation
connect to the baby’s soul, and listen quietly for what the baby’s soul would like to say
connect all three of us as a family unit. Talk aloud to each other as parents, talk to the growing baby in utero and simply listen.
When I sat quietly meditating, my newly-blossoming mother’s intuition told me “Everything is going to be fine. Everything is healthy.” I even wrote in my journal one simple sentence on a page during this time: “I know you are perfect.”
When I sat quietly after having talked to my baby’s soul, I silently asked, “Is there anything you’d like to say.” And I heard one, simple, strong reply, “I’m here to live.”
The process of connecting spiritually through both prayer and meditation gave me a solid foundation. Those days and weeks following the testing filled us with high emotions, and from one moment to the next I never knew when tears, fears and sadness would overcome me. In these moments of prayer and meditation, I can now see, I grew my spiritual roots. They cracked down through rock, soil and sediment to root me to a new reality.
Recently, some of the friends I’ve shared our experience with have mentioned, in different ways but with a similar message: the first time our child undergoes anything that can cause harm or interfere with optimal health, we experience how fragile life is and our love deepens. In loving our child more, we experience fear, but we also experience faith. Welcome to parenting, they said.
I couldn’t have asked for a better man alongside whom to start my parenting. In the perinatologist’s office, the darkest picture of the future went through my mind. I cried uncontrollably. My husband hugged me as I wept on his shoulder. He whispered in my ear, “I know. I know. I feel the same way.” And in that moment, I felt such consolation and love.
Through taking the time to process emotions, soak up the love from my husband, family and friends, and connect within through prayer and meditation, our decision for which follow-up test to undergo became clear. I needed that support to follow through and steel myself to go in for the final test.
I want to share with you that everything is okay! The test confirmed that we have a healthy baby, growing in my rapidly-expanding womb. The blood work came back negative, and the follow-up exam indicated healthy, normal growth. I have never had more thrilling news.
My days now fill with a deep gratitude every time I feel this baby move. I am keeping up my healthy eating, walking, exercise; continuing to talk to the baby, pray and write thoughts in a journal that one day, along with these essays, I will look forward to sharing with my first child.
Find the full healing prayer for infants here
Listen to the song of “O God! Educate these children” here