No Offense, But…

I freely admit I’m the type of person who perversely takes pride in not being offended. I love those Facebook posts that tell you to keep on scrolling if something bothers you. I genuinely enjoying hearing opinions and ideas that run contrary to my own and I have relationships with people whose values and lifestyles are dramatically different from mine. I hear people say things all the time that rub me wrong, and the awful little voice in my head (the voice I wish I could disown) wants to scream, “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!” But I do manage to swallow that and let those comments pass me by. We’re all adults here. We can all get along, right? It’s not that hard.

But I guess something always comes along that gets you. Eventually someone hits a nerve that’s personal enough to make you feel like you took a hot poker to the eye. It happened to me today, and I found myself thinking there should be a law against saying something so offensive.

Big news: I’m pregnant. It was a total shock, and honestly, I still feel like it’s a weird dream even though I’m 15 weeks now. Miranda and Evelyn are 14 and 7 respectively, and I’m 41. I thought I was long past the chapter in my life that included babies, unless it was future grand babies! I’m quite sure God knows all the other things that were already going on in my life, but I have repeatedly asked Him what He was thinking, because this is really bad timing. Nonetheless, I keep coming back to Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” I’m trying to quiet the “what ifs”, the worries and the why’s, and just dwell on that. Simple truth.

This morning I had a routine checkup at the OB. There are four doctors in the practice, and I saw a new one today. Everything has been going fine, and my blood pressure and the baby’s heartbeat are all exactly what they should be. But this doctor was very invested in enumerating every single possible risk factor associated with my age. She said you’re considered high risk at 35, but being over 40 makes me “elderly, practically in a group all by myself.”

Now just let that sink in. Isn’t that what every already nervous, expectant mother wants to hear?

Being pregnant, my brain is moving slowly, and it got stuck right there. She called me elderly…she called me elderly…I lost total track of what else she was saying, felt my hands crunching up the wax paper covering the exam table, watched her lips move but couldn’t hear her words.

But again, simple truth. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them…repay no one evil for evil…If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all,” Romans 12:14-18.

I waited – I assume I just kept breathing – and let it all pass. After a little while she was on to aspirin and preeclampsia, and a witty little anecdote about delivering her youngest child herself because she lived in a rural area (like me!) and no doctor could get to the hospital quickly enough.

I can’t say that I feel any better about the visit now than I did this morning. But I know that I can choose how I respond. So yes, I wanted and needed to write it down and get it out, but I do not have to dwell on it. I don’t have to repeat this story at a dinner party a year from now and I don’t have to tell my tale of woe whenever this doctor’s name comes up. I have a friend who likes her very much, and I don’t have to bring this up with her or try to convince her to change her opinion.

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things,” Philippians 4:8. Writing all of this down – sharing it with you all – is my way of keeping myself accountable to do that.

I have to choose to turn my eyes away from my perceived offense and toward the miracle of this unexpected new life and the adventure that’s already started.

Do I see the beautiful buck, or the trash behind it?

I WILL CHOOSE to look past the imperfections, flaws, and screw ups of life to the beauty that is always, always there behind it. I will often fail, but I’ll keep trying.

10 thoughts on “No Offense, But…

  1. Congratulations on your pregnancy. Age is simply a number ( I keep reminding myself this as I turn 47 today. As you know, these statistics are based on the general population and simply become less likely when someone is healthy and without first world illnesses ( diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity). I am sure the doctor just felt the need to spell out the risks so she covered her bases. Imagine if it was someone’s first pregnancy at 41, how that info would have felt. Alas, you are the bigger person and I am sure gracefully went through the appointment. I am terribly excited for you guys. You are pros!

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  2. Lovely piece Ann! I wanted to add that you are admired by so many, for you many beauties, both inside and out! And because of your lovely traits, you are someone many of us also aspire to be, to like. Even while pregnant. 😉 at 41. ;). Sending you even more love and support. BB

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  3. There are risks in pregnancy at any age, especially if you are an unhealthy person. You lead a very active, healthy lifestyle which many of us old and young admire. You and Steven are great parents. We don’t know Gods plans for us and he has chosen this blessing of a new addition to your family and his timing is perfect. He will give you the strength and energy to handle it, as he always does even when it seems impossible and we can fathom how we are going to do it all. He will show you the way. One day at a time. A new reason to trust Him.

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  4. Ann…you are beautiful, inside and out. I turned 50 (yikes, yes, 50) a month ago. I too was a “geriatric” pregnancy with my wonderful Drew. It is a number; but, to face the realization that we are getting older (not old, just older) is sobering. The other day I passed by a mirror and I saw my mother. What a blessing to look so much like her as she too is older, but not old. Much love to you, Steven and the girls. Hope to see you all again soon! Nancy (Vieke) Devine.

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  5. I am so thrilled to hear the wonderful news of a new baby being born into such wonderful family. Such a gift to the world. 41 year olds would not be able to conceive if God and our bodies did not want it so. Relax and await the blessing that is on the way.

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  6. Ann,
    I’m so excited for you! You always have had a special gift in the ways you handle life. I have no doubts that this baby has a very special calling.
    God bless you & your beautiful family. I look forward to reading your future posts and watching from the low country.
    Much love,
    Julie

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  7. Anne!!!! I’m so blessed by your news. After losing a child during this summers Covid bout, any news of pregnancy has been such an uplifting encouragement to me. I’m so excited to follow your journey and will be prayFULL for your pregnancy. Science often doesn’t see with spiritual eyes, I’m so encouraged you’ve chosen to see with spiritual and hear with spiritual as well. I’m off instagram so I’ll be checking in here to see how you are. Hope to see you guys in may?? If not, Alexandra would love to see some horses!

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