Aug 22

Because They Did It First

2006 at 5:44 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

MartinandKate_1 You’ll have to pardon me. I don’t have a lot to say these days about anything except surviving morning sickness. I know there are big things going on in the world right now. But for me, life is simply about keeping breakfast down.

When I feel desperate in the face of another day of sickness, I think about the strong women I know who’ve endured much worse in order to give birth to their children—most notably, my great-great grandmother, Catherine Layman (pictured left with husband Martin). Here’s her story:

“Catherine was…born prematurely [in 1855] weighing one and a half pounds, and small enough to fit in a quart measure. Tradition tells us that her face could be covered by a half-dollar and her palm by a grain of corn. She was fed with a medicine dropper and carried around on a pillow wrapped in a blanket until age six months.” (Martin A. Lahman Family History)

At age nine, when her family fled the Civil War, she weighed a mere 37 ½ pounds. As full-grown adult, she was only 4 feet, 10 inches tall. But, this little lady went on to bear 15 children—one of whom was my great-grandfather John Calvin Layman, (gotta love those Reformed roots!).

My point? If Great-Great Grandma Kate can have 15 children, well, then I can make it through pregnancy number two.

As interesting as Catherine’s story is, I draw even more encouragement from women I know—especially my mom, but also my Aunt Janice, and other dear friends whose morning sickness was much more potent than mine is. I vividly remember both my mom and aunt faithfully caring for their families in between trips to the nearest facility. I have dear friends who have managed households and toddlers while feeling wretchedly ill.

I’m sure none of them realized they were teaching me in those moments. But they were. Their lessons of perseverance, of faithfulness, of peace and joy in difficulty and of love for their families have marked my life. I find strength in God to make it through the day because they did it first.