Every mother has fears. And I think, sometimes, pregnancy breeds its own set of fears. How will we provide? What will we do about (fill in with current challenge)? It’s tempting, at times, to see myself as a victim of fertility, rather than the recipient of a great grace. It’s easy to focus on the babies we’ve buried (as a family, not me personally), instead of putting my trust in God. There’s a big doorway the devil pops right through, tempting me to despair and worry.

The image that has been helping me avoid this needless suffering is the image of Mary at the foot of the cross. Mary didn’t ASK to be the Mother of God; she accepted. Mary didn’t ASK to stand at the foot of the cross; yet she was the handmaid of the Lord, for whatever His will would be.

Mary had the courage to stand there, at the foot of the cross. What must she have been thinking? What prayers must have been filling her heart as she watched her Son hang there and die? How must her hopes have been stifled? What kind of worry precedes a crucifixion?

Was there a time that Mary, in her old age, reflected on her baby? Had she wanted to be a grandmother? And yet, she is, in the most glorious way.

There are heroes who help me through my worries, and one of them is Susan. I picture her, with her heart overflowing as she held each of her babies for the only time, and I see Mary beside her and the cross behind her. She stood at the foot of the cross, and she traveled the way of the cross with her sufferings in those hospital rooms and in the days and months after the funerals. She is, undoubtedly, one of the most excited people I know when she finds out someone in our family is pregnant. And though we harbor fears about our own baby (what if OUR baby is called home so soon?), I can’t help but think that if I must bear that cross, I am in good company. If I am asked to share my baby with the heavenly host, who better to hold me than the Blessed Mother and Susan, whose hands have carried their babies to the tomb and whose hopes will see them raised again?

Pregnancy might be a cross – I know plenty of women who have woes to tell about their pregnancies, current or past. But in being a cross, pregnancy is filled with joy and hope, just as the Crucifixion leads us to the Resurrection. Whatever the outcome, and whatever God asks of me in this pregnancy, I pray that I am strong enough to accept his will with a happy heart.