…in case you were wondering.
I know that an announcement like that seems unnecessary, and yet it still surprises me every single month. For about the past 30 of them (but who’s counting?).
I’ve done this once before. We know (I think) how to do it. It happened, seemingly, right on schedule with our first child. And yet, God is making it crystal clear to me that He alone is the author and giver of life. I’m sure He’s trying to make some other point, but I obviously haven’t grasped it yet, or maybe our request for a 2nd child would have been granted by now.
Before you read on, and see what you are sure to perceive as whining (probably because some of it is), let me be clear. No amount of sadness, longing, or sense of loss will EVER cause me to wish that I, instead of God, could control my own fate. I’m eternally grateful that the planning of my family is in the hands of a loving God who looks out for each of us carefully. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the plans He has for me are better than any feeble attempt I could make. Jeremiah 29:11. But I’m still human, and as you can imagine, I have some very human emotions about this roller coaster that some refer to as TTC (trying to conceive).
Last month we experienced a very early miscarriage. I wondered why. I wonder if it’s been happening more than I realize. It made me see some irony too. In the short time that I was pregnant, I found myself dreading what was to come. I chuckled to myself. While some of you truly love (or pretend to) infancy, I did not. I don’t feel guilty about this. I loved my baby. I did not love that time in our lives. I did not embrace morning sickness, labor and delivery, sleepless nights, breastfeeding, exhaustion, and the feeling of being handcuffed to my house. Then, just like *that*, I knew I wasn’t pregnant anymore. And despite any dread I had been feeling, I cried. I cried for about a week. I cried because I knew what I was really missing. The person who exhausts me beyond anything I’ve ever known, my son, brings me more joy than anything else on this whole planet. Parenthood is a fascinating and wonderous thing.
Even though I knew the likelihood of getting pregnant the month after a miscarriage, I found myself hopeful this month. I have not been hopeful for at least a year. I’m used to not getting pregnant. I happens all the time. Even last month, when that very faint line showed up on the pregnancy test, I didn’t believe it. There was no way that I had a positive pregnancy test because I just don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take a test because I was getting a cold and didn’t want to feel bad about the Nyquil I planned to consume. You can imagine my surprise. Part of my newfound hope this month was knowing that I could get pregnant. Also, the previous month had given me some medical insights as to why my pregnancies may have not been “taking”. After seeing a doctor and getting on a new baby aspirin/vitamin cocktail, I found myself getting hopeful for the first time in more than a year.
I’ve stopped counting how many people I know who are pregnant. With their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, even 6th (yes!) babies. I saw my college roomate this past weekend for the first time in 9 years. She has 4 beautiful children. When she walked through the door, I announced to everyone that she was having another! She looked bewildered and told me that she’s not. “Are you sure?”, I asked her. It just feels like everyone is. You all are. You know it.
Jealousy is an ugly, green monster, and sometimes it has me thinking shallow, awful things like this:
Really, her? God, does this make sense from where you sit?
Another one? She gets ANOTHER ONE?
Ahem, excuse me Dear Lord, but she doesn’t appear to much want the ones she already has!
Ok, God, seriously. Look at what she’s wearing. Why can’t I just have hers?
What on earth kind of mother must I be that I can’t be entrusted with 2?! Just 2!!
Seriously Lord, am I doing something so wrong?
I shouldn’t share all of those shallow, awful thoughts with you. They really make me sound like a brat. But I’m not about to give you the impression that I’m so pious that nothing awful ever comes to mind. I’ll gladly wait for what God has for me, I know it will be good. He’s so good to me. But in the meantime, those are some of the thoughts you’ll find me squashing. Squash. Squash.
Since, literally, all of my friends are pregnant, someone is sure to be offended by this. Let me clear the air. This has NOTHING to do with you. I am truly, truly happy for my baby-factory friends and your obviously thriving sex lives (where some of you find the time, I’ll never know, wink wink). Seriously though, there is no way that lessening someone else’s happiness would ever increase my own. Yet anyone who has struggled with infertility understands my feelings. I’m also aware that not all of you are pregnant. I can think of at least 3 of you who aren’t.