When I was younger, I knew I wanted children. I used to have a certain number in my head – 8 to be exact. I remember talking to my married, child-raising friends about that number and being told, “Wait until you have at least one, first!” And so I looked forward to that day with great anticipation. I’ve always loved children, even in my years as a child. I couldn’t wait to have my own. I really wanted a son. My husband would laugh at me because most women seem to want daughters, but not me. I wanted little boys. I wanted him to have a ‘mini me’. It really warmed my heart to think about him with a little shadow!
When my husband and I got married, about 2 months in, I had gotten sick. All food started to make me nauseous, especially the smell of it. After dealing with the symptoms for quite some time, I went to my doctor and was met with her predictions. “Oh I know you’re pregnant, but let’s get these tests done. I will be more surprised if you aren’t!” I went to the lab and sat there, texting my husband, a feeling of nervousness and excitement in my belly. All of the what-ifs flooded my heart and mind and I allowed myself to imagine life 9 months from that moment. My name was called, specimens were collected, and I headed home to wait for the results. Those hours of waiting were hard. Finally, later that evening, that call came. My doctor called me personally to tell me the results. I wasn’t pregnant. She apologized for her negligent words and told me that she understood if I did not want to continue seeing her as my provider.
Over the years that followed, I was so mindful of everything – a late cycle, unexplained nausea, fatigue seemingly out of nowhere, headaches – you name it. Each month brought tears when my cycle would come. All of my friends were getting pregnant and our church experienced many ‘baby booms’ each year where babies were being born back to back over the course of several months. All the while, I tried to sustain a happy outer demeanor, explaining that it was all in God’s timing when I’d be asked about our desire to have children. There were many times that I cried to my husband, heartbroken over my unfulfilled desire and the careless words from others.
“You’re not getting any younger!”
“Do y’all even WANT kids?”
“You know – you’re next!”
“Have you tried changing your diet?”
“Look at you holding that baby, getting practice in, I see!”
“You know, if you want to adopt, you should get started soon!”
“When you (fill in the blank), then those babies will come!”
I heard all of those things and then some. Those comments made me even sadder. And I realized – we can say that we know that God is in control but or comments and thoughts can betray us, which is what happened with them and with me. The comments were unhelpful and mindless and often lent themselves to driving me into deeper sadness over our lack of children.
Baby showers were hard and I would avoid them often. I was happy for my friends, but mourned the absence of children in our home. The sight of cute little baby clothes and shoes pained me. I couldn’t do it! It didn’t seem fair to me!. There was no medical explanation for my inability to conceive. I was upset, but my husband helped me to realize that my beef was really with the Lord. Because He opens and closes the womb, and He had chosen not to for His own good purposes, my ultimate problem was with Him. That was a hard one to grapple with.
It became harder & harder seeing news stories about irresponsible, abusive, and negligent parents. They can have kids, but not ME, Lord? Really?! It was hard, it was sad, it was lonely. But, blessing came with it as well.
[ To Be Continued in Part 2 Next Week ]