We’re on the road again. The hopeful, worry-filled, nauseous, miracle laden road to having a baby.
Having babies used to seem so straight forward. You plan out your ideal season to be pregnant, aim for birthdates that are convenient, open the borders and then get busy. Maybe you chart some stuff and worry a little, but for the most part you wait for your plan to unfold. Two kids, two years apart…etc, etc.
I think most of us start that way. We have no idea what lies ahead so we design what we want (or think we want at that point). And even though we know people and we’ve heard stories, we really hope for quick conception, easy pregnancies, safe & beautiful birth stories and subsequent kids on well-timed intervals. I don’t know a soul who hopes for years of waiting, infertility, miscarriages, complications, scary deliveries or feeling like they’re running out of time.
But the road to bringing children into the world isn’t straight forward and no matter how much we think we are in control of it, we aren’t. I sat down to fill out paperwork at the doctor recently and had a hard time getting past the question, “Number of pregnancies___.” My answer is 6, yet I have only two children at home. Three of them are in heaven and the one in my belly seems secure one minute and in danger the next. For the first couple months of this pregnancy I found myself saying, “I might be pregnant.” Even our kids were starting sentences with, “If the next baby comes…”
Last November we lost our baby Judah (at 16 weeks gestation) and it has been a hard road to walk. In the months that followed, I was afraid to look toward the future but I knew that with my age we needed to decide if we would try again. I asked my husband what sounded harder to him- Trying again knowing that IF I get pregnant our risk for chromosome abnormalities will be really high, I will likely be sick and non-functional for months and in the end we aren’t even guaranteed a baby to take home. OR Never trying again.
He said that never trying again sounded harder to him. Although there is no correct answer to that question, I am thankful that God gave us the unity and peace to try again. Strangely enough, we chose the road in which we have much less control.
It’s unsettling to discover that we are not in control of creating our family. But like a lot of things in life, we just think we are in control. It’s what we count on to make us safe. Because if I am in control, I won’t allow anything to surprise me, hurt me or disappoint my dreams for my life. And then if my plans fall apart, I have to grab and claw at anything I can reach to put it back together. Instead of imagining that surprises, changes, disappointments and even pain might put me on a more fulfilling road than the one I was on.
The reality is that no amount of planning and preparing can ensure my outcome. I can exercise direction or restraint, I can work hard and “make things happen” and I can even manipulate. But ultimately the world, its people and even my own body are not under my rule. And while unsettling, this truth is bringing me more comfort than fear these days.
I believe that God is on this uneven road with me. Walking before me actually, already knowing everything I will walk through. Ready to cheer with me and mourn with me and hold my hand through the scary parts. I believe that God Himself brings life and so whatever happens from here on out, I trust Him with it. Letting go of control (or even the mirage of it), is easier to do when we trust Him.
We have prayed daily that fear wouldn’t steal our joy. We are daring to say when the baby comes, rather than if. We are taking things one nauseous day at a time. Yes, making it to the second trimester and getting good test results have helped ease our worry, but it’s really our confidence in His goodness, His love, and His ways (that are higher than ours) that have helped us reach for peace instead of control.