I thought I was going to hyperventilate. Could you actually be pregnant with another baby? I checked the text message again, and yep, it was really from you, and no, it didn't seem like a joke. Of course I was ecstatic for you. I've seen you walk through infertility and the loss of your first child (and then thankfully, the births of your boys). I knew this new life meant a lot to you.
But even in the joy, my stomach sank. There are days when motherhood just about does me in, and I only have one child. I can't imagine being you and facing the prospect of four kids under age 4! And yet, what's one of my highest desires right now? It’s to get pregnant and add another child to my already crazy life.
|Asta, Stella and hubby Isaac after completing a 5K mud run!|
This isn't my first time dealing with infertility. It took several years of trying to finally get pregnant with my daughter, Stella. We've always wanted at least two kids, preferably spaced the "optimal" 2 years apart. Well, Stella turns three soon and I'm not pregnant yet, so obviously God is running late according to MY perfect plans.
The waiting game is different this time around. Thankfully, I do already have a cute little girl living in my house. I'm usually too busy with her to dwell on what I'm missing. One hard part about infertility now is that my life is full of other mommy friends, and there's always somebody announcing a new pregnancy! I see other families with more kids and feel sad that Stella doesn't have a sibling yet.
Over the past few months, God has been working in my heart, and I am mostly at peace with waiting. To get there, I had to deal with some ridiculous lines of thinking. They seem pretty absurd now, but that’s where I was.
Ridiculous thought #1- "The reason I'm not pregnant is because I haven't proven myself as a good mom." It's as if I imagined God looking down on me and saying, "Hmm…that poor dear can hardly handle one kid. I'd better go easy on her and not send another!" Or worse, I must be doing such a horrible job that he's regretting His decision to let me be a mother in the first place.
While there are a lot of things I don't understand about God, I'm 99.9% sure that's not how it works. Lots of people who have NO business being parents have gotten pregnant (and reality TV wouldn't be nearly as entertaining without them). I don't actually believe that only those who are worthy receive joy-filled bundles from the stork. And yet…if I don't watch out, it's easy to feel like I must not deserve another child.
|Taking after her dad.|
Ridiculous thought #2- "I am such a wimp for thinking that parenting one measly child is hard work." Because I'm not dealing with, say, a newborn AND a toddler at the same time, I have a hard time feeling worthy of the exhaustion that comes with being a mom. My friends with two or more kids are the "real" moms, while I'm stuck back at the rank of "junior" mom.
I'm still wrestling with that thought, because, at the very least, more kids equal more laundry, and that sounds harder to me. The truth I try to hold on to is that God has given me THIS life for a reason. The comparison game can mess with your head no matter what aspect of life you apply it to.
Jen, I would love your prayers as I continue to wait and learn how to deal with God's answer of "maybe, but not yet."
I am so thankful for your honesty. You are in the trenches and so many couples can relate (though I wish that weren't the case).
I am also thankful for your friendship and support, and the example of great parenting you've shown me (People, Asta's daughter ASKS for broccoli for breakfast), and how you continue to serve and seek Him in all of this.
Ann and I have had you on our prayer list for a long time and will continue to intercede for you!