I'm a bit of a different story than some. When Tim and I got married (November 2009), we didn't know for sure that we wanted kids. It's not that we didn't like kids, we just had a good thing going: good jobs, money to do what we wanted and the freedom to spend out time however we wanted. I personally have always been a big fan of sleeping and I had heard vicious rumors that children often prevent you from partaking in this activity. Well time goes on and we become a little more open to the idea. So now my stance is, kids would be okay but I WILL NOT be a stay at home mom. I would like my own life please (I wish that you all knew me personally so you could be laughing out loud with myself and those that know me because this all really gets flipped on its head). Fast forward a couple more years and now Jesus has caused another shift in me. He tugs and tugs on me until I just spill my guts to Tim. Not only would I like to be a stay at home mom when we have kids, but I would like to be a stay at home wife like ASAP. Jesus, quit playing games with my heart. That's a lot of change in a few short years!!
Well fortunately Tim was just thrilled with the idea of me staying home and had been secretly wishing that I would want that too. I have found out on more than one occasion that my husband is pretty tight with Jesus. So we sit our responsible little selves down at the table and map out things we wanted to pay off before I left my job and decide when would be a good time to leave. I did fundraising and special events so there were just a few months out of the year that it wouldn't be a bad time to leave. We're doing all of this in October 2011 and we decide that in May 2012 I will leave my job, catch my breath for a few months then we would start trying for a baby towards the end of the year. Well Jesus was looking out for us because we ended up buying a house that next May when I quit my job and I had all the time in the world to get us packed up then unpacked and decorated at the new house.
Now my focus was to get myself some health insurance. My insurance had always been through my work and I didn't know the ins and outs of private insurance. During my hunt, I discover the craziest thing - I would need to have my policy for a year before insurance would cover my pregnancy. Well now buddy I just thought that sucked. It never occurred to me that there would be so many rules around this. So then Tim finds out that I can come on his insurance through work in January and pregnancy would be covered immediately. High Five Jesus! Thanks for working that out.
Well folks, January rolls around and I'm stretching and ready to just pounce on my husband . Then the wheels fall off. Tim tells me that he has been miserable at his job for quite some time now and would really like to find something new. Now this wanting a baby stuff really gets a hold of you because in that moment I wasn't feeling sympathetic for my husband like any normal person would, I was ready to go all WWF on him and was thankful I had already stretched. I couldn't have a baby if I didn't have insurance and I couldn't get on insurance with his work if he quit. I WANTED INSURANCE SO I COULD HAVE A BABY!!! COULDN'T HE JUST BE MISERABLE EVERY DAY SO I COULD HAVE A BABY???!!! Well, Jesus got me lined out and I gained some sanity. Of course I didn't want Tim to be miserable.
Well Tim started a great new job in February of 2013 and guess what - insurance wouldn't kick in until the end of May. Would you just look at that? Just look at it. I went from not being sure if I wanted kids to now waiting for 2 years just to start trying. So I decide to keep my chin up and focus on getting in shape so I wasn't the size of a house when I did get pregnant. So for the next few months I just ran my legs off preparing for a 5K and studied up on ovulation schedules lol. I ran my 5K in early June and the next week we started trying. Well you can imagine our surprise when I take a pregnancy test in July and WE ARE PREGNANT. We were just stunned. My heart was thrilled that it happened so fast. We get an appointment with the doctor for an ultrasound around 5 weeks and things look good so we tell his family around week 6 and my family around week 8 when my sister came in from Texas.
We tell my family on a Tuesday night and on Thursday afternoon I am not feeling good. I can play it all back in my mind like it's on a movie reel and no detail will ever disappear. I had taken 3 of my nieces to buy crafts and it was all I could do to push the buggy and not pass out. My stomach was cramping horribly. When I got my nieces back to my mom's house I went to the bathroom and my heart hit the floor. Blood. I just stood up and started turning in circles. My mind was racing to all kinds of places I didn't want it to go. It was time for Tim to get off work so I was going to go out to the drive way and wait for him. As I got to the door he was pulling in. I had lots of family outside so I just quickly asked him to grab my sister Tracy (in from Texas) and come upstairs. I was upstairs waiting and things were getting worse physically. It's after hours and I'm trying to get through to my doctor. We couldn't reach him so I went to the ER with Tim and my dad. I'm doing my best to keep my thoughts in line but they are just running every which way. After the longest wait of my life they finally take me for an ultrasound and my worst fear is confirmed. No heartbeat. Not one. We had lost our precious baby.
I have never sobbed like I did that night and the weeks to follow. How? Why?? What do I do with this hurt??? The loneliness and sadness that set in was like nothing I had ever experienced. I had never known this kind of mourning. It didn't make sense that I could miss someone so much that I had never met, but I loved that baby more than anyone could have ever prepared me for. I can't even believe the emotions and tears that are coming back as I'm typing this out. A mother's love is a great force. The days and weeks following were just a blur of hurt and a giant feeling of void. I didn't speak to anyone other than Tim for days and I barely spoke to him. He would ask what he could do and I would just cry and say "I don't know". I did know. I needed my baby back but there was no way to do that.
One of the hardest parts was one of my best friends delivered a precious baby boy 2 days before my miscarriage. I was with my family the day she delivered and couldn't get to the hospital. Now I've lost my baby and I couldn't bear the thought of going to visit them. I just couldn't do it. I knew I couldn't keep my composure and I surely didn't want to make her feel guilty for having a beautiful healthy baby. It was two weeks before I saw them. I had to talk to Jesus the whole way there and during the visit. It's a lot for us women to juggle and balance isn't it? It's in those moments that hurt and lack can rob us of celebrations and friends. It's a hard decision to celebrate another person and her arrival of my greatest desire. It's hard to ward off jealousy and bitterness. But Jesus requires that of us. In fact, it's part of what He uses to heal our hearts.
I had so many questions. Why did God shift my heart so greatly and plant the desire for a baby and then this?? It just didn't make sense to me.
Over the weeks that followed I slowly climbed out of my pit. When my body healed and my heart was ready, Tim and I started trying again. It felt like years between every ovulation cycle and failed pregnancy test. Since we got pregnant on our first try before, my expectations were high and I was becoming very frustrated with every failed test. Then in December - it's just a beautiful month anyways isn't it? - we got a positive result. We were pregnant again!!! I just walked around with a big goofy grin for weeks and weeks waiting until we would tell everyone. I was so excited! Then do you know what happened?? Fear crept in. Fear that the same thing would happen again. Fear to let myself get my hopes up. Fear to believe in the promise from a God that is so very strong and so very faithful. Fortunately for me I have an amazing husband and faithful friends that let me lean on their backs when mine was too weak to keep me upright. I owe them a lifetime of gratitude.
Well sister friends - I'm happy to tell you that I had a very healthy pregnancy and delivered an absolute dream at 40 weeks and 2 days on August 6th of 2014. Roman is more than I can put into words. In fact ,I'm sitting here now watching him thrash around in his jumper to a Barney video and there's nothing that makes me happier.
Still, the road leading to Roman was the most difficult one I've ever navigated. Months ago I shared with Brandy what helped me keep my head glued on and I'd like to share it with you too. After all - nobody else can understand us like we all understand each other, right?
I want to share with you the main thing that kept it all in perspective for me. Until my precious friend Monica laid this out for me, I was driving myself a little crazy with disappointment and at times it was consuming.
The key for me was this - you're not waiting to have a baby. You're waiting to have YOUR baby. THE BABY. God is so intentional with every piece of every person's life and it is no different with pairing children with parents. I would dare to say it is one of the most intentional choices He makes. Here's the thing - God searches the earth for the exact parents that can bring a child into the calling He has created for him. The giftings that you and your husband share as a couple - what you are as a union is EXACTLY what your baby will need to fulfill his calling. Why would we ever want to mess with that system?? It gets so hard because you WANT a baby now - but here's the thing...use the desire you have for your baby to learn all you can about being a parent. Use the time to polish up those things in yourself that could use some work before you step into parenthood. You have the desire in your heart because your time is coming. God is stirring your heart to be a parent but being a parent does not just happen when you're finally holding the baby in your arms. Being a parent starts in your heart way before then. Plus, God is depositing in you now all of the things you'll need for your baby. Like for instance, who else would know that singing O Holy Night in an opera voice will mesmerize Roman during diaper changes and snap him out of a fuss to make him smile? The crazy mother that Jesus hand picked for him - that's who!!
Everyone is always to tell us to trust gods timing. That he is never late. It's one of those things we hear so much it can lose it's punch and in other moments kind of make you angry. But think about this - your baby will be called to touch and influence the people in his life which means God has already mapped out who those people will be - whose class he'll be in at school that needs him - who will be on his job that needs him. There are people that will have their lives shaped by your baby so this all has to happen in the right timing.
You might think I'm mean when I say this - hopefully you won't - but I had to remind myself that it is not about ME! When I was getting disappointed I was letting myself fall into the trap of thinking of how I wasn't getting what I wanted, about my lack. It's gonna be really important to keep your heart and mind in a place where you remember that it's not about you but about your baby and all of the lives he will touch. It's about PURPOSE.
Here's something else that was really helpful to me and God will give you the same gift - encouragers. I'm telling you they will just fall out of the sky!! People who don't even know your story or that you so badly want a baby will feel burdened to pray for you. I found out several months in to us trying for a baby that a lady at my church that was only an acquaintance had been praying for me for over a year to be a mother. She had no idea that a baby was my greatest desire. God is incredible!!! God was so concerned about me that he even sent a pastor all the way from Pennsylvania to minister at our church and stop a service to prophesy that I would have a baby. How incredible is that?? That pastor came when my heart was just breaking. He didn't know my story. He didn't even know me!! He had no idea that a month before I had miscarried. That I was suffering the greatest heartbreak I'd ever known and wish no one else ever had to feel. God sent a man from Pennsylvania just to encourage and strengthen my heart. To remind me that having a baby wasn't just a desire but a promise. I went from thinking about what I didn't have to looking forward to what was to come. Having a baby went from being a dream and a wish to being a promise.
Let me be very real with you though - You're gonna have moments and even weeks where you feel what you feel and that's just plain disappointment. You're human and there's nothing wrong with feeling what you feel. It gives God a chance to nudge you, love you and even sometimes punch you - all of which help us grow in him. He'll send you what you need. I know he was faithful to do that for me . My best advice to you would be to guard your heart during all of this. People have good intentions but most of the time what they have to say sucks, is irritating and is really for them haha. People are gonna have all kinds of advice and in giving it they can often wound the person they intend to help. Keep yourself a close tight circle and lean on them.
After the miscarriage, my mind and heart was all over the map. I've never experienced the pit of sadness like I did then. I was just hanging on the best I could to what was left standing around me. You know what was standing the strongest, the people who love me. My sister Christin was talking to me on the phone one day and said "This hurts now - but later you're gonna use it to help someone." Moments of clarity like that really put you back on track. It helped me to keep my heart stirred. To remember that my loss wasn't in vain. My loss would be someone else's gain. I can't even explain the thrill in my heart when I was talking to Brandy and my story was helping her!! I mean I know God is faithful but in the moment that faithfulness appears, it never loses it's amazement. It thrilled me to know that one person had been encouraged and strengthened - the opportunity to share my story with you all and potentially help others just makes me do spontaneous jumping jacks .