Shortly after my second child was born, I knew I wanted another baby. I figured getting pregnant wouldn’t be any big deal. But it was.
I was breastfeeding, so I knew that would hold back my fertility for a while, but I’m not one of those women who has true amenorrhea. I get a few months, and then my fertility is right back at work. However, after a year of no new pregnancy, I decided (rather foolishly) to stop breastfeeding in the hopes that I would fall pregnant.
No such luck.
And then…my husband deployed.
There was no more pining away for a baby. That possibility was gone. I threw myself into mothering the two children I had. (By the way, this is also the time frame I began homeschooling our oldest, so I was very occupied with that new venture as well.)
When my husband came home a year later, I ended up pregnant within the month! Oh, how excited I was! I had begged God for this child, and He had heard me. As I prepared for my first OB appointment, we got word that my husband was deploying again – this time, stateside. I remember thinking how at least I would have this new pregnancy to keep me occupied.
But, that first OB appointment did not turn out as I had hoped. They could not find the baby’s heartbeat. I was taken back to the sonogram room, only to find the baby had died several weeks prior, and I was left with emptiness. My husband was able to come back for the D&C, but his presence didn’t stave off the anger I was feeling.
For the first time in my life I was angry at God. I had begged and pleaded with Him for this child. Why did He give me a baby and then take that baby away? What was wrong with me? Why, oh why, was this happening?
During that stateside deployment, I saw my husband fairly regularly, but I did not become pregnant. I timed our visits with fertile days, and I tried to do everything in my power to get pregnant – all to no avail.
Finally, I just let go. I was tired of being angry. I was tired of wishing my life looked differently than it did. And then one day, I found myself feeling “funny.” Food sounded awful, and I felt sluggish. I took a pregnancy test, fully expecting it to be negative…again…but it wasn’t! I wanted to rejoice, but I was scared. What if…
Oh, the “what if’s” plagued me! I worried terribly that God would take this child too. I didn’t know if I could handle that. But, the pregnancy progressed, and as it did, I relaxed. And one warm September day, our precious little daughter was born.
A dear friend summed up my feelings when she stopped by to meet little Melia. She leaned over her bassinet and whispered into her sleeping ear,
“You don’t know how much your mama wanted you or how long she’s waited for you.”
I cried. I had waited nearly 4 years to hold another newborn. It was a long 4 years filled with deployments, heartache, and a longing for something I wasn’t sure I’d ever have again. It wasn’t a patient waiting either. It was a painful, emotional, biting, kicking, and screaming waiting.
There are so many women waiting for a baby. I imagine some of you are waiting. Some of you may be patient, but some of you are just like me – feeling helpless and hopeless…and perhaps even angry.
I didn’t want to wait. I didn’t want to endure pain. I just wanted a baby. Why did it have to be so hard? Why did other women have babies while I sat barren? Why was I allowed to get pregnant, but not allowed to keep that baby? Why did my husband have to be deployed when God knew how desperately I wanted more children?
Humans like to know why. We like all the answers neatly tied up in a pretty package and handed to us. We feel safer and calmer when we think we have the answers. But, what we miss is the fact that we aren’t in charge. We don’t always get to have the why’s answered. Sometimes it just is.
When Emily passed away, I remember saying over and over, “It is what it is.” I knew how painful whys could be, and I just couldn’t go there. I had to simply trust. I had to be where I was. It hurt, but it was my story.
My friend Mandy from Worshipful Living said this after her adoption loss,
“Satan steals so much joy from us when we live in these hard places longer than we should. Bitterness takes root – and the roots grow deeper and deeper if we let it. Instead, choose to deal with the anger, the hurt, the bitterness – the grief – and feel it.
Then, go live.”
I didn’t want to feel the pain of waiting for another baby. I just wanted another baby. I didn’t want to “go live” if it meant I’d never have another child. The grief consumed me until the day I grew tired of living that way. I only wish I had gotten there sooner. Not because that would have brought a baby into my life sooner – you know, like I learned my lesson, now I get a baby – but because I feel I wasted all those months NOT living.
If you are waiting for a baby due to secondary infertility, miscarriage, adoption, a reversal, or other life circumstances, I cannot force you to live your life as if that next baby might never come, but I can pray God’s enduring peace over you. I know what it feels like to wait. I know what it feels like to hurt. I also know the difference I have seen in my own life between the time I spent waiting in anger, and the time I spent waiting in peace.
If you would like to leave a comment or drop me an email, you can know the Raising Arrows community of women will be praying for you. There might not be answers, but there will be faith and love and understanding as you wait.