TO THE DEAR MAMA WHO THOUGHT GETTING & STAYING PREGNANT WAS GOING TO BE EASY
I was in my early twenties- a young idealistic newlywed, when my best girlfriend and I planned our lives. To be detailed we were sitting in my silver Honda Accord on our way home from a work road-trip in Nashville. She was driving us homeward and I was scribbling away. We deliberated for three full hours and we figured our husbands would go along with whatever we wrote down on that scrap of paper. After-all, the most important thing was for us to be on maternity leave together.
It was a list we could easily, or so we thought, check-off. On both of our lists we included (along with specific dates) graduate with our advanced degrees, get a puppy, conceive a baby, deliver baby, maternity leave, return to work. The most taxing decision was the best month to give birth.
“We’d have a tan in summer,” one of us would say.
Then the other would counter, “Yeah, but it’s just so hot! We’d sweat so much.”
“But I don’t want a baby in January. January is peak flu season.”
We finally decided that giving birth in April would be ideal.
We were both blissfully ignorant. It was the type of conversation that would make my blood boil today.
Both of us graduated on time-check! Got our new puppies on time- check!
But then…when it came to conceiving babies I learned that you can plan and execute all you want… but it is completely up to God as to whether or not a child is conceived and whether or not you have a healthy full-term pregnancy.
Cause making babies is not a check the box type of endeavor.
I look back and roll-my eyes and want to slap my naive self.
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
Getting pregnant- I used to think was an effortless, fun, and physically uncomplicated procedure.
I mean, if it wasn’t easy, then why are pharmaceutical companies bursting with pregnancy prevention options? Why are women making “choices?” It must be harder to prevent pregnancy than to ‘get’ pregnant, right?
Television shows depict countless numbers of teenage moms saying they wished they had just “crossed their legs” and other television shows depict mothers having a dozen or more children with the greatest of ease. My girlfriends and I used to sit around and chat over chips and spinach dip saying things like, “When do you want to have a kid?” and “I forgot my birth control yesterday. Hope I’m not preggo!”
It was as if we could as easily schedule the introduction of a child into our families as we could make reservations for dinner.
I mean just get under the covers or on top of the covers or in the back of the car. It doesn’t matter…sperm meets egg and a baby is conceived, right?
But, that is not the entire story. Conception and birth is a precious God-ordained biological equation. Our bodies are not an Easy-Bake-Oven!
This wasn’t a part of my plan
When infertility, miscarriage or stillbirth strikes, most of us find ourselves in a state of shock and denial and have no idea what to do with the array of emotions that immediately begin descending upon our minds.
“Getting pregnant” might seem easy for everyone else, but for us it can be challenging and riddled with anxiety.
And intense grief.
We learn about IVF, charting our cycles, sperm count, and progesterone. Some of us become introduced to the anesthesia, the procedure of a D&C, or live through the pain of an ectopic pregnancy.
“This wasn’t part of my plan! I thought this was supposed to have been easy! Isn’t having a baby a part of “happily ever after?” Why can’t I just sleep with my husband and then nine-months later deliver a crying baby?
I’m sorry Mama- an easy, carefree pregnancy is not our reality.
And those of us who have experienced loss or infertility are now changed souls.
I am no longer naïve. I look at those mamas with their swollen bellies and I realize the sacredness of what is being allowed to grow in their bodies. I also look at them with jealousy. I wish I too could have that blissful ignorance.
I miss the baby that I cradled in my womb.
I also miss carrying a baby in my womb and not shaking with fear every time I look in the toilet bowl.
I want to be in control! I want to know the end-game.
But I have to surrender that desire of control. I am not the one who creates and sustains life.
I am not in control.
You are not in control.
God is in control.
God is the creator of our universe. God is the creator of our children. God decides whether those babies will be born on Earth or born in heaven. And God has a greater plan than you or I can ever understand. Even though tears are pouring from our eyes we have to trust.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I’ll be honest, that verse made me angry and confused the months after my loss. I kinda wanted to rip it out of my Bible. And then set it on fire. But not pour water on it. Just let it burn. To be frank…it pissed me off. I mean, how can the death of my baby be a part of a grand plan of goodness?
I’m not certain. I don’t specifically know why pregnancy loss is a part of my story. I don’t specifically know why I was chosen to be a part of a sisterhood of women who have had a baby perish in their womb. I don’t know why some women get cancer. Why a family of five was killed in a car accident last week. Why this? Why that?
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
All I can do is trust in God. I must learn to accept the sufferings, trials, and tribulations the same way that I accept the joys and blessings.
It’s a walk of faith.
Not one of us has ever been promised an existence on Earth void of pain. Earth is not the place where perfection and pure happiness exist; that is why we long for heaven- a place where suffering is no more.
Right now you are suffering. And suffering hard. Dear Mama, it is okay to cry, mourn, scream, shout, and cry again. It’s okay to be angry at this out-of-our control life.
Suzie Eller, in the Mended Heart says, “When you love a person deeply and you lose them, on this side of heaven there will always be a missing piece. That sense of loss remains a part of who you are, because the person you have lost is a part of you.” (page 88)
And that is oh so true. On this side of heaven you will continue to have a pierced heart. But please know that heaven- the place where perfection lives is ours for the taking. Perfection is where your baby now resides. Our suffering is nothing in comparison to the glory that is our future.
That. Is. Hard. To. Take. In.
Glory is that there is a new Due Date that is calling your name. Your life seems completely out of control right now, and when it does you gotta grieve. Cause you know what…it does suck. I mean let’s call a spade a spade.
But, you gotta also look ahead.
Because what is ahead is great.
Will you do something for me?
In your mind create an image of your baby. Now imagine your little creation sitting in Heaven. Maybe they are sitting in the lap of your Mama or your Granddad. Isn’t that peaceful?
Now take your mental image a step further. Put your baby in your lap.
Breathe in that sweet scent. Hold those tiny fingers.
I know it’s hard to conjure up this image. Your doing it with tears pouring down your cheeks. You want this to be reality not just in your mind.
But IT IS going to be a reality. You sitting up there in Heaven rocking your baby. Cause, in just a little while…that is where you can be. For an Eternity. Reconnected with your babe.
In those moments when your soul starts spinning faster than a hurricane try to pause and look ahead. Focus on something in the future that is positive. That is promised.
Because you know what? There is nothing on this Earth that is promised. Nothing we are in control of. The only thing we know for certain is that our end-game is us meeting up with our baby…in the presence of God.
This isn’t going to take away the pain, but it will give you a place to throw anchor when your world is spinning out of control.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Love & Blessings,