I have been writing and rewriting this post in my head for a while now. Finally, I have decided to give it a go. This topic is heavy on my heart, so please stick with me in case I get muddled up in a few areas. Here it goes.
We're trying to have another baby.
If you are close to me in my personal life, you are probably already aware but that might be news if you are only part of my virtual life. I don't think that this is something that needs to be public knowledge but there are so many emotions and struggles rolled into this season that I cannot help but write about it. I am also putting this out there because I know there are others going through similar things and sometimes it just helps to share.
When we decided to try and get pregnant the first time, it felt like a it took a long time to get to a place where we were both ready. I felt that I was ready to try the minute that we were married, but my other half wasn't ready yet. We ended up on the same page about a year and a half later. We were able to get pregnant that very first month of trying. It was so easy! We made the decision to try and get pregnant and then we were! My pregnancy with Asa was very easy, delivery was fast, and he is such an easygoing kiddo, too. The process altogether seemed to happen so naturally- filled with the stuff that fairy tales are made of.
The second time around has not been as easy. We've been trying for close to a year now. Depending on your circumstances, I know that this amount of time might seem trivial, but to me it still feels like forever. Every month I am filled with so much hope, and then the crushing arrival of a period can kill that hope in an instance. I honestly had no idea how intense these climbs and falls would feel. Some months it is bearable but others it can feel as if the wind has been knocked right out of me. It has been humbling, painful and it has been forcing me into a period of unexpected growth.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder what is wrong with me. Isn't this exactly what my body was made to do? It has done it before, so what is the hold up now? We are a loving family. We have a little boy who would love and play with a new sibling. There are grandparents, aunts, uncles...all available to love on a new life. The pieces are all here....waiting. It can be so confusing for something to not happen when everything else feels so ready for it.
This current situation is so vulnerable. As I mentioned above, there are days and even weeks where there is an abundance of hope and joy, and then there are days where it seems completely out of reach. I think that one of the most devastating parts about trying to conceive is that ultimately we have very little control over it. Sure, we can chart, have lots of sex, pray, even use medication if necessary, but ultimately, God has reign over it. This dream of a new life is not in my control.
In light of this current season, I have come to a few conclusions. I have come the conclusion that while we are trying and hoping for another baby, I cannot let this consume my life- especially my thought life. It is more than easy to allow the idea of pregnancy to become an idol in my mind. It is so easy to dream about it. Dream about Asa meeting a little sister or brother...holding that baby, nursing that baby. But the honest truth is that I don't know if that baby will ever even exist. I truly believe in my heart that we will have more biological children, but I cannot spend all my days thinking about that. If I did so, I would completely miss out on the amazing child that I already have. So I am trying to find the balance between trying to conceive and living my life despite of it. It's not easy but I'm trying.
Another thing that I am trying to do is to have patience. Sometimes I get into a panic that our children will be too far apart to be playmates. Sometimes I look around me and see my friends who have children very close together and feel a sense of loss that that will never be an option for Asa. Sometimes I think about how I thought our family would grow, the imagined timeline, and am mad that things aren't turning out the way I thought they should. However, amidst all that there is a whisper that tells me to be patient.
To be patient and gentle with myself. To be patient with my body because it is miraculous even without a child growing in it. To remember that life doesn't have to happen on an accelerated timeline and that everyone's timelines look different. To remember that it is okay for life to go off of the path that I desire- in fact it is normal for life to look different than the carefully laid plans I erect.
The third thing that I am trying to focus my current efforts on right now is to simply love well. Sometimes it can be so hard to love well when you are bottling up anger, confusion, and disappointment. It is because of that that I am focusing intentional energy on loving well. I am trying to love my husband without a list of expectations. I am trying to love him on our good days and our bad days. I am trying to love my child with the same tenacity that he loves me. I am trying to love myself despite my shortcomings. Most importantly, I am trying to love God with a heart the lets go of my personal expectations, qualifiers, and needs.
At the end of the day, none of these things erase my desire to have a growing family, but they do help me keep a bit of sanity during this trying process. I wish I had all the answers when it comes to this season. I sometimes even wish that I never had to experience this season at all but I am holding on to the idea that there is good even within this season of hardship.