Bittersweet Beginnings

It has “only” been three months of trying to conceive a child after our loss.  I say “only” in quotations because anyone who has been on this “Trying To Conceive (TTC)” journey for even a single month knows that the Two Week Wait (TWW) is pretty much the definition of eternity and three months might as well be before the beginning of time.  Time has a way of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out indefinitely when you are hyper-analyzing every single twinge and fluid your body produces.

(BTW, The body is just as fickle a friend as time when you are TTC.  I don’t think that I’ve ever had nausea as a symptom of PMS.  The past three months have been practically nonstop feelings that I am about to vomit.  It’s truly…fascinating.)

The hardest thing about this endeavor, trying to have a child, is that it is absolutely out of your control.  Hardly anything else in life requires as much utter dependency and faith.  I mean, sure, in truth, everything is uncertain and nothing is in our control.  I do believe that God is absolutely sovereign and can make the best-laid plans fail and the most unsuspected miracles come to be.  He is GOD, after all.

And yet…it is a unique struggle.  When I wanted to get married, I kind of felt this way.  I mean, I couldn’t just make a man who wanted to marry me fall out of the sky, and moreover a man whom I wanted to marry, too.  It took faith, and I believe it was God’s providence that I did meet my husband, as faltering as our steps may have been and still are.  However, I had some degree of control over this kind of situation.  I COULD choose to give myself in marriage to anyone who would have me, just to get married, and I’m sure that if that were my intention I could have found myself married soon thereafter.  If I had gone to a singles group or used a dating app or hung out at enough bars or posted an ad on Craigslist or what have you, I have little doubt that I COULD have married SOMEONE just about as soon as I set my mind to do it.  (Not that that’s a good idea.)  And if I wanted to change jobs, I could apply to enough jobs to, sheerly by the force of numbers, get an interview and find myself in a new position.  Same for if I wanted to buy a house, move to a new city, make a million dollars, or any variety of challenging yet possible things for humans to do.  The means are already there.  I simply need to apply my will and enough force and diligence to make things happen, and EVENTUALLY, it is almost guaranteed to happen.

Things are different when trying to have a child.  In one way, the means are already there, quite obvious and simple.  Do…the things you do when you want to make a baby (and often when you don’t want to make a baby).  But can I, by my sheer willpower and force and frequency and endurance, create life?

That is something that I simply cannot do.

I do not have it in me.  Not in myself, anyway.  God creates life.  God uses us to create life.  But it is His to create.  (It is also His to take away.)  And this fact utterly humbles us, reducing us to beggars, really.  That is what makes it so hard.  If I beg enough people and do enough of the right money-making and saving and investing actions, earning a million dollars is fairly certain.  I can beg God for the rest of my life for Him to create the life of a child within me and He might never give it, and there is nothing that I can do.

That is not to say that I believe that that is what God will or wants to do.  I earnestly do believe that God will give us a child and that I will be a mother and my husband will be a father one day, and probably relatively soon.  But it still plagues me in the wake of God’s deafening silence on this matter.

“Why did You give us a child, surprising us and thrilling us, and then take it away so suddenly?”

(Silence.)

“Why do You command us to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and then when we try to do just that, You make us wait and struggle to fulfill what You told us to do?”

(Silence.)

“Why did I conceive so effortlessly the first time when I was not trying at all and had no real knowledge of how my body worked, and now that I am tracking my cycles and actually have an idea of when to time things and trying to use God-given scientific knowledge to do things the right way, we have not been successful?”

(Silence.)

“Did you give us that glimmer of hope and joy earlier this year just to tease us?”

(Silence.)

“ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING?!?”

And the silence continues.

So, only three months since we have officially begun “trying.”  It’s incredible to think that even in the first cycle of “trying” I did not really even know what the signs of ovulation were.  Such an important thing when you are trying to make a baby.  I have learned so much in such a short time.  (And we have done quite a bit in such a short time, as well…if I were looking at myself from the outside I would probably tell myself that we were crazy for expecting to have a kid right now!  But of course it doesn’t feel that way once the desire is in your heart.)

My hope and prayer is that my story will encourage even one heavy heart, and that one day I will be sharing the news that God has been gracious to us and given us the child we so long for now.  This is the beginning of a journey that I suspect will bring so much more than a baby (or two or three) one day down the road.

Until then…we wait, we hope, we pray, we grow, we humble ourselves before God who alone gives life.

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