Monday, February 9, 2015

Reflections just hours prior to finding out your gender

In approximately 5 hours, your father and I will be told if you are a boy or a girl.

I can't help but find myself so nervous to know the news.  Not because I want or don't want you to be one or the other, but because our lives are about to change forever.  My role as mother will be defined by the words we hear later this afternoon.

For weeks I have been feeling you move inside of me.  You kick when I sip some coffee, eat a cookie, or finish dinner and then go relax on the couch.  I first felt you on New Years Eve while driving home.  I guess you wanted to make sure that I didn't make it all the way through 2014 without physically feeling you inside of me.

Your father first felt you the other night, 2/3, on one of the evenings that I was relaxing on the couch.  I felt such relief when he felt it too.  I had been placing his hand on my belly for weeks and the three of us finally succeeded in timing everything just right.  I knew he felt it before he admitted it.  His eyes wrinkled up in the genuine smile he gives when something brings him instant joy that he can't even try to hide it.  He looked at me and nodded.

I imagine he will flash the exact same smile this afternoon.  Once we see you for the first time since our 8 week ultrasound.  Once we hear your heartbeat again.  (It was 152 at the last Dr's appointment)  And of course, once the sonographer announces what you are.

What you are will become who you are and who God plans for you to become.  It is an exciting adventure to be called to assist you on that path.  To help form your conscience, to teach you to talk and listen to God.  He will put paths before you in life and through much prayer, you can determine which ones He wills for you.  You will make mistakes and sometimes choose wrong over right, but it is your father's and my responsibility to show you God's forgiveness and how to try again through His mercy.  We are prepared to do whatever it takes to lead your soul to heaven.  What an awesome responsibility asked of us.

There are only a few hours that remain that separate what I've always known and what is to come for the rest of our lives.  Whether you are a boy or a girl, we will love you unconditionally and spend the rest of our lives working for the good of you and your soul.  See you in a few hours, sweet baby of ours.

Monday, January 5, 2015

"Miracles DO Happen!"

"Miracles DO Happen!"
My FIL could not have worded it better when he found out the news that after 6 1/2 years of infertility, we were finally expecting.
6 and a half years. That is 78 months. 78 times that our hearts were broken and tears were shed; the uncontrollable kind that show up no matter where you are. 78 times that we pleaded with God and questioned what our purpose in life was. 78 times that I cursed my body repeatedly and then quickly turned around and gave it a pep talk to try again.
We felt our share of letdowns, heartache, grief and mourning. Anyone who has ever experienced any length of infertility can attest to this: the pain is not a one-time thing that you eventually come to grips with over time. It is not "Oh yeah, I can't have kids, that's just life. Now let's travel the world." You are reminded monthly of a loss of something that you never had to begin with, and thus begin a entirely new grieving process at the very beginning, every 28 days or so. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Even as I would near the end of a new month, I would tell myself that I was not pregnant, to try and ease the approaching pain.
It was so excruciating. But we never, ever, ever lost hope. (Though we came oh so close.)
Yes, we changed our game plans, numbers of times. We revised our outlooks constantly, which is what kept our hope alive. I had 4 surgeries, the two final ones through a local Naprotechnology doctor. I took countless medications and gave myself plenty of injections. I had HSGs, where they inject dye into your fallopian tubes and take xrays, probably a few dozen times. I took hormone tests. I had my blood drawn. Sometimes once a month, other times every other day for a month.
Throughout each of the phases of each and every step, I always thought to myself: this is out of unconditional love that I have for someone who may never exist. I would tell my future child in my head over and over: "This is for you. I love you."
So when I found myself alone in the bathroom staring down at a positive pregnancy test one early morning in October, I went into a state of shock.
My only coping mechanism for the past 6 1/2 years had been to convince myself that it was not going to happen. (I still had hope that it would- but would try to trick myself into believing that it would not. Devil's advocate, if you may.) And now I had to not only convince myself that it had happened, but also convince my husband, doctor, and everyone else around me? I did not even know how to *be* pregnant. What would I do?
After screaming Jim out of sleep and showing him the shaky test that rested between my unsettled grip, I contacted my Napro doctor. True to her nature, she replied back immediately, on her day off, at 7:30 am. Along with some advice on medical management, she wrote:
"God's will is always done, especially when we surrender."
So there I stood. At the edge of my bed, a test in one hand, my phone in the other, carrying a life inside of me that I prayed for years for. And almost instinctively, I knew instantly that this was the time. This present moment was planned for his or her life to be beginning. This is the time that God intended it for. Because something great and wonderful is destined for him/her in the future. Just like I was not meant to be born before 1982- (I would not have known my friends in the way I know them today, I probably would not have met my husband and father to this baby); he or she was not called by God until now. What a beautiful life that He must have planned.
I have no regrets on any part of this journey. I am happy that my husband and I said yes to every treatment, surgery, diagnostic measure and medication. I am glad that we surrendered every step of the way to God's will and never gave up hope that we were to constantly remain open to life. I am eternally grateful for Naprotechnology, my incredibly talented doctor who performed some major miracles during my most recent surgery, and my dear friend who recommended her to me.
I may tell my Naprotechnology story one day. It is an incredible testament. But for now I am going to enjoy these days that we prayed so long and hard for and finally say:
I am pregnant. I get to labor and give birth to our child. I will breastfeed and rock him/her to sleep at night. Together with my husband we will teach him/her to pray, the ABCs, how to ride a bike, when to apologize, and how to make the best ice cream brownie sundae.
I anticipate someday when my life has neared its end, I will look back over everything. It may be at that moment when life is full and everything is lined up and in place in my memory when I can finally say: "God, I now understand why you waited until 2014 to send us our child. What a life you had planned to be lived!"