There’s a widespread assumption in many Christian circles that faithful families must be large. Big families have obviously been open to life, open to God’s will for their lives. They have been blessed by God, the reward for their faith … Continue reading
I saw you from across the park this morning. You had a preschooler and a toddler running all over the playground, and you were holding an infant in your arms as you watched them. You were dressed in sweats, and your hair was in a messy bun. You looked so tired, and so beautiful too.
We made eye contact across the playground, and you smiled at me. Then your toddler fell off the swing, and you had to rush over to help him. We made eye contact a few more times as I walked laps along the park path, and the envy in your eyes was painfully obvious. You might have thought that I was a childless woman enjoying a morning walk in the park. You might have thought my kids were grown and my baby days happily behind me. I know I certainly looked the part, with my well-rested eyes, my makeup and hair done, and my clean dress. For at least a moment, you wished you were me.
In reality, I have more in common with you than you think. I haven’t had three children, but I do know what it’s like to chase after a toddler and a preschooler. My eyes might be clear and my clothes might be clean now, but I’ve had my fair share of sleepless nights, colicky babies, and spit-up stains. But my two children are older now, and my chances of having a third are slim.
You might wish you were me, but I would love to be you. I would love to be pregnant again, knowing that I held the newest member of our family within me. I would love to cradle a newborn in my arms as I watch my preschooler and kindergartner play on the playground. I would love to see my son and daughter fawn over their new baby sibling. I wouldn’t even mind suffering another year of sleepless nights, spit-up stains, and tired arms, if it only meant the chance to cradle another child in my arms.
You might have been jealous of me, but I was probably a bit more jealous of you. You might wish you looked more put together, that you had more time to wash your hair and do your makeup. You might wish that you could wear nice clothes without worrying about spit-up stains. I’m sure you wish you could have a full night’s sleep. I know I wished for all those things when my children were little, and now I have them. But when you suffer from infertility, you realize that having those things isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be (though getting a full night’s sleep truly is heavenly). You’re willing to temporarily trade all of those things (since we’ve already learned that these things do in fact come to an end) to have another baby in our arms.
I saw you from across the park this morning. I looked into your eyes, and I saw just a hint of envy. But what did you see in mine? Did you see my envy? Did you see how badly I want another baby of my own? Or did you just see what I want the world to see- a woman perfectly content with her lot in life, a mother who is happy to have just two children? But do you want to know the truth? You might wish you were me, but I would love to be you.
A wise man once told me that infertility is one of the most difficult crosses a married couple can bear. It gets right at the core of what it means to be married. Married love is meant to be life-giving. … Continue reading
Our family lives in a very weird part of America. Unlike the majority of families in our country with their 1.9 children, it’s not uncommon to see minivans unloading anywhere between four and seven kids at our local parks. Some … Continue reading
My first child was a honeymoon baby. There was no work involved in getting our son, just a little bit of prayer. Even our daughter didn’t require much work, just a few months of charting, a handful of negative pregnancy … Continue reading
I attended another baby shower this weekend. That’s the second one in as many weeks, and I have at least four more in the next few months. So many new babies. So many newborn cuddles.
So many months of waiting.
So many pregnancies. So many moms to honor.
So many months of infertility to mourn.
So many new lives to celebrate. So many adorable, little outfits to buy.
So many negative pregnancy tests to ignore.
So many laughs to share.
So many tears to hide.
So much to feel, it’s overwhelming.
My dear pregnant friends, I am so happy for you, but I’m jealous too. I am so excited to celebrate you and the wonderful gift of life, but at these times more than any other, I wish I could be you. I wish I could celebrate my own pregnancy. I wish I could experience the great joy of carrying life within me again. But these days are not about me. They are about you, and I am so happy for you. I am so blessed to be able to celebrate you as we await the arrival of your beautiful new babies.
There have been so many pregnancy announcements recently. So many gender reveals. So many baby showers. So many birth announcements. So much to celebrate. So many growing bellies. So many glowing faces. So many expanding families, filled homes, full hearts. So many new babies. Some of you are carrying your first child. Or it’s your third. Or your fifth. No matter how many children you’ve already brought into the world, I am so happy for you.
But I’m also jealous. I wish I was pregnant right now. I wish I was expecting another baby, my third child. I wish my son could say he’s going to be a big brother again. I wish my daughter could wear a sweet, little shirt announcing that she’s become a big sister. I wish my husband and I could spend our evenings debating baby names. I wish I could experience all the joys and struggles of pregnancy again—the bulging belly, the swollen ankles, the crazy cravings, the aches and pains, all of it. So many wishes. So many prayers. So much hope. And so much disappointment.
But I am so happy your wishes are coming true. I know how many of you have struggled—struggled to get pregnant, struggled to stay pregnant, struggled to decide if now was the right time to welcome another child. You have struggled and suffered, but now you have so much to celebrate, and I am so excited to celebrate with you. New life is always something to celebrate, and I am so happy to be able to share in your joy.
So if there are cracks in my facade, I’m sorry. If my smile sometimes looks a little fake or forced, I’m sorry. If my hugs are occasionally a little weak, I’m sorry.
I really am so happy for you and consider myself blessed to be able to celebrate with you, but from time to time, my jealousy peaks out. It whispers of those dreams I have, those wishes I have made that have not come true for me. But my joy for you is real. I am so happy for you, and the dream of my children one day playing with your children gives me hope. I have so many dreams for us.
When I see your pregnant belly and your healthy glow, I choose to celebrate you. I choose to focus on you, and when temptation strikes, I choose to focus on the joys of my own past pregnancies. When I attend your baby showers and gender reveals, I choose to celebrate you and to remember my own showers with joy. When I hold your newborn babies in my arms, I choose to celebrate your baby and to relish that newborn baby smell. I choose to be joyful. I choose to be happy. I choose to focus on the two beautiful children I’ve already been given rather than the ones I hope to have in the future. So to my dear pregnant friends, I am so happy for you.
Another negative pregnancy test. Another period. Another cycle begins. Another hope for a child ends. I mourn my loss quietly in the bathroom, stifling my sobs so I don’t wake up my husband in the next room. When I am … Continue reading