For those close to us, you already know the whole journey we had gone through in regards to having a child. You knew it was always something we pursued right from the very beginning but that it just didn’t happen for us as quickly. Now that my husband and I are going through a new journey, I thought I would write about what it has been like for us before we got to this point. I wanted to hopefully share some support and encouragement for those who are feeling let down or needing some hope while they are going through their own difficult journey.
I’ve always pictured myself getting married at 25, having a career before 30 and of course having children right after I got married. However, motherhood has eluded me for the past three years and it has been an emotional roller coaster with how our marriage life had been. Looking back at our journey, I honestly now realized that although it is definitely in God’s plans that I will conceive, at that time, it wasn’t ready to be given to us just yet. That we needed to build our faith first and wait on His plans for us rather than be lead with our own plans and timing.
See I’ve always been amused and somehow secretly detested how couples we know tell us they are waiting at least a year or two before having a child or having their second child and then a year later they have their “perfectly timed” baby. I thought, well at this point I just needed to have one, period! Then they give you the advice, the famous line “in God’s timing you’ll be a mom too!” Or how about the “enjoy it now, you might regret what you wished for since you can’t take them [kids] back later on!” Hearing this I thought, how can I possibly enjoy what I’m going through? If you only knew.
I knew the feeling well, I have gone through that numerous times. The waiting game, the long and arduous wait for that opportune “window” when the possibility of conceiving was high but at the same time still impossibly slim. The crushing disappointment when that dreaded plastic stick reveal only one line and the surging thoughts later that the whole process has to start all over again from the very beginning. I hated everything – the cost of buying the pregnancy kits, the ovulation kits, the painful needles when I had bloodwork, the endless dr’s appointments – they all have been time consuming. At this point I was crying for a miracle!
What also didn’t help was that I was diagnosed in 2012 with a heart shaped uterus (a septate uterus) which meant that instead of a balloon or pear shaped one like normal women, I have a uterus with a partial wall coming down from the top, exactly what a heart looks like. What does this have to do with conceiving for me? In my case, we had no problems conceiving. In fact, every year since 2013 I got pregnant. The issue isn’t on the conceiving part but the keeping it inside part that was challenging. Both years I got pregnant I was heartbroken as the pregnancy never progressed with the last miscarriage just as recent as November of last year. Researching more into the issue I learned that I had a higher chance of miscarriages or what the medical field termed spontaneous abortions as my dr has explained to me that if implantation occurred in the area where the wall was, that there was not enough blood supply to sustain a growing fetus.
I was devastated because this issue was something I can no longer control. I can’t direct where fertilization would take place in my uterus, I can’t drink something to make it go away, and I can’t just go through surgery knowing the risks and issues with scar tissues involved. It was a situation where I was losing hope after my second miscarriage and I was scared to go through that painful and emotional process again yet I still wanted a child so badly. I was beginning to doubt His goodness and His promises. I became someone I said I wouldn’t be. The one who congratulated new moms with enthusiasm but hidden behind that is someone hurt and jealous.
I’ve gone through sleepless nights of questioning myself, my role as a child-bearing woman in this society and not being able to fulfill that role. In all these times, I mostly questioned God, I questioned His plans for me and why I was in such a different and difficult situation with something so easily achieved by most women. In all these times, I could not do anything else at all but to just pray, sincerely and deeply pray.
I did a lot of reflection too. A lot of evaluation as to how my life had been for the past three years of marriage. This process has helped me heal the most because it was then that I saw how God’s hand has blessed my life in other ways which I overlooked, because I was so consumed in trying to have a baby.
Instead, I began to understand, as to why having a baby might not be God’s plan for us at the time.
I was in the middle of my undergrad degree and I was a few steps away from finishing. I realized that although it’s possible to be pregnant and graduate, that it was a difficult thing to do and I salute those that persevered and finished. The length of time also led me to evaluate my habits, my choices, and my routines and they spoke to me of someone who was not matured yet to take on a bigger, and more permanent role of being a mother. I was hesitant to give up my “me time”, for the moments when I can sleep in freely and stay up without worrying about another human being to take care of. I enjoyed having moments that I can schedule myself with other people and not be tied up with a little one. I especially loved the unplanned moments that my husband and I can take off for a long period of time and enjoy each other’s undivided attention. I realized that even if God really wanted us to have a baby back then, that I was probably unconsciously refusing Him and telling Him I wasn’t ready even if I thought I was.
It was like saying to Him “God please make me a mother but I still want to be able to do the things I want to do”. I realized it would not have been a fair life for a baby who would want 100% of its mother. I realized that God had to let me and my husband mature first because we are not ready to handle such a big role or maybe He was only testing us on what we need to give up first in order to receive a more greater pleasure of raising a child together compared to the moments of just us which we already thought were the best.
Finally, after our long and painful wait, and during the most unexpected moment of our marriage life, God finally said “you guys are ready”. As you can see, I am now 27 weeks pregnant and praise be to Him, I am doing well with this pregnancy and this baby is doing fantastic.
The intricate process of conception and birth astounds me. From a medical perspective, it’s amazing how single tiny cells can multiply rapidly and form another human being, a being who will have their own capabilities to think, make changes in this world and continue a generation. From a spiritual point of view, these tiny cells were programmed no doubt, designed with a greater purpose in mind, to form and magnify the splendid works of our creator. That is why they call it the miracle of birth. The way a woman’s body just knows how to adjust to another living being growing rapidly inside her. At times I still catch myself finding it hard to believe that I got a beautiful life taking shelter inside this broken body. This fulfilled promised has made us more closer as husband and wife and our faith in Him has increased exponentially. God really was working on His own time, never late but just perfect. My husband has been working out of town for six years and when his work ended, he has been back here since this pregnancy started. He has been my biggest help and supporter and I think that was also one of the reasons why God has made us wait for this blessing was because He wanted us to decide together that instead of sacrificing a relationship with distances apart, that we must raise this baby together as what He has purposed for us to do. I also finished my degree this past December and therefore I was no longer as stressed and in the end I realized that God fulfilled everything I had asked of Him. I just needed to wait patiently, to allow Him to take me to the depths of my despair and to keep following Him because He has carried me and my family into this beautiful path that we are now walking in. So if you are in that season of difficulty in your life and are waiting for your answered prayer, I’ve always thought back to what the leaders of the church have reminded us. That God’s delay in answering prayers does not always means no, that it is always yes and amen if it is according to His will. And that He is teaching us to fight a spiritual battle of doubt and hopelessness and to persevere because what He has planned for us is greater than what we thought for ourselves. He has already scripted a perfect ending for each of us, all of this will be revealed if we have faith and not grow weary.