My friend Leigh and I (along with our husbands), took our kids (along with a few extras) on a family date. It was a Friday night. We saw Frozen and ate at Cici's Pizza buffet. After we said goodbye, Tim and I made an extra stop before heading home.
We stopped at Walmart to buy a pregnancy test.
That night, after we had everyone tucked into bed, Tim and I learned that we were parents again. I don't remember being surprised or really much in terms of stronger emotions other than general excitement. We had recently started *trying* and my charts indicated that the answer was probably going to be a yes.
We didn't tell too many people, although we did tell our kids.
I never said a word here on this blog.
There wasn't ever a reason. I just never really got there, I guess?
I ended up announcing my pregnancy at the same time I announced my miscarriage a couple months later.
That I had a hard time with. Why so much later than I had ever miscarried before? Valentine's Day to April Fools Day...really God?
I remember whining to more than a few of my friends in the months that followed. I thought it took three cycles to conceive again (although I later found out it was only two), but those cycles were all screwy and messed up and frustrating. If you don't practice NFP, I maybe just lost you with that. I know I've lost more than one doctor, who can't understand why it's unusual that I don't know when I conceived.
But conceive we did.
The most beautiful of all the souls that I have been privileged to bring into this world.
The most beautiful of all souls that is having her one month birthday.
On Valentine's Day.
Not in my arms.
It's been over a year now, since Tim and I prayed about becoming parents again and decided to be open to that possibility. I'm sure there are probably people who even think that these last two babies' fates is some sort of twisted answer to that prayer. That maybe we shouldn't think about it anymore.
Yet, I do.
I know he does to.
And in my heart, I feel like I know HE too, is not yet done with us.
My heart breaks with that knowledge. Sometimes I think the pain is a physical incarnation of my great faith in the vision and plan for this family, as Tim and I have always believed it to be, not happening in the way that we always believed it would.
I don't care about a number. If God's done with us when it comes to carrying new life outside of me, then I know that I can accept that. I won't promise to be jump up and down excited about it, but I will accept it. At the same time, no matter how much I pray about it.... BEGGING God to make this more clear for me...change my heart...show me something different....anything! No matter how much I pray, nothing in my heart changes. No matter how many doctors I ask, no one says that there is a physical reason that we should not continue to remain open to that path. Some day down the road, they tell me they will support me physically and emotionally in doing everything to ensure that we give life the best chance possible.
"Not yet. Not yet. Not yet." God says to me.
"On my terms not yours."
Wouldn't it be so much easier if I didn't have so much faith that He's got this? I'm pretty sure that it would be. I'd just do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and however I wanted. If it didn't work out then it would be on me, or whoever else I chose to lay blame with. I could be bitter and angry if I felt bitter and angry.
Yet, I don't feel bitter or angry.
Mostly I feel impatient.
And a little bit broken.
And a lotta bit worn down.
Lent begins on Wednesday and I know this is going to be a hard one for me. This year I will fast and I will remember why I need to fast. I will try to turn that "need to" into "get to" but, honestly... who really does that successfully? Better people than me, I guess. As we move through the darkest days of Holy Week, I will cry. A lot. I did the year after Kenna died and it had been many months, not only a few. I remember really noticing Mary at the foot of the cross and seeing her pain, for probably the first time. Which Fr. Carl didn't know when he left us with that image at the end of his funeral homily for Siena a few weeks ago.
It will not be easy.
I will not ask it to be easier, only that I will somehow have the courage (not the strength, the courage...I already know I lack the strength) to keep moving through it. To take the pain as it comes and the memories as they come. To not give into despair or to isolate myself in loneliness.
Because while the last year has been filled with heartbreak, it has also been filled with love.
Love of family.
Love of friends.
And the great love of God, who made my dreams come true one month ago when we held the most precious of all gifts in the arms of our marriage.