When I was in my teens, I dreamed of my future family. I really really wanted a huge family. Twelve kids, I said. My husband felt the same when we got married.
After the difficulty of bringing our first child into the world, our second being born 21 months after the first, a loss, and our third son, that number dropped to 8.
Right now, the ideal number hovers around 6 for me. Husband is okay with things the way they are, but wouldn’t mind a couple more either.
I’ve been dreaming of a little girl for years. (I was sure my oldest was a girl and finished a beautiful pink and yellow knitted blanket the day before the ultrasound. He’s 6 now.)
I actually knew my second was a boy from the day I found out I was pregnant. I heard his name in my mind clear as day.
When second son was about a year old, I chose to go with my husband to England for one conference rather than New Zealand in December, as we were planning for a third baby and I felt sure I’d be expecting and quite pregnant by then. Not only did I lose a baby while in England, but I was also NOT pregnant by the time New Zealand rolled around. I’m still a little bitter about missing that trip. But my heart hurt more for the baby I lost.
Fortunately, we were blessed to have our third son the next year.
Afterwards, my body felt like it was acting up again. I don’t have periods for a long time after giving birth. So that part was expected, but when they did come back, the pain was severe. (I’ve mentioned in a previous post about my experience with my second laparoscopy for my endometriosis.) Since then, I have carefully tracked my cycles. Hoping that we would be able to try for another baby with success.
For the past six months, I’ve been surprisingly regular. 28 days on one side. 31 on the other. Ovulation kits, etc. Things have been looking okay. Pain is significantly decreased.
This past month, I did a test and it was negative. I waited a few more days and having more symptoms consistent with pregnancy, I was pretty sure I was pregnant and over the moon excited. I had vivid dreams about a baby girl, and continued to track the multitude of other symptoms I was experiencing. I was so happy to be sick.
It meant my body wasn’t broken beyond child-bearing. That my husband and I weren’t as subfertile as we previously thought (yes, I understand we are very blessed to have 3 children and people have had it harder, but it wasn’t easy for us as it might look to an outsider). I was so filled with hope and gratitude and joy. I relaxed.
Over a week after my expected period, it was over. I don’t know if there was a baby or if my cycle was just thrown out of whack. But my dream baby vanished. She was real to me.
In my house I have things that I have had set aside for my baby girl. The blanket, my baby dresses, a little lovey with a doll attached, a pink snowsuit we found in the summer on clearance. They wait in my cedar chest.
The day after my latest disappointment, a friend was given an emergency foster placement. A newborn baby girl. I packed up our crib and took it over that night so that little one would have a place to sleep.
This morning, it snowed in Colorado.
This morning, I unpacked a pink snowsuit. The Spirit whispered to me that I needed to give it to this little baby. The Lord loves her, and had provided that snowsuit for her. It was hard to do, because I felt almost like I was giving up my dreams of a baby girl.
I was reassured, however, that this wasn’t an act of giving up. This was a giving to God, and trusting in his timing. I might be able to have another baby. I might not. I might be able to have my baby girl. I might not.
Even though my heart is broken, and perhaps my body, too, the Lord can make me whole. A little piece came back to me as I hung a pink snowsuit on my friend’s door.