Thursday, April 5, 2012

{Calm Before the Storm}

Setting in the hospital, my belly still round with my tiny human, uterus contracting and an answered prayer ready to enter this world, and I already wanted more.

For me, infertility has been a thorn in my flesh since that first month we tried to conceive and I didn't get my way. It's tested my patients, my sanity, and my faith; leaving behind ugly seeds of bitterness and scars of indifference. Made me feel as though I never had enough; there was always something out of arms reach no matter how richly I was blessed. It's a part of me-woven into the tapestry of who I am-and it's been a struggle to stay afloat after all these years of feeling like I'm drowning in the loss of control it brings.

And then God answered our prayers, blessed us beyond our wildest dreams and gave more of His amazing Grace, this time in the form of a tiny human.

Scarlett Grace was born, and I'd gotten my way.

I spent the first couple of weeks of her miraculous life giving more thought to baby number two than I should have. It took me several months longer than I'd care to admit to move out of the mindset of infertility, to stop feeling like I'd been robbed of normal things like everyone else who could freely plan and produce children at their desire. I wasted many precious moments looking ahead at what the future held-still giving infertility and the fear it brought full control-instead of looking down into arms now full, that used to be so empty.

And then somewhere in between then and now, I let go.

Or at least loosened my grip.

Everything changed. God somehow opened my eyes and brought me to a place of peace, but it wasn't something that happened overnight. In the midst of the bundle of emotions I felt ashamed for how quickly I snatched up the gift of birthing my own biological child, afraid that I accepted it with less than the immense gratitude that it deserved. Terrified that I wouldn't get to experience it a second time, because after all, my plans included at least three more children, and it was imperative that my dreams come true, in my way, and in my time.

And then I would feel it; the intense gratitude of how greatly I'd been blessed as I held her in my arms, watching the light dance off of her golden hair, lit up like sunshine on the most perfect summer day. I could finally scratch the surface of the love that God has for me, because I could feel it every time I looked into her sweet face. I was brought to a place where I knew I didn't deserve any of this-I didn't deserve her-and to have her was just an extension of His Grace and love once again.

It's through these waves that I've been rocking, gently back and forth, swaying, no longer drowning, but not yet safe in the boat.

I'm still infertile-always will be-and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I still feel a swift kick in the ovaries at every pregnancy announcement that finds it's way to my little world, and a wave of sadness still threatens to darken my day when I realize I may never be blessed with another baby. The effects are still there, and the bitterness still bubbles up to the surface at times, but it's devastation's are much more subtle and far more bearable than before.

I'm saddened by the thought that I may never be pregnant again, but I'm also filled with hope that someday, in God's time and in His way, I will.

One week from today, we'll be facing a phone consult with our R.E. to determine the next steps to possibly growing our family. I was certain that by the time this chapter of our lives had come into play, I'd be obsessed with when where and how our next child would join us, ready to push forward at full throttle and anxious with anticipation of what was to come. Instead I'm simply hopeful, and I can't help but think that what I'm feeling now must be the calm before the storm.

It's strange, after all these years, not housing so much pain. I had no idea how much it affected the underlining parts of my life until the sting of it lessened, slowly healing only by the warmth of a child skin on mine, and the newly recognized love of my Heavenly Father.

But there's also a part of me that wonders if this is too good to be true.

Because right now, today, I'll tell you that if we never get to add to our little family, I'll be fine. Disappointed of course, but I'll survive. I adore being a mother, and I would love nothing more than to add to this amazing little family that we have going, but I also feel more strongly than ever that God knows just what He's doing. And I have peace in knowing that infertile or not, if He wants our family to grow, then it will. And if He doesn't, then it won't-and He'll supply all the grace I need to move on.

If I look to Him for it.

I think that's the key for me; realizing that God is this amazing source of power and energy, and He's so readily available to all who seek Him. If I can reach that place of understanding that allows me to trust Him fully and completely hand over to Him anything and everything that I struggle with and hold on tight to Him, then I'll continue to feel peace. But the very second that I look down-seeing an empty uterus instead of arms so full-then the enemy will rip away that peace and push me back under the water and I'm back to drowning; struggling to pull myself up out of the water once again instead of just reaching out for the hand that's always there.

So to survive-to stay above water-I have to have faith, and know that God's ways are not my own. And as we jump back in the water to fight that long and weary battle once again, we may decide to move forward with a FET and neither one of our precious snow babies may survive the thaw. Or they may thaw beautifully, yet still not produce our next child. Or maybe-just maybe-both of them will join our little family, and then God may choose to add even more after that.

Because He can.

I refuse to let this be the calm before the storm of infertility. Loss of control, failed cycles, negative pregnancy tests, self-pity and bitterness don't have to have victory. I'll make a choice today (and every day) to be still and know that He is God, even as I stand in the pouring rain, face turned upward. I don't have to fight to swim anymore, I've seen that He is good. I have proof of His goodness pulling every piece of Tupperware I own out of the kitchen drawer right this very second, that amazing giggle that melts my heart escaping her lips with every lid that flies through the air.

When God is in control-when I let Him be in control instead of the infertility-there is nothing left to fear.

And no storm He can't calm.

"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship."
-Louisa May Alcott