When a Gift Becomes a Chore

 

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Yes, you guessed it (or maybe you didn’t because my mind is in the gutter). I’m talking about sex.

You would think trying to have a baby, broaden your family horizon, etc. would be a fun experience. The many jokes you get about “practicing” and such. Well, for anyone who has ever been through the process of trying to conceive, waiting two weeks, finding out it didn’t work, crying, and then starting again for months and months, knows that it turns something God intended to be awesome into something that well, sucks.

No one intends to have trouble getting pregnant. It’s just one of those “next steps” in life…get a job, get married, have kids, get a van, etc. Then you get the job you like, finally meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, and decide, “Yes! Let’s start trying to have a baby! I’m sure it will take a couple months anyway.” Then, you run into roadblocks: It’s now been a year and no pink double lines yet, there’s a complication, we can’t explain it but you’re going to need fertility, etc.

Sometime during this beautiful and normal desire to have a baby, trying to conceive turns into a lonely and agonizing wait. Something that should be fun, “let’s try at least twice a day until it works!” turns into a constant reminder of what you don’t have. Poor husbands feel the mounted pressure (no pun intended) of performing on demand in very unsexy circumstances. Babe, I don’t care if the game is on, I’m ovulating! Not to mention how many sticks I’ve had to pee on over the last few years (there’s nothing sexy about that statement).

I’ve had so many friends tell me their stories of trying to conceive. They are all very different, yet have one theme that seems to be the same: loneliness, longing, hope and disappointment. No matter what the circumstance, it’s usually characterized by the agonizing two week wait where everything feels like a pregnancy symptom…I mean everything. Am I being more emotional than normal? My boobs are sore, I think…wait, yes, I think they are more sore than usual. Am I cramping, OH NO! I’m definitely cramping. Followed by tears and rushing to the store for a pregnancy test that you can’t actually use yet. It’s like I said before, the cycle of hope, despair, determination, and hope again. It’s all so exhausting.

Oh the loneliness (especially in this world where everyone shares their highlight reel on social media). All of a sudden everyone you know is either getting pregnant or having yet another baby. It seems like the whole world has what you want so badly. Before getting pregnant with Kennedy, we had been “trying” for a few months after a hysteroscopy¬†surgery to remove a septum. We got a call from Daniel’s sister telling us she was pregnant, yet again, now her 4th child. I’m pretty sure I cried the entire way home from work that day and had all kinds of irrational thoughts about what I wanted to do to ALL of the pregnant women in the world. You can’t help but see people out and about who seemed like they didn’t even want kids, but were pregnant. After losing the first baby, we went on a trip to Chicago because I wanted to go somewhere that no one knew I had been pregnant and be “normal” for a few days. I SWEAR they were having a pregnant women convention in Chicago that week. I was like, seriously? Is EVERY single woman in this city pregnant with healthy babies?! My point here is this: trying to have a baby is one of the hardest things you can walk through as a couple.

With that said, I think God has taught us a lot about this journey.

Children are absolute miracles. No matter how God decides to give us children, whether it be through natural childbirth or through adoption, once you’ve had to learn every single thing there is to know about conceiving a healthy baby, you realize what a complete miracle of God it is. To see children who are unwanted or mistreated makes me want to pull out a chainsaw and go all crazy on someone. That is one reason I will always think that adoption is one of the most unselfish and beautiful things anyone can do. Children all over the world have no one to tuck them in at night and kiss their boo boos. That breaks my heart, especially because we as mom-wanna-be’s have so much love to give. If you have kids, take a moment to kiss every finger and toe, praising God for this tiny miracle (Even if they’re in the toddler or teenager stage).

God isn’t constrained by your circumstances. After losing babies, visiting a fertility doctor and finding out I had endometriosis and a uterine septum that needed to be removed, we finally got pregnant with Kennedy. My life verse became Matthew 17:20. “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard see, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

I had to BELIEVE that God can move mountains, raise people from the dead, and He could certainly knit this baby together perfectly despite my inability to carry a healthy baby. I believed that HE could even when I couldn’t. And well, He did. God’s hands are never tied, and no matter what the circumstance, He can move our mountains. I’ve seen women who were told they could never conceive on their own get pregnant and have healthy babies. In one case I know of, a friend had a miscarriage, and then lost the ability to conceive completely. Through that heartbreak, she started an adoption ministry that sparked a passion and desire for adopting children in hundreds of people. Another friend never conceived after years of trying and went on to start an orphanage in another country all the while God placed a child up for adoption basically right in her hands. God will not waste that desire in you to become a mother. He placed that desire in you, it is good, and He will use it for your good and His glory.

Lastly, God won’t waste a hurt. God never promised us a happy life. He actually promised us that we would go through trials. Our trials are either to draw us closer to Him or to accomplish something great through Him. My pastor, Joby Martin, tells a great example of how our Heavenly Father looks at us. He tells us how he gave his little daughter, Reagan, an iPad. She LOVED that iPad and was so happy when he gave it to her, which in return made HIM so happy because she is his daughter whom he loves dearly and wants to give good things to. But he always says, the day she wants the iPad more than a relationship with him will be the day he takes it away from her, for HER good. I think God looks at us that way sometimes, he WANTS to give us good gifts like babies and spouses because He is a good dad and He loves us. But sometimes, we go through trials because that’s the only time we actually stop and depend upon Him or stop and acknowledge He is the giver of all good things. Or sometimes, He allows us to go through trials because He has a greater purpose for us. What I know from experience is that because of all that we went through, God’s plan is better than mine. My marriage is stronger than it ever would have been because we had to learn that Jesus is enough, and we are honestly better parents now than we would have been before. We learned that despite the trial or circumstances, we could find joy in depending on Jesus. It sounds super cheesy and cliche, but it’s true. God put us through the ringer, and we are better for it. And now, I get to share our story with others who are going through similar circumstances and give HOPE.

If you are someone who is trying to conceive, start a family or extend your family, find hope in reading this. I’ve talked to so many women who have been in the same boat, and every single one of them, God has used for amazing things. Don’t feel alone because every time you go on Facebook someone else posted, “Big sister coming in April!” You don’t know how long it took them to conceive or what they went through to get there. Just remember the desire to be a mommy is a GOOD desire, and the waiting is HARD. But you have a good Dad who wants to give good gifts to you, and His timing and plan are ALWAYS better than our own. Praying your journey to mommyhood gets easier, and that with some bold prayers, perspective, lingerie and champagne we can get back to sex as a gift instead of a chore.

One thought on “When a Gift Becomes a Chore

  1. Pingback: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month – Let's Get Real, Ladies.

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