I remember being there on that hospital bed in Lewisville, Texas and giving one final push (after two hours of pushing, mind you). The relief was instant. The pressure, the weight, gone. Finally. I immediately thought to myself – thank God I’m not pregnant anymore! No, not “I want to hold my precious sweet baby!” Just, thank God I’m not pregnant anymore. My mother in law told me a few weeks later while she was visiting that those feelings would pass, I would forget how terrible pregnancy was, and I would eventually long to do it again.
Nope. That never happened. I never forgot how much I hated pregnancy, and I swore I would never do it again.
Just after Josiah’s second birthday we were living in Oklahoma and he was playing with his cousins one evening. I had an immediate, surprising shift in my heart. I wanted Josiah to have a sibling. Rob and I talked and prayed that night and realized we were on the same page. I didn’t want to be pregnant again, but I told myself if I just get it done and out of the way now, it’ll go by fast and I’ll still be young. So we were extremely excited about how our hearts had changed, and at what lie ahead. We’d gotten pregnant immediately with Josiah so of course I assumed that in a month or so I’d be getting a positive pregnancy test.
If you’ve known me more than a day then you know that’s not how our story decided to go.
Josiah is five and a half now. Just over a year ago we received a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. Nine months ago I was skipping around the backyard, tears streaming down my face with a miraculous positive pregnancy test in my hand. Today I stare at the calendar where I wrote the words “due date” on June 2nd, with the only picture I’ll ever have of our baby. An ultrasound picture at 6 weeks.
I’ve asked a lot of why’s. I still do sometimes, but I don’t stay in that place for long. I ask God to not let my suffering be without purpose. And I find myself in this terribly confusing space of missing our baby so much, of all the what if’s and what could life have looked like, to being really, really okay as a family of 3 and not wanting another baby.
Remember I said I never forgot how much I hated pregnancy? Yeah, still there. Everyone will want to tell me, Oh but it’s so worth it! Yeah, I have Josiah, I know. But when you have a totally independent older kid, the idea of starting over is terrible. I wanted this 3.5 years ago when Josiah was still in diapers and needed me 24/7. Anyway, these are my thoughts, this is the stuff bottled in my heart, and it feels really good to actually say all of it. Even at the risk of other’s criticism.
Sweet strangers who don’t know my story will almost always comment that siblings are the best gift ever and they hope I give my son one. Well, awesome and close sibling relationships aren’t guaranteed, I’ll tell you that much from experience. But what about the possibilities of how amazing it can be as an only child? Yeah, teamwork and sharing are going to be harder life lessons for him to learn, but all I see is how much fun he can have. And don’t worry about us getting old and having no one to take care of us. We’re too badass for that. We’re going to be that ornery, old couple running races together at 80. We’ll be alright.
So anyways, it still feels like a confusing place to be in. Do I miss Isla? Do I long for what could have been? Absolutely, with 110%, every ounce of my being and then some. But these days if you were to ask me if we’re still trying for another, the answer is an easy no. My best friend spoke the most life giving words to me recently. She said “Keep pursuing your dreams. The Lord knows your heart and has the right things for you – and at the right time.” And that is truth that I can stand on.