I’ve written and re-written this post in my head several times over, but never actually put it on paper or a screen. “Is it too personal? Am I showing too much of my heart? What will my couples think?”
If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you know I’ve never shied away from sharing my shortcomings and burdens. But this feels different, somehow. There have been so many times over the last several months where I thought I was the ONLY one struggling with this, so that’s why I’m finally blogging about it- because if you’re there too, I want you to know you’re not alone.
It was never a question of whether or not we wanted kids, just a matter of when. When we were first married, I thought I’d want to start a family around our second anniversary (3.5+ years ago). But then my business took off and my desires changed- suddenly, I felt like a baby would threaten the success I’d worked so hard to achieve, and I was affronted that this yet-to-be-conceived child thought they could come in and force me to change my priorities.
I remember the night Matt & I finally had a real conversation about the concept of a family- I told him that I felt like getting pregnant would mean there was a ticking time bomb attached to my business: T-minus nine months ’til implosion, and then I’d cease to be a photographer anymore. I LOVE my job, and I was resentful at the thought of being forced to give it up. But Matt, in his ever-loving patience and kindness, took my hands in his and said,”If it comes to it and one of us has to leave our jobs to be a stay-at-home parent, I’ll do it- I don’t want you to feel forced into anything.”
Ok, so I no longer had that burden riding on my shoulders. I was free to relax.
And sure enough, as time went on, God softened my heart- I went from being resistant to the idea of starting a family, to passively interested, to excited at the prospect of seeing Matt as a dad.
But here’s the thing- in the public school system’s effort to cut down on teen births, they never teach you that getting pregnant might actually be difficult. It’s like Coach Carr from Mean Girls says: “Don’t have sex. Because you will get pregnant and die.” If that logic was true, then obviously, having a baby would be as simple as not preventing pregnancy, right?
If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last year and half, it’s that starting a family is often anything BUT simple.
Because that’s about how long we’ve been trying to begin ours. As I look on with joy at my friends who are announcing first and second, sometimes third pregnancies, I’m only ever thrilled for them (truly!). But it also throws into undeniable contrast the fact that we’re not there yet. And with every passing month when the answer is once again “no,” I can’t help but feel more and more saddened.
And to be honest? Sometimes a bit angry, too. I’ve also occasionally wondered if this is some sort of cosmic payback for the fact that I was resistant to pregnancy earlier in our marriage, so now when I actually want a baby, I don’t get to have one because I was ungrateful in the past (that’s completely inaccurate theology, by the way).
But one thing I’ve never felt is hopeless. There have been so many moments over the last nearly-year and a half where I’ve found myself weeping, literally crying out to God because I just. don’t. understand why it hasn’t happened for us. And yet I know, I KNOW that there’s a purpose for it! Whether that reason is because God still has work he wants to do in Matt & I before we’re ready to be parents, or because he has something else entirely planned for us, I know that His plan is perfect and His reasoning is infinitely better than ours.
And I also know that it’s OKAY to be sad about this right now, too! That there’s worship in expressing my sorrow to the Lord, because he’s the only one who can offer any sort of comfort for this kind of trial. But at the depths of my sadness, I still have trust and hope that Jeremiah 29:11 is true: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
So we wait. Sometimes with more patience, sometimes with less, but always with hope. Because I know this isn’t the end for us, and I know there are so many adventures waiting for us, no matter how big or small our family is.
All photographs courtesy of the incomparable Justin & Mary.
**Please understand, dear blog friends- this not something we’d like to talk about with anyone other than our close friends and family right now, so thank you in advance for understanding that I won’t be replying to any emails about this. It’s not because I’m callous, I promise. It’s just because it’s so very personal, and I’ve shared as much as we’re ready to share at the moment. We’re both looking forward to reading any blog comments you want to leave, though!**