Sunday, May 10, 2009

on becoming a mother...

ahh, motherhood, the one profession i longed to have and the one job i thought would be the easiest to get--no interview, no degree required--just have a baby and voila! you're a mom.

Ever since i was little, i wanted to be two (or three) things: a pediatric physical therapist and a mom (and sometimes i wanted to be a missionary to the Philippines but that is another post for another day!)

J and I were married when we were young--I was 22 and he was 24. It would have been fine by me if we moved from newlyweds to parents in 9 months. J, however, wanted to wait until we were through with his 4 years of graduate schooling. So, wait we did.

A year and a half later, we found out that we were going to be parents a little earlier than he planned. A day or two after that and we were back to his original waiting plan. We lost a baby we didn't try for and didn't know about. It was hard but we knew we were young and we'd be fine so we moved on pretty quickly.

Well, the day came that J finally graduated--why not "not not try" for a baby that same month? (don't you love that phrase? "oh, us? well, we're not, not trying to have a baby...it'll just happen.") Neither of us thought too much about it but I had a funny feeling something must be up the day I ran my favorite 10k road race and felt abysmal.

The day I flew home (we lived in Boston at the time), I took a test--and, voila! i was pregnant. Woo hoo! Everything was going according to my plan! Awesome!

The twin came to visit me a week later and we discovered that we were both due with our first children within weeks of each other. What a joyous celebration--if we couldn't have twins ourselves, how amazing it would be to raise cousins so close in age together.

A week after she left, we discovered that we would not, in fact, be having children within weeks of each other. I miscarried our second baby and couldn't comprehend it. Grief, disbelief, anger. All emotions that raged within me. J and I were able to get away to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs (incredible God-timing for J's company's summer retreat!) and i enjoyed the crisp mountain air and running through Pike's Peak National Forest--how incredible it was to run through my Creator's creation and realize that He made everything for His glory. A good friend and amazing Christian woman met with me after our vacation and prayed with me. Her faith and peace after a miscarriage was palpable and I was encouraged. There was a reason I was not keeping that baby, a reason I may never know but He knew and I could rest in that.

6 weeks later, I found myself staring at another positive pregnancy test. God definitely blessed us with fertility! We cautiously told my family and only then because we coveted their prayers. We had since moved away from Boston but had gone back to visit friends and former co-workers when i was 7-weeks along. We shared our news one of our dear friends from church who had been struggling to be a mom, as well. It turned out that she was due with her baby girl one day after we were due! How fun that would be to celebrate God's faithfulness in bringing us the children we had prayed for together.

A day later, we were back at square one--I was losing my third baby. While life went on around us, it stopped for me. I closed my heart towards God, not understanding the "why" and the "how" and, quite frankly, not caring to hear what He had to say.

Amazingly enough, however, God blessed me with a fourth pregnancy and you, my bloggy friends, now know this baby as "Baby C". What a blessing she has been to me, J, and the rest of my family.



Looking back on our struggle towards parenthood, I realize that God was so faithful, unwavering in His love for me and for J. He taught me so many lessons and I can honestly say that I am thankful for the road that we walked. I know that God used those trials to bring me closer to Him and to be an encouragement and support to friends who are struggling as well.

Today, I am able to celebrate my first Mother's Day, a day that honors the occupation I longed to hold. I know that many women suffer through infertility, miscarriages, still births, and failed adoptions. I know that for those women, Mother's Day can be an especially challenging day to get through.

So, to all of you who are not yet mothers but long to be, I pray for God's peace that passes all understanding. I could keep going and going on what i've learned but this post is already long enough. Please feel free to email me with your thoughts or questions, though, and I'd be happy to respond!

PS My friend and I started a support group at our church to encourage women through infertility, miscarriages, still births, and failed adoptions. When we met this month, this is what the sky looked like:

what an amazing picture of God's glory! It made my soul sing!


11 people think...:

Julia said...

You have such a beautiful perspective on Motherhood and you have God to thank...and I think there is nothing more special than that. Love you!!!

Kathy said...

Happy Happy Mohters' Day!

I am so sorry that you know the pain of losing a baby. I do not but have seen so many women in pain and not known quite what to do. We don't normally talk about it or acknowledge the loss. Thank you for doing just that. I am grateful too, that there were knowledgable Christians who reached out to you during these times of mourning. I am so thankful for Baby C and the mom that you are to her :)

Jaimee said...

You've certainly been through quite a lot...I'm so happy you're celebrating your First Mother's Day today!

taliastravelblog said...

Such a lovely post. I am so glad that you can share your experience online and in your church group. I remember feeling so very isolated when we started fertility treatments because I had so few friends who were even trying to start families at the time, and none that I knew of who were facing delays at all. And the idea that we might never have a baby just made me want to curl up in a ball and cry. But now that we can talk about the experience, all sorts of people have shared their stories and come to ask me questions. I am so glad that your long wait for Baby C is over and that the process has given you such faith. Happy mothers day!

Upstatemomof3 said...

Oh how sweet!! I am so sorry that you had such a rocky road but what a gorgeous end to your journey. Happy Mother's Day!!

Becca said...

What a beautiful post! And that picture of you and baby c is just gorgeous! :-) I am so glad you had encouragement and support down a hard road. and that you are indeed comforting others with the comfort He has given you -- thanks for being you girl!

Portia said...

Oh my friend... how well I remember that day. When you left us we were all smiles, and then I got an email mere hours later that broke my heart because yours was broken. But God is good, and the next time I saw you you had a cute little bump and adorable little C was on her way! Thank you for sharing your story, friend. And thanks for walking though this journey together with us. It was a long road (even longer and harder for you than me) but look at these two beautiful girls we have to show for it!!

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

Wow. What an incredible story of God's faithfulness! And you are using you pain to bring Him glory!! I think it is just awesome that you and your friend are reaching out to women who have experienced this loss--that is such a ministry!

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

I will be praying for the people you mentioned in your post--it is so hard to walk through at first. Thank you for giving me their links!

I am so excited to meet you!

Standing with you in prayer!!

Felicia said...

Allie

Thank you so much for this post. I have had so many friends around me that have been in such similar situations. I am so amazed by God's amazing power and glory every day. What a blessing you have... what a blessing we all have to have such a wonderful savior that saw fit to "loan" His babies to us.

You have such a sweet, sweet spirit and I am so thankful to have "met" you.

Christine Pobke said...

wow. what a completely touching story to share... i can't believe the road you've been on, and the positive outlook you have! thanks for sharing that story with us, it gave me goosebumps! happy (belated) mothers day! :)