It's normal that I would want it. Most women do. The ones that don't, well, I just don't understand them. I love them, but I don't understand them. But I want to be a mother. I would like to actually create a human being, carry it around with me for nine months or so, complete with the forever body changes that come with it, and then give birth to it. I would like to hold my very own baby, one that is a perfect mixture of me and Jake, preferably with his guitar playing talent and patience and tidiness mixed with my independence and spectacular taste in music and food. I would like to be exhausted and have huge baskets of little tiny articles of clothing to launder with special baby laundry detergent because in the beginning I will be incredibly careful about these things. I would like to have bottles and pacifiers to sterilize, and I want to have to make decisions about the Ferber method and co-sleeping, although secretly these decisions are already made in my head. And as much as I would like these things, I face a daily reality that I am 35 years old, and I don't have them.
At 35, I look around at my friends and you know what I see? Mostly, I see women who are finished having children. They started around 25, had their two or three (or four or five for some), and now they are done. And I can't help but feel a little bit left behind. Because as happy as I am for each sweet baby that is born into my circle of friends, each cute little face is a reminder of something that I have been waiting a long time to have. And I am still waiting.
Being newly married, it's the question that is most often asked. When are you having kids? And most of the time, I can answer with a lighthearted "I'm not sure" and move on. But every now and then, the question catches me off guard and I feel a little bit of grief catch in my throat and I have to stop myself from crying. Because I don't know when. I don't even know if. And those things are not even really the point. The point is, it hasn't happened yet. I feel far behind in the game. And every year that passes is one less year that I have to be a mother. Thoughts of giving birth to three or four children are not realistic at this point. Best case scenario I have time for one, maybe two. But the point is, I am not a mother right now. And I would like to be.
That's a hard thing to admit. In fact, for weeks I have written nothing because this has been the only thing on my mind and it's the only thing I was not willing to write about. Mainly because I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me and I don't want anyone to feel guilty about their new babies or pregnancy news. But also because life is good. I have a family that I love, a great job, a lovely home, fantastic friends, and a wonderful husband that is genuine and talented and fun. And it seems unfair to complain about what I don't have. It just seems ungrateful. Trivial, even. But yesterday, I was reading a friend's blog about a certain situation that she just couldn't get past. And it seemed small to her in comparison to things that others might be dealing with.
I knew where I should be, but I just couldn't get there. I would try to surrender, but it's hard to surrender something that you do not legitimize as a valid wound. I had to decide to accept the truth that God cares about my hurts and disappointments, big or small. Even though they are... not cataclysmic events, He still knows I am having a hard time and cares.
And all at once I felt it, the grief over the thing I have always wanted and never had. And I felt the freedom to speak of it as a real, sad thing. Because it is. And it may not be as sad as someone else's sad thing, but it is mine. And it's real to me.
Don't get me wrong, I am waiting. I am hoping and praying and I believe that the God who gave Sarah a baby at the age of 90 can certainly give me one before I am 40. But today, I am allowing myself permission to be sad about the wait. I will acknowledge that it is hard, and I cannot do it by myself or in my own strength. Whatever it is you are waiting for... physical healing, a job, salvation of a family member, the sale of a house, financial blessing... keep waiting. God's timing is not ours. My life is proof of that. But His timing is perfect, and during the waiting, so is His strength.