Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Wait

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.


  1. Hugs to you, Julie. I admire your honesty and your heart.

    I have a bunch to say but I don't want to hijack your blog. Probably ought to write about it on my own. Some day. ;)

  2. I would ask that u please reach out to my wife....though we have two she desires ay least one more....we experienced a miscarriage in November and now every time she figures out she isnt she is emotionally drained. She needs to read this and know she isnt alone. She is 36. Chad Price

  3. I needed this today. Thanks for sharing, Julie. Jake got a winner in you! :)

  4. I'm not sure if I ever really talked to you about this Jules, but when I was about 17 years old I was told I may never have children. I have PCOS and it causes many women to be infertile. Then the following year I ended up pregnant by my high school sweetheart. So I had this baby and when she was 5 weeks old her father left me. I cried. I was angry. I didnt understand why it was happening to me. Why did I have to raise this precious child by myself? So then comes 2007. I took a job at Lancaster and met you. I was engaged to a man that I thought was "the one." We run off, get married, and i get pregnant after 8 months. I carried the baby until about 9 weeks when God decided it wasn't time and he took my sweet little child with him to heaven. I was so hurt and confused. Again, I thought why? Fast forward a few years and we have Carter. I had so many other things planned for my life during that time. I was not prepared for another child. After all this, I have definitely learned that God does everything in his own time, when he wants and how he wants. It took my stubborn butt a long time to figure out that his timing is perfect, no matter what I think. It's not about my plans, it's his. I know it's not always easy to accept. I admire you for trying to be positive and trying to appreciate everything you do have. I am guilty of doing the exact opposite at times, but when I look around at my 2 amazing children I see how very blessed I am. Regardless. My life may not be everything I ever thought I'd want it to be, but I am soo blessed.

  5. Oh, Julie! I have been where you are, and to some extent, STILL am! Michael and I got married just before I turned 34, and I thought that we would have no problem getting pregnant. After all, I was finally doing the right thing. I was "living for God" and married to "the right man", etc. My mom had 7 pregnancies, so I figured it was probably be in the genes. We never used birth control, and still have not in the 8 years that we've been married.

    I LIVED that sadness, every month that it turned out we WEREN'T pregnant, especially those times when I was 2-3 weeks late. I lived that sadness when people who were "living wrongly" got pregnant so easily. I lived that sadness any time I heard someone else was pregnant. I lived that sadness when I thought my husband wasn't grieving enough over it...even though he was grieving desperately, just in his own way. His only biological child died at two weeks, due to a major heart defect. We have lived that sadness together and separately. I still hold a tiny flicker of hope that we will get pregnant, even though I am turning 42 this year, and have my hands full with the three I have.

    Which brings me to this: If I had gotten pregnant, I would not have these precious two little ones that I can call my own. I would not have experienced God's fully loving grace, in His perfect timing. I would probably not have learned to surrender my heart completely to Him in this matter, trusting that His will is perfect. I came to a point where I was almost 4 weeks late and had gone to the doc because you never can fully trust those tests, right? When they said I was not pregnant, I left the office and cried and cried in my car. I prayed and said, "God, I am ok if you never allow us to get pregnant. I trust you no matter what.". That was the hardest prayer to pray!!! That afternoon, we got the call about our little girl, asking us if we would like to consider having our names put forward as a family willing to take her (even with the knowledge that she COULD have gone back with birth mom at any time). He doesn't always answer that quickly, and we may never understand why He does what He does, but His will IS perfect, as is His timing. Oh, the stories that I have about His perfect timing!

    I will be praying for you! Even though I do have my own biological son (not with my husband), I do know how you feel to a point.

    Love, because of Christ,


  6. Julie, thank you for giving voice to your hurt. I struggle with this, too. With Craig recieving experimental treatments, we've been strongly advised not to conceive because of the high likelihood of birth defects. Ever since I got pregnant with Truman, I've wanted a large family (at least 4 children). I'm 32, but there's no end in sight for these cancer treatments and so I struggle daily with being content with exactly what God has given me and being thankful if this is it.

  7. Thank you, friends. It's always nice to know that there are people who know what your pain feels like... even if it's just for proof that others have survived it.

    And Karen, I know you have your own story to tell. I am still praying for you until you are ready to tell it.



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