So the idea for this project (for lack of a better word) is to see if I could be intentionally grateful. I find that when I am in a group of women who intend on doing anything from catching up to some sort of service project the conversation ultimately ends up turning to complaints about how hard we have it as women. I will be the first to admit that I have rough days where I want to rip my hair out; sometimes they even end in tears. Sometimes I think this isn’t what I thought life would be like. I find ways though to push past it. I tend to like to stay positive, this doesn’t mean I never have a negative moment, I certainly do have them, I just try to spin them into something positive. Actually I think sometimes I am a little over the top with my optimism. I think it annoys people when they are really bummed out and I am looking for the good in the situation. It is what comes natural to me.
If you intend to come along on this journey with me there are some things you need to know. I am Christian so I attribute much of this gratitude to God. Please don't let God and my faith scare you away give me a chance. I promise my goal is not to convert you just to share with you.
Then there is a story you need to know. When I found out I was expecting my daughter it was an answered prayer through and through. A few months after getting married I was diagnosed with a hormone disorder; one that often makes it difficult for women to have children even with fertility treatment. So my husband and I sat down and had a long talk about our future as a family because we knew we wanted to raise children together.So we talked about this at length because we weren’t ready to start a family at that moment. I was still working on my education and life in general was very unsettled. Here is what we decided, it was up to God. We knew we would eventually try to conceive the old fashioned way. We might consider some medications.We were not sold on the idea of fertility treatments beyond that. They are expensive for starters and we saw that there are so many children in the world that need someone to love them and a safe, stable home. So ultimately we thought we would likely adopt our children. Then life settled down and we made a decision to not stop pregnancy from happening. If we were getting our loving on we weren’t going to do a thing to stop a natural pregnancy from happening. We prayed together (something we rarely do aside from meal times) and said God it’s your will not ours. We weren’t in the best place in life to have a baby but we knew it could be time consuming and if we were really handing it over to God and his plan that we would adjust and survive. So off we went ready to embrace what God had in store for us.
There were a few months where we both thought I was pregnant that ultimately lead to disappointment. I watched lots of people around me have babies and I started feeling left out, jealous and insufficient because it seemed I couldn’t. Exactly what I expected and FEARED was happening. I started getting a little angry with God’s plan. Why God why would you make my gift working with children and not let me have my own. I wanted to experience pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and all that goes with it. I knew I could love a child that didn’t come of my womb but I wanted so badly to experience that. So after a year of disappointment we committed to a year of actually trying to have a baby. This meant our love now had a schedule of every other day. About two weeks in I was sick as a dog, my breasts were so swollen it hurt to hug people. We were both pretty sure that baby was on the way. Then 4 days early my cycle started.
Christmas was coming and I was exhausted. I didn't think much of it, it is after all a tiring time of year. I started to feel sick every once in a while but I didn't think much of that either, I figured stress was doing it. Then my cycle didn't start. So now I thought about it. After a week I begrudgingly bought another pregnancy test ready for the disappointment. I did what I had to do and put it on the floor in front of the toilet while I cleaned up. There it was that second line, two little pink lines. Holy hoping snot I am pregnant. I did a silent happy dance around the bathroom. I packaged it all back up and hid it under the sink. I walked out casually and ate half my lunch with Paul. I was too excited to finish. Then I told him I had to work on a Christmas project to not come into the room I was in. I wrapped that test in a zip lock baggie, placed it in a little bracelet box and wrote in the top our Christmas miracle coming August 2009. Then I wrapped the whole package up with ribbon and all and stuck it in the stocking next to his desk in our office. I sat down at my desk and waited for him to find it. He did and said can I open this now. I said sure if you want. So he did and I watched his face. We did a happy dance together. God had answered our prayers for a baby. Just one baby of our own. It was the start of many prayers for our baby. Four months later we danced again as we learned we were having a little girl. Then finally after a full day of labor and the c-section from hell… we had her… an answer to our prayers in our arms.
So on those days when the little miss is fussy and unhappy no matter what I do and I can’t shower and she won’t sleep and I start thinking motherhood sucks. I force myself to remember that she is an answer to my prayers, our prayers and how incredibly blessed I am to have this chance to be a mother. I have to thank God that I have a beautiful healthy baby girl that I have the means to take care of. It doesn’t always help sometimes I still just want to cry but it does give me perspective.
After all I have exactly what I asked for.