We’ve been keeping a secret!
Yep, our little family is growing and we are expecting our first human baby in early December! The little guy or gal is due on December 7th – a day in infamy! We couldn’t be more excited, terrified, happy, scared, anxious and everything in between. 🙂
We have been busy bees getting our life ready for this new stranger from announcing the news to family and friends, to getting our little nursery set up, to making lists of the TONS of things we need to take care of a precious new life.
But I want to back up to a year and a half ago to when this all really started for us! The hubs, Remington, and I have been married for over 8 years now. When we got married we thought we wanted kids, but agreed we should wait. We said we’d give it five years because we wanted time to build a life together. And to be honest, we LOVE our life together – just the two of us. Five years had long come and gone, and we were still saying “in five years” when everyone else asked us about kids. We realized at some point that we should start thinking about the idea of kids and discussing if we truly wanted to have them, because we were no longer so sure of it. We’ve grown together as a couple and we are VERY fond of the life we have built. We love our fur babies and we love the ability to pick up and go wherever whenever we want (aside from finding doggy care). We love our time (and I love my sleep). And, I am notorious for guarding our time together as precious because we often find our weekends jam packed with different obligations between church and all of the family we have here. We love our schedule and being able to come home after work to get in some exercise, walk the dogs, cook dinner and enjoy some relaxing tv time. So a baby…well a baby would really throw our world into chaos. It would change the dynamic. We realized every time we talked about it, what a tough decision we were faced with and we typically came to the conclusion that we just weren’t ready to make those changes yet. And by year 6 or 7 of our marriage, our families finally stopped asking because we would say “we don’t know, maybe one day, maybe never.” It was the truth and they finally started to believe us. It was a relief to no longer have to field those types of questions.
I’ve always been of the school of thought that if you are too selfish or unwilling to change your life for a baby, then you just shouldn’t. I am glad that there are people out there who recognize that in themselves (us included), but there are plenty of people who don’t. It also seems to be a common belief that it’s a rite of passage to have children of your own and that life is not complete until you do so. Well, this world would be a much better place if those people would realize having children is a choice and should not be made lightly. You are choosing to bring a human being into this world and raise it to be a good citizen of the world. You will be forced to make sacrifices for the sake of your child. If you are unwilling to do that, then you should not make the choice to have children. And honestly, people need to learn to respect that. Having children is a VERY personal decision and what people go through in making that decision often makes them incredibly vulnerable.
- You don’t know if someone has chosen whether or not to have kids, or if they already have/had them.
- You don’t know if they would give anything to be a parent, but physically can’t and have spent years trying.
- You don’t know how many countless babies they may have lost already.
- You don’t know an individual’s situation and you could be asking them the toughest question of their life while you think it’s perfectly harmless.
We all need to do better about respecting each other and recognizing that such personal questions can be truly convicting, even painful. But also, that it’s none of your business what any given couple chooses to do with their life.
Eventually, we got to a point where we realized that the regret of not having children out-weighed the potential regret of having them. When we finally felt as ready as we ever could be financially, emotionally, & mentally, we decided to start down the path of parenthood. And hey, we weren’t getting any younger!
But what no one ever told us what just how hard it would be. We did not realize how draining it would be right from the start – just trying to get pregnant. If you are young & healthy, everyone (including medical professionals) acts like it’s no big deal, when it’s really not that easy. For a woman, if your body doesn’t want to get pregnant right away (something that is supposed to come naturally) then you feel like less of a woman, and it drains you of any joy during that time. It’s an exhausting, emotional mess. And you have to try to figure out what the problem is on your own because nowadays you cannot rely on health care providers to help you out.
We spent a year trying, which was hard enough, so I cannot imagine couples that spend years and years trying, hoping, wishing for a baby to lose out month after month when it seems like everyone around them is getting their good news. When you try to be happy for your friends and not let it sting, but then you feel guilty when it does hurt. And it hurts far more than you expect it to or realize it will.
This is the stuff that is real and hard, but that no one wants to talk about.
Well, maybe we should talk about it more rather than hide behind fake, happy, rose colored glasses and play pretend that everything is okay. Maybe if we talked about it more, people would start to respect the false idea that having children is easy and that it’s an expectation. We are doing irreparable damage to couples in our perfect, social media society because no one can live up.
We lost two babies in the time we spent trying. They were early and it seems they were in part due to a gene mutation which causes blood clotting. But don’t think for one second that because they were early, or we seem to have found an answer, that makes it any easier. I had a doctor say that it’s still a loss and to not let anyone tell me otherwise or downplay it because life begins at conception, and to have her say that made me feel validated. Once you see that positive line, you are flooded with hopes, dream, and ideas. There is something inside of you that you and your partner made. It’s a life that will look like you, act like you, be a part of you. You love it from that moment on. To move on from that seems an impossibility. To see it come to such an early end is devastating. From that point on, any other positive line was no longer met with joy, but fear. Fear of history repeating itself, the crippling feeling that something is wrong with your body, the terrible fear that kids just may not be in the cards for us. Imagine the rush of realizing you’re pregnant, only to be gripped by fear that you will lose this one too, just like the last two. Like any loss, it gets easier over time, but you never forget. For us, it cemented the idea that we wanted children.
So this little rainbow baby that is currently flourishing and healthy is our happy ending; it will be beloved by us both; it will be a blessing to our family as it has already brought so much joy. With it has come surmounting anxiety though that we could not overcome without the prayer and peace we find in our relationship with Christ. So we push through and we pray that this little life will continue and will be healthy. That’s all we can hope for because the previous losses have robbed us of some of the excitement we are “supposed” to be feeling right now.
Don’t be surprised if you ask if I’m excited and I don’t immediately jump for joy. Of course, I’m excited, but now I feel guilty that you couldn’t read it all over my fake smile. And for goodness sake, don’t feel sorry for us for struggling. We don’t need or want any sympathy because it only makes us feel worse. It only makes us relive and rehash what we’ve been through. It only makes us feel “different” when we just want to feel “normal”, but we should all be willing to talk about this stuff because it is hard and maybe we can help each other get through it. So, if anything, be excited for us because we can’t wait for this next adventure to really begin when the little munchkin arrives!