Friday, June 19, 2009


The ache for a child, or the loss of a child, is so deeply painful for us women. I feel so badly for all the women who click on blog after blog--seeing pictures of dearly loved children--only to turn away from their computers, to a house that is either quiet, or contains the noise of just one or two children. Many want only one or two, so for them perhaps there is relief when they read posts about larger-family chaos. But for those whose hearts yearn for the noise and the chaos, the pain is so, so deep, and it can be so constant.

We conceived our first child within three months and then lost him at 21 weeks. It took five months to get pregnant again, which were the longest five months of my life. I don't pretend to know what it is like to ache for a child for years and years, but in those five months, my ache was constant. I learned to surrender, and when I gave up making a project out of getting pregnant, we conceived Daniel.

That five months was the extent of my experience, thus far, in dealing with the womanly ache for a child. It was short, but deeply felt, and still remembered. Last week, my husband was contacted by his urologist's office, and was given a report of "negative", in regards to his post-vasectomy sperm sample. He almost had a smile on his face when he told me. And me? I was absolutely crushed in spirit. I walked away from him, and just wanted to run outside and shout with all my might, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Right now, I have my Anna to cuddle and kiss and delight in, but when she toddles away from me, I know there will be pain when I click on blogs and read about the new pregnancies of other women. I can't explain it to you. I don't understand why this passage is so hard for me to accept. In many ways I am being a spoiled brat. After all, I have four children to enjoy (and another two to meet in heaven). I have no right to feel this way--but I do. I can't deny it. Do I wish I had a different husband--one who delights in children more? No. I understand too well the folly of "greener grass" thinking, when it comes to marriage.

God could have exhausted my ache for children, thereby putting me in sync with my husband's thinking. But he has not. So down the line, I think I will offer my loving arms to a working mom's baby, if God agrees. My husband will probably be working days at some point in the next five years, so he will not be burdened by the presence of another baby. I babysat for two babies and a toddler when we moved to Ohio, although not all at once. The last child I watched came to us in 2007, when Emily was five months old. His name was Anthony, and he was thirteen months when we met him, and 19 months when his parents moved out of our area and we had to say goodbye. I loved him dearly, and took great pleasure in rocking him to sleep and watching him grow.

As I deal with the inexplicable longing that is to come, I will think of him, and hope for another baby to love. And in the meantime, I will keep reminding myself that I have been abundantly blessed already, and I have no "right" to these feelings. I am ashamed of them, and yet I can't deny them, or understand them.

There is much to wonder about as we move along in our Christian walk. Everyone has a different story with different twists, but there is still the wondering--the longing for something--the waiting for something. I can only conclude that it is part of God's plan, so that we have an urgent need for Him to fill us up again and again. He wants us to find companionship and fulfillment in him, rather than in the things of this world.

And there is that fulfillment--that deeply satisfying companionship. We have only to go after it, everyday, purposefully.

Just an aside: I came across a blogger who has met Michelle Duggar. Here is a post about their meeting.


Sandi said...

We have been pregnant the same number of times. I hear your heart on this. We lost Jonah in 2002 shortly after birth. Then I lost another baby at 12 weeks after my son Isaac and then was diagnosed with PCOS and told I probably would never have another baby. We tried fertility drugs one time...they failed. We got pregnant the next month and lost that baby at 12 weeks too.
My husband was done...he ached for me and all my body had to go through and he ached for his lost children. We were on a completely different page at the time. I struggled before God with this alot. I felt as a helper I needed to follow his lead and I sold everything baby related.
I prayed for God to change his heart but yet allow my heart to submit. Three months later we concieved Eli and he came to us healty and whole. Amazing grace!

There will be no more biological babies at this point. When he went in I was more sad then I thought I'd be. I still pray and am open to God growing our family through adoption. My husband is too but not quite as much as I am :o) My first priority is my hubby and I so easily get immersed in my kids I can forget that.

Thanks for your comment at my place, the struggles we are having with my 5 yr old is suspected ADHD. We had some assessments done are waiting results, we just completed a speech assess.which was completely fine. I'd be curious to know what road you have taken to help your son....meds, any kind of therapies...any things that work with schooling etc.

Okay I am done...I think this is one of my longest comments ever!

Melanie said...

Oh how I can relate to this post! We had one of our twin daughters die at 28 weeks and the other in the NICU for 10 weeks where it was touch and go whether she would survive.
While my husband has not gone for the vasectomy yet he has said we're done.
I know the ache you feel. My youngest is 20 months and it saddens me to think that unless we adopt (or the Lord intervenes)this season of life with little ones will soon pass.
But in recent weeks the Lord has given me a real peace with leaving our family size in the hands of my husband. If he wants to pursue surgery, I am ok with that. If we have another, I want it to be because my husband wants another child and not because he is consenting to my desires.
I suspect that having experienced the loss of a child there will always be a sense of our family being incomplete. I could have 10 more children and I would still sense a missing child.
I have friend who had 3 babies in 3 years and suffered postpartum depression while living in a small, dark basement suite in a small town the year her third baby was born. Her husband decided, quite like yours, that they were finished. She was heartbroken. But I wanted to tell you about her because in time, the Lord gave her a real peace with her husband's decision and is content with her three.
I want to encourage you to continue to bare your heart before the throne of grace - He is faithful and will give you peace and comfort.
While it hurts, this is one way you can consider God is leading your family to bring him the greatest glory in the way He has decided for you.

DairyQueen said...

I have a perhaps different scenario. We were blessed with two children without trying. The first was sort of planned, as in we didn't really think we would easily get pregnant (problems with regularity and such). The second one was not planned. We were trying to wait. But, we saw the blessing immediately and never regretted it.

After number 2, I got on birth control during a terrible season of post partum depression and I had no desire for anymore children. Our baby is almost 3. I have been off of birth control for just over a year, and we are unable to conceive again. I don't know what God has planned for us, but deep in my heart I know we're not done. I don't know when or how God will give us another child, but I have faith that He will.

Thank you for sharing your heart.

Carolyn said...

I can empathize with you, Pam. I went through similar feelings when we decided not to have anymore children after Isabella. For three years we went back and forth between certainty and uncertainty about having another child. We finally decided to make things permanent mainly due to my age. Even though we had a peace about it at the time, I went through a period of longing and regret afterward. I also felt guilty having these feelings since I have friends too who struggle with infertility.

The season of infancy and early childhood is so precious I just really didn't want it to end. God was faithful and brought me through this time though. Now I am delighting in the new season of the elementary, pre-teen and teen years. I can honestly say that I am enjoying this season just as much as I did the early years -- especially as I see the girls developing a passion for God. Thanks for sharing your feelings on this. I'll be praying for you.