Sometimes big life decisions come easily. It was your parents’ alma mater, so you knew you were headed there after high school. Or the house was perfect: the right size, a great price, and in an awesome neighborhood. Or your spouse; he or she was it and you knew it was only a matter of time before they did too.
Usually, that’s not the case. Usually, major decisions are wrought with questions, doubts, and what-ifs. Choosing to be done having kids can be one of those decisions. Sometimes it’s a no-brainer: you only wanted two. But then sometimes it’s heartwrenching because you thought you wanted more.
Miscarriage and loss infinitely confound this choice, particularly when you’re “perfectly capable” of having more babies. Do you risk it? Do you chance the suffocating pain that is losing a baby?
Did you? We did. A couple of times. But I’m tired. I’m tired of the uncertainty, the constant battling and surrendering of fear, the mind-numbing mental steps you take just to appreciate each day of being pregnant. And then there’s the guilt; some couples can’t even get pregnant, so you need to pull yourself together and be grateful for the kids you have and the ability you have to conceive. So-and-so would love the chance to experience the thrill of a positive test, right?
You know what your guilty mantras are. They’re probably similar to mine.
It’s hard. It’s so hard. The rest of the world doesn’t see your pain, but it’s there. They don’t see the struggle, but it’s alive. And your life becomes a rollercoaster of trying, conceiving, losing, birthing, weeping…joy so closely intertwined with sorrow it’s difficult to pry apart.
Resting in the Unknown
After our third loss, we decided to stop actively trying. I’m not sure if it’s a permanent decision or just one that will hang around for a while until we’ve mustered enough courage to dive into the fray of pregnancy after loss again. My husband is definitely set on the former, and I don’t blame him.
I feel like I’m giving up. Like I’m letting loss win, as absurd as that sounds. I want to round out our family with a healthy baby rather than a miscarriage or loss because ending on a bad note seems counterintuitive and frankly, frustrating. I don’t like losing.
That’s where my soul has been simmering since our miscarriage a few months ago. I’m living and loving and taking one day at a time and open to whatever plan our good God has for us. I want it to be more kids. I want more babies, more brothers and sisters for our two earthside babes.
But more than that, I want what He wants. Because I know that is what will bear fruit and blossom into the greatest goodness. I know that my desires don’t always line up with His plan, and I’m grateful that His plan prevails. It is always good, all the time, even through the inkiest of black days. Even in the depths of not knowing.
Rally with Hope
I don’t know how families who don’t have the hope of Jesus do it. I don’t know how they keep moving forward. It’s difficult enough when you have the upper hand over your sin nature, but if Christ isn’t in you and sin reigns…then so does fear. So does anger. So do jealousy and bitterness and depression. There’s no control without Jesus and that is a terrifying prospect.
If you’re in that place where you don’t feel in control, hear me: you don’t have to be there. There is another way. There is a better way. You will still hurt. You will still fight those feelings. But you will have victory. Peace will win. Hope will anchor you. And His love is fierce: He will go to battle for you and you will see light again.
As for us: I don’t know if we’ll try again. And I don’t really know “how to know” with certainty when we’re done. Right now, we’re focusing with hopeful anticipation on what God’s teaching us through our pain. He’s carried us this far, and we know with certainty that He will continue.