BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On Sacrifice

If you know anything about me or have read very much of this blog, you know that I've been waiting a very long time to hold my child in my arms. Six times before we hoped that our prayers were being answered, only to watch helplessly as we went through one miscarriage after another. We still believe that God gave us those children, if only for a short time, even though it hurt so much that we never saw their faces, looked into their eyes, or even spoke their names.

In a little more than a month, my husband and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. Twelve years equals a lot of date nights! Chuck and I have enjoyed lots of time together as a married couple. We've gone on vacations (a few of them spur-of-the-moment) and explored our hobbies and generally enjoyed our life together for quite a while now. In a few days it will be 9 years ago that we moved to our current location and I became a stay-at-home wife. Since I gave up working nearly a decade ago, I've indulged in staying up late and sleeping in, while still having plenty of time to get my housework done and maybe even watching an afternoon movie or spending a few hours on scrapbooking or reading. (The reason I gave up working, however, was to pursue having children. Those years of "staying home" were also filled with our efforts to become parents.)

I enjoy being home. I'm not the kind of person who needs someplace to go every day. My life right now is such that I spend quite a few hours at home in a very quiet house. I truly don't mind the quiet; I've grown used to it by now. Perhaps that sounds wonderful to some of you who may be reading this in a chaotic environment right now! But to tell you the truth, I'm ready for change. I'm ready for the laughter and cries of a little one. And while I'm not expecting the change to be simple or easy, I'm okay with giving up our frequent date nights and my full nights of sleep. Before you think I'm crazy or in denial about how hard life might be with a newborn, let me explain why.

I consider it nothing short of a miracle that we are 19 weeks into our 7th pregnancy. If God has intervened and heard my pleas and cries and granted us this miracle, this chance to finally hold our child in our arms, then I see these as small sacrifices on my part. While I've gotten settled into the life I've had thus far and found things that I enjoy doing during our years of waiting and grieving, I will gladly accept the change. The desire I feel right now to skip past this second half of pregnancy has everything to do with my eagerness to finally reach the point where the reward of our toil and suffering is placed in my arms. This baby girl has been prayed for and hoped for, and our journey to get to her has been the absolute hardest thing we have ever endured. I will carry those scars forever, and I am a different person because of what we've been through.

I'm not at all in denial about how challenging it will be to raise children. I admire those who do it and do it well despite all of its demands (and I appreciate those who speak honestly about the challenges of parenthood!). I don't doubt that this new chapter in our lives will stretch us and change us, but I know that this is what we've signed up for. This is what we've been waiting for and fighting for. Some people make it sound like I will never eat, sleep, have fun, go on vacation, participate in a hobby, or read a novel ever again. It's assumed by some that having a child will be the end of my life, so to speak, but I see it as the beginning of a new chapter that I've been striving for. I'm determined to focus on what we'll consider it an honor to be getting rather than what we may be giving up. I have too many dear friends who would gladly make the sacrifices necessary to realize their dream of having children for me to take anything for granted. Those who have lived through infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth understand sacrifice, too.

So, every time I mention a nap or a restful night's sleep, or enjoying a night in front of the TV, or a night out with my husband, and someone feels the need to remind me to "enjoy it while I can," I'll continue to smile to myself, knowing that I'm just passing the time until I have the privilege of sacrificing some of those things that have filled my years, kept my idle hands busy, and served as a distraction for my aching heart, in order to take care of a child that I always wanted but feared I'd never have.

And it will seem like such a small sacrifice indeed.

16 comments:

A said...

I agree with everything you said!! Your writing is so excellent! I am so glad God has blessed you with such a happy and healthy pregnancy!

Ask or Imagine said...

I think every stage of life has its own blessings and calls for its own sacrifices - and when you're more than ready to move on to the next stage, the sacrifices lose their scariness. You're going to rise to the challenges of motherhood with strength and grace! You will be able to appreciate the gift of a child like few others could.

Jo said...

Thats a wonderful post. And so true too. A friend of mine mentioned today she was going to curl up in bed and read a book due to the rainy weather. I used to do that all the time before having Xavier but have not done it since I was pregnant. I have to tell you, I have not missed it one bit. Small sacrifices sometimes carry huge rewards don't they? :)

twondra said...

I love this and you always write so well. I'm excited for you, too, sweetie. (((HUGS)))

Ella said...

What a wonderful post. I'm usually a lurker, but needed to comment to this post... You are SO right on target with your beautiful words. After suffering three losses, I LOVE sacrificing for my daughter- I find incredible JOY in sacrificing sleep, date nights, etc... for our little miracle; there's never a second thought or doubt or even an ounce of annoyance or disappointment over "losing" or "missing out" on anything... THIS is what we fought for, hoped for, and prayed for, and we finally have it.

I'm so happy for you and your little baby girl and all the wonderful sacrifices you have ahead :)

Susan Sene said...

That last paragraph is awesome! So true! I remember ppl telling me "make sure you sleep as much as you can now!"....like you can bank it and magically pull out extra hours of sleep when your baby arrives...phh. :) yes, life is very different now and sometimes a lot harder, but when I remember why, I can't help but smile and be thankful.

Birdie said...

I didn't know you were a stay-at-home wife. How wonderful! And how wonderful it will be when you transition to stay-at-home mommy!!!
I love your post and totally agree!

Joy said...

Beautifully written!!! Bravo!

Amy said...

"Enjoy it while you can" is all relative. I remember crying during "Walk the Line" at the movies a month before Abigail thinking it would be the last date that Paul and I ever went on. Trust me, there have been many, many dates since she has been born (and even a trip to New York!), and if anything, they are almost sweeter because they truly are "needed" time as a couple. And having those moments as a couple or by yourself make you even better in the moments you are with your baby...more refreshed. You are indeed on the edge of a new chapter (or novel) of life. Your time with Chuck will be precious in a whole new way as you see each other be parents to your baby girl. And you will surely not want to put that sweet baby down for all of the waiting (but it's okay to admit you will still need sleep, too). :)

Melissa said...

This is beautiful!

Emily said...

I agree with Amy. Date nights (and girls' night, reading, watching tv, taking naps, blogging...) don't end when you become a parent. They just become less prominent in your life, but still a nice and needed refresher. I try to have a balance in my life as a wife, a mother, a friend, while still making time for the hobbies I enjoyed before becoming a parent. But with all that said, I wholeheartedly agree that when you have a baby to love and care for, there's no place for complaining and longing for "the good old days." Parenthood is wonderful!

Sharon said...

Stacey you must absolutley enjoy it while you can, savour all these times now because they will be looked back on with fond memories so do enjoy them.
And you're not giving up your life to have this child, you're giving up your life as you know it and exchanging it for something else. As a new mom myself I can say this, the first few weeks were hard, they were beyond anything I could have prepared myself for, but I would not exchange them for all the money, sleep in's and date nights in the world.
So enjoy this time now because life will change and the things you enjoy now will change with them so enjoy them and savour them as you will enjoy and savour the new routines and rythems of the new life awaiting you.

DeniFay said...

Stacey, once again you put into words, so beautifully, so eloquently those feelings we tend to have and the things that people who haven't walked this road don't understand! Yes, we love our sleeping in, our 'me' time, or ability to have 'date night' whenever, but like fighting to be a mother, how much sweeter will those things be, and how much more will we appreciate them when they aren't a given?!? And to look into your daughter's eyes and see the love there, everything will be worth it!

Life In Mazes said...

I can relate to so many feelings and perspectives you shared here. I like your line that said 'it's not about what we are giving up, but whare we are receiving'.

This baby girl is a MIRACLE straight from Heaven!!

Jenn said...

You have wisdom beyond your years!

Indy said...

Beautiful reflection.