There are countless difficult things about going through recurrent pregnancy loss. One of them, and one that I always struggled with the most, was simply not knowing.
I can't count how many sleepless nights I spent wrestling with that very thing. How many more times will I get a positive pregnancy test and yet not bring home a baby? How many more times will we have to helplessly turn those little lives over to the Lord and let them go when we aren't ready? Will we ever be able to figure out why my body can't grow a baby, and if so, will it be something we can overcome or will we finally hit that brick wall (whether emotionally or medically) that means The End?
I used to beg the Lord to just show me a glimpse; to just let me know if it would happen one day. Please, Lord, just give me a picture of the future so I will know and be able to deal with it! If we were going to be parents someday, I wanted to know so I could keep on going and working toward that day. If we weren't, I wanted to be able to seek healing and move ahead with that knowledge. But He never did see fit to reveal that to me, of course. That was something I had to accept. I had to learn to find peace and move forward without knowing. And that is so hard sometimes -- the Not Knowing.
Another thing that is so very difficult is the waiting. This experience is chock full of hours, days, weeks, months, and years of waiting. If I didn't learn anything else at all, I certainly had to learn to wait. I waited for appointments, for test results, for proof that my babies were still alive, for my body to heal after a miscarriage, for my heart to begin to heal as I grieved, for the right time to try again after a loss... and I could go on and on. Lots and lots and lots of waiting.
And now here we are. September 2010.
September is here and I'm nine months pregnant. This is the month we've been waiting for since January. And we didn't know it, but it's the month we've been waiting for since we boarded this roller coaster in 2001. We had no way of knowing it then, but it's the month we've hoped and prayed for since our first positive pregnancy test in May of 2002.
May of 2002 to September of 2010. That has been the full gestational period of this dream of ours. Finally the Not Knowing and the Waiting will be wrapped up in just three more weeks. I have no idea if it marks the end of our journey with infertility and miscarriage. There's still some uncertainty about the future of our fertility, of course. I still don't know what the future holds, but for now I'm trying not to look beyond 20 days from now when our baby girl will be here.
Knowing the date is surreal. My due date is September 25, but we will see her on or before September 21. That's the scheduled date of the C-section: noon on September 21, unless she surprises us by coming sooner. We are counting down the days and there are only 20 left at the most! I have a visit with the OB tomorrow and I will see her only two more times before the big day. We are in the home stretch! I wake up every day knowing that Lily could come at any time now.
As we enter the final few weeks I find myself becoming more and more emotional. For the last couple of days it doesn't take much for me to have to wipe away tears. I may very well cry for the next 20 days and for a few months after that! My husband and I both feel overwhelmed and overcome with these days that we are living in now and the event that is finally on the horizon. I hope he won't mind me mentioning it, but he told me last weekend after we toured the hospital where Lily will be born that he had been fighting back tears. I had been so focused on the tour and asking my questions that I hadn't even noticed. We are both so grateful and so ready to meet this little one face to face. I think we got so accustomed to handling the grief and loss that now we are trying to figure out how to equip ourselves to deal with happiness, as crazy as that sounds!
Even as I write this now I realize how each day is full of happy news and sad news, of so many ups and downs in this life that we all face. Just today I cried tears of joy as I read blogs and saw the wonderful news of positive pregnancy tests and good ultrasound visits. A few hours later I heard that one of my most precious real-life friends had a miscarriage over the weekend, and I cried tears of sorrow for her and for her baby. Please, please keep this dear friend of mine in your prayers during this time.
And please know that even as we get ready to welcome our miracle girl, we are praying for those of you who may still be struggling with those familiar feelings of waiting and not knowing.
"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." Psalm 126:5-6