infertility · motherhood

The Days Before I Saw My First Positive Pregnancy Test

Quite a few Novembers ago, I remember sitting outside and trudging through the emotions that come with infertility. There was a storm brewing in the distance, but as I sat there I suddenly felt that it would be okay. . . even good. Not right then. Maybe not soon. But sometime. There was a a settled feeling that washed over me. . .it was almost as though I had caught a glimpse of something beautiful, but it happened so fast. I can’t even remember all the details from that cold, fall afternoon. Only that good was coming.

I think that split second moment was a gift from God. . .momentary relief from the fresh, young tulmtuous waves in my soul.

The years following that moment were filled with tears, anguish, hollowness, heartache, the bathroom floor, pain. . .healing, closeness with Christ, the garden, laughter, the joy of a leaf, a life that filled up with life. And all of these things ran together in a way words could never describe, but you can understand. . .because you’ve been there too.

Fast forward to November 2019. I was on the brighter side of healing. My husband and I had recently had a conversation about how we would move forward in our family journey. I remember saying something along the lines of, “I really want children with you.” But I also remember confidently and peacefully closing doors in so many directions while opening ourselves to a life we hadn’t planned, but I finally felt excited for.

Shortly after that, I received a basket from a friend filled with the brigthest flowery things, pens, and a blank notepad. It was gift that seemed to say, “I see you!” And I put that basket of gifts on display!

Mere days later, another friend sent me this mug, joy comes in the morning, alongsisde a beautiful note which I have in the back of my prayer journal from that time. She knew about my struggle with infertility, and these were some of her words, “I pray for you almost every night and have every confidence that God has the most beautiful plan for you and Ben.”

About a week and half or so after that, I took a pregnancy test not expecting much or really anything at all. I had long-since given up taking these tests and asssumed my hormones were acting up because of my increased sugar intake.(Helloooo harvest party! 😉 )

Well, that test turned to two pink lines so fast. I couldn’t believe it, and yet somehow it was so believable. I just laughed! Hope Gives a Eulogy has a poem for that moment and a hundred others I experienced during infertility.

But there it was. Clear as day. Two lines. A yes. My firstborn son.

Flowers given to us by friends when they found out we were pregnant with our son which we eventually planted as his flower. And now they are blooming wildly this November!

Remember that note from my friend sitting in the back of my prayer journal? Around it I wrote, “note + gift from a friend received a week and a half or so before finding out I was pregnant. This was one of 3 meaningful gifts leading up to the great crescendo of our Shasta-boy.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention a third gift in this blog post, because I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I’ve got it recorded so it happened!

What a parade of gifts before the grand finale of our son. Which, of course, we know is not the finale, because God is always working and weaving miracles and healing and hope realized in so many ways! The reality is I had received thousands of gifts from God in those dark years leading up to those 3 gifts from friends leading up to the gift of a baby I could only yet see in two pink lines.

I hosted our third Thanksgiving in our bright blue home while being 6 or so weeks pregnant. That Thanksgiving was our first holiday with a baby in tow even though we’d never met him yet. The flowery blank notepad given by my friend is now my garden journal.

I totally added the sun flare to this garden journal photo! 😉

And if you’ve been around here for awhile, you know the significance of the garden in my long infertility journey! The “joy” mug is one of my all-time favorites and I love drinking coffee from it during the fall/November season.

Amazingly, I’m writing this blog post on the same November day I found out I was pregnant two years ago! (That wasn’t planned.) Even more beautiful is sitting here typing these words while being 21 weeks pregnant with our little girl.

halfway with our little girl!

I’ve been surprised by both my babies in different, wonderful, totally-of-God ways. We are headed into our fifth hosted Thanksgiving with inexplicable healing and the gift of two children.

And I think it’s important to note that with God this story could have happened in a thousand different miraculously good ways. . .children or not. I believe no matter what, I could still sit in November 2021 and recount God’s goodness. Which solidifies the truth that no matter what happens in our future, I will still be able to recount God’s goodness, be awestruck by His gifts, stunned by His timing, filled with His healing and hope, surrounded by a life made with life by God.

But here I am now. This is the story to date. The good gifts are endless. God’s goodness is endless. I’m moved by God’s love for me. As I wrote in my poem, Lest I Forget!, “and it was flowers, and Novembers, and pink skies, summer nights where Your blessing took over my life, and I was crying and laughing and breathing and longing and it was beautiful lest I forget!”

Today with the gift of my son and daughter, my husband and a 5th Thanskgiving in my home, I pray as I did in 2019, “Help me receive this gift with open, celebratory, trusting hands.”

God makes life. “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.” -Psalm 66:5

And so we do, and we will!

Amen.

motherhood · Poetry

Hello There

I am allowed to love you,
though all I know of you now
is two pink lines.

a strange comfort found
in realizing there’s no safe zone
for life.

5 weeks or thousands,
I can celebrate you here
without ever hearing
the heartbeat.

I am afraid.
I want you forever.
but either way this goes,
I’m going to love you
past that.

so, without the illusion
of a safe zone,
or holding my breath
to the next milestone. . .

I’m left with you–
beautiful you,
and all my love
for your whole life.

hello there.
I am your mother.

S.V.F.

Life at the Blue House

I’m Having Another Baby (a very unpoetic piece)

Summer found me excited for my son’s first birthay, refreshing the ole podcast, and dusting off my email list which has been off it’s game since late 2019! I sent two whole emails this summer with the intent to send more and then. . .

I found out I was pregnant again.

What?!

As for the podcast, I was finding my way and then had trouble recording a poem and giving the backstory so I pushed that episode to the backburner in frustration. A handful of weeks later, BOOM.

Pregnant.

What?!

So here I am. The podcast has been a ghost town and, uh, emails are going unwritten and unsent. And that’s just the stage of life I’m in. I picked up the podcast and email again because it was a good time to do so, which then changed much faster than I anticipated. Abrupt and wonderful! God always surprises us. I’m learning many things these days, but I’ll lay out a couple for you.

I’m clumsily discovering my creative limitations.

I am in a season that keeps changing. Pregnant. Postpartum. Balance again. Pregnant. I’m not good at these fast changes. I spent 3+ years in what often felt like slow motion. Quiet. Rhythymic. Healing. Purposeful. Very, very slow. And not always the “lovely” slow. The painful kind. Where time keeps moving, but you feel you don’t. Friends keep getting pregnant. But you don’t. Having no “end” in sight. You get it.

But now, I’m in this rush of movement and it really is beautiful. And I’m not lying when I say it can also be so magical. Of course, tiring. Of course, imperfect. Blah. Blah. Blah. But motherhood is so good. While I’m here in this fast-paced, body changing, life changing, going through 3-6 month clothes, then 6-9, then 12-18, they heyay, that’s TWO lines again(!!), my ability to create content and craft poetry dwindles. It doens’t dissappear, certainly. But it does change. And I’m learning what those changes are and how to be intentional with whatever those changes are. My drive and hard work remains in tact, but my hands can do less right now. I’m okay with that! Just figuring out what “that” means.

I’m scared and learning to trust God with all that’s good and beautiful in my life.

Which is a lot right now. When I stumbled through infertility, I learned to grieve with God and to trust Him with my pain.Now the feelings are so similar, but I’m learning to trust God with all these happy, good gifts.

It’s overwhelming.

Admittedly, I’ve spent far too much time fearing the “Great Fall Apart.” It’s no way to live and it’s also not right. God has given these good gifts to me and they will always be good gifts from God to me no matter the pain or brokeness of the world that may (will) touch these good things. What am I going to do? Shrivel up like a raisin and play dead while God shows me His great love in the good times just as He did in the bad times?! Yikes. I’m learning to trust God with my whole life. And the thing is my whole life keeps changing, so I have to keep surrendering. I’m in the process of living out what it means to rest in God during the good times. And it’s a learning curve. Just like it was in the bad times.

Funny how that works.

God is so kind, though. Some favorite Scripture of mine is Psalm 103:13-14, As a father shows compassion to His children, so does the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; he remembers we are dust.

I’m sure there was a much more poetic way to write a second pregnancy announcement post, but this is where I’m at! I mean, I know I could get some flowery language to convey the miracle of our second child and that will come in time, but this is me currently. Also, S I C K. In the first trimester+, I wear the pregnancy glow like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Oh and one more thing. . .with October comes a very special poetry series. I know, I know. I just had this whole spiel on creative limitations and yady-yady-ya, but this is one thing I’ve had space for and am mindful of adjusting expectations and boundaries as I need to. I’ll post more details by Friday morning!!

So there ya go. That’s life these days. It’s a wild ride. I could be trendy and say, “And I’m here for it.” But ya know, sometimes I need a minute(!!!).

DON’T WE ALL!

But God is here with us even when being “here for it” seems overwhelming and/or scary.

Thank you, God. We rest in You!