Friday, July 20, 2018

oh baby!

I've been MIA from the blog lately...the past three months to be exact. And for good reason, in typical mom fashion. We have news! Such great news! News that we feel abundantly blessed to be able to share. As most anyone who is friends with us on social media knows, 


We have known for so long, and are finally cleared to scream it from the mountaintop. Sweet Marian Reaves will be taking on the title of Big Sister in January, and she is super excited...for now. 
Cue the cuteness!

We were pumped to tell our family and friends, but this time, due to various health concerns, we waited. Our journey for baby number 2 wasn't quite as simple as it was when we were trying with Reaves. Reaves was a one stop shop kinda pregnancy. It took us one try, and wanting to be the mother of a basketball team, I naturally thought it would happen just as easily with Babe #2. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. 

We had more difficulty conceiving this time go 'round. After many rounds of bloodwork, a few scans, some tumor talk, and several pass-out spells later, it was ultimately determined I was post-menopausal. There's a punch in the gut right after turning 30. (See previous post for how I handled that transition - hint: not well). My body after having Reaves was confused. Extremely confused. 

After unsuccessfully conceiving naturally for quite some time, and no clear answers from tests results, we ended up doing one round of fertility medication, with the plan of three months before additional testing. Insert God's grace. It worked. 

I have a few good friends who have experienced far worse, and my heart aches for how they must've felt, because for a long time, my heart was broken and hope felt unattainable. During this long process, there was talk of me possibly never being able to have children again, and that hurt. It felt like I was being completely robbed of my "responsibility" as a woman; to bear children. 

I understand too many women, several that I know and love dearly, have struggled more than I have, faced more complicated conception issues than mine, lost pregnancies...children. I am not, and will not, compare my situation to theirs. But to say I didn't at first would be a lie. 

I found myself feeling guilty for hurting. Feeling the expectation to cast fear aside instead of talking to someone, afraid of being considered insensitive to those who have faced harder battles. I tried forcing myself to stay positive and grateful for the child I do have rather than shedding tears over her future sisters and brothers that I so badly wanted in our family. I should be thankful. I have friends who can't have any more children, or any at all. How dare I be sad over my struggle? I felt like my pool of folks to talk to was limited - I told myself, "Only those who haven't struggled. I don't want to sound like a whiny jerk." That's a terrible place to be...those who haven't struggled may not criticize me for being insensitive, but they also couldn't relate and gave me all the feel-goods "it'll all work out," "sure you'll have more kids!" "nothing's wrong, I just know it." I'm not insinuating that those comments are demeaning - sometimes that positivity is helpful. But mostly, I just needed someone who understood my fear, my anxiety over losing what my heart sooo badly desired. 

And then now, how dare I be happy? When I'm surrounded by so much hurt. Just in the last few days, I've talked with three women who have lost their babies in utero, all due around the same time I am. How insensitive am I to be pregnant as I sit here and am devastated for these women having these heartbreaking conversations? 

I have realized lately that just because someone else suffers more than you, doesn't mean your suffering doesn't matter. I don't know if it's our rapidly increasing comparative culture that has pushed this stress of greater than less than, or what, but I'm done with it. I was sad. Super sad. I was hurt. Super hurt. I was scared. Terrified. And I was angry. 

Now I'm grateful. Super grateful. RelievedExcited. And humbled by the opportunity God has given me to have another child. How dare I not rejoice in Him? This may be our last, or maybe it won't. Who knows...but I will no longer feel guilty. I don't have to choose between being a good friend/confidant over being an excited, expectant mother. I don't have to choose between someone else's struggle and my own. There is no comparison. 

Instead, I stand beside any woman who has struggled, greater than or less than, I have, and hope that if you're a greater than struggler, you will never suppress the feelings of those who have suffered less than you. It's all suffering. Be sensitive, regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall. If you feel less than, don't. Your struggle matters. Your struggle is part of your story, and your story is perfectly written by Our Creator. Rejoice.

We told our families the week we went to the beach with our Keely family. Lucky us, our sister-in-law is an amazing photographer and has captured all of Reaves' big moments on camera. Therefore, we got some amazing shots with her for Baby #2: 

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