I would like to start this post with a disclaimer: This is not a post I could have written while we were waiting. Even though I knew the waiting would be worthwhile, even though in my heart I knew I would one day be a mother, it would have been too painful. Only now that I have a baby swiftly kicking away in my belly do I feel like I can write about what it was like to wait, and how it prepared me for this very moment.
- Even the most needle phobic person with the world’s smallest veins can get used to being poked and prodded repeatedly, to the point where a little blood draw every now and then feels like nothing at all.
- You get so much good advice from people who were just recently pregnant. By now, I’ve had friends who have been pregnant twice in the time we’ve been waiting to get pregnant with one. Though seeing what appeared to be so easy to them was hard on me, I now have so many people I can turn to for advice, and I feel so much better prepared for what’s to come.
- You become so close to your husband. It’s what’s going through a trial together does to you. We prayed together, fasted together, bought pregnancy tests together, went to doctor’s appointments together. He held me as I cried and comforted me as I struggled to not give up. The joy that we’ve been able to feel is so much greater than any of those experiences combined, and we continue to go through it all together.
- Every milestone feels like a victory. After seeing those two little lines on a pregnancy stick, I started looking for symptoms. Even when those pregnancy symptoms were unpleasant, they still made me feel like things were on the right track. I felt so proud the first time I couldn’t stand someone’s cologne, texted my mom the first time I felt nauseous, and gazed adoringly at my belly the first time I was unable to fit into a pair of jeans. Not every symptom feels miraculous, but I would endure it all over again for our little baby.
- You become really good at waiting. Pregnancy can feel so long, but luckily, we have some experience in waiting. One of the lessons I learned is that you become someone else when you are called to wait. I like to think I became a little more patient, a little more considerate, a little more positive, and little more hopeful. I like to think I developed a mother heart through waiting. Though I am so excited to meet our baby, I have had to wait before. Not only do I know I can do it, but this wait is so much sweeter.
Infertility is exhausting and painful and crushing. It’s relentless, as your trial continues month after month after month, sometimes longer. It’s the refiner’s fire, the waves that bury you under the sea, the cold dark cave you can’t find your way out of. It’s hard on you, it’s hard on your husband, it’s hard on anyone who has to see you endure and is powerless to help you in your suffering. It’s a cycle of hope, anticipation, heartbreak, then hope, anticipation, heartbreak. Repeat.
It’s not something I would wish on anyone, but my experience is also not something I would wish away. Every milestone, every symptom, and especially every little movement from my baby feels like an answered prayer. I used to think that once I got pregnant, I would forget all of these feelings of anguish and despair I had felt. I haven’t forgotten them, and I hope I never do. I want to be the mother I promised God I would be as I sat on the edge of my tub and cried after another failed month. I never want to forget how much I wanted this, or everything I learned while I was called to wait.