Have I ever mentioned how much I love these two little lady babes of mine? Only a hundred million times, I'm sure. But it's true. I do. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I could never have imagined how wonderfully consuming it would be. Minnie and Louisa are literally my everything. Since the minute Minnie entered the world I realized what it meant to live for someone else, and now I will for the rest of my life. It is both a terrifying and euphoric feeling to love someone so completely, without conditions or barriers. Sometimes I think I am crazy to want more of these little pieces of my heart running around on this earth. But I want it. I want it more than anything.
Robert and I have been trying for our third child for more than a year now. When Louisa was about 9 months old, I asked Robert if we could start trying for another. I love that man for so many reasons, but one that may top the list is how much he loves his children. The man would have 14 more if I agreed (or if it were physically possible...I ain't no spring chicken anymore), so when I asked him if he was ready for a third he didn't skip a beat before a resounding "yes" sprung from his lips. We were both so excited. Each of our girls brought a new light into our lives and into our little family, and thinking about experiencing that again just felt so right and good. I was so sure and comfortable with the timing of it all, but I had this feeling it was going to take some time before the next little love entered our family, thus my wanting to start trying so quickly after Lou. With Minnie we got lucky on the first try and Louisa took a bit longer, about four months, which I thought was an eternity back then. Little did I know what was ahead of us with number three.
It is hard to put into words what it feels like to miss a person I don't know yet, a person who doesn't exist here on this earth. I ache for that little flutter in my belly, the movement of life inside of me once more. Sometimes when I start feeling a little queasy I start to pray it doesn't go away. I start to think, "Maybe this is the real deal. Maybe it's all finally working out." Never in my life have I ever been so excited to be nauseous. But time and time again it's a false alarm and my heart falls to the pit of my stomach and I spend the next few days tearing up at the mere thought of what could be and what isn't and then praying for strength to appreciate where I am, that I have two beautiful little girls and for faith in God's timing.
Robert and I have had almost every possible test done and after each I think, "Maybe this will solve the problem. Maybe we can finally pinpoint where the issue is so we can fix it." But every test has come back with flying colors, which is wonderful but also totally frustrating because there's nothing to fix. It's now becoming more clear to me that it is all in God's hands. If both of us are healthy and normal, He must have a reason. Now all that's left to do is wait.
After nearly 14 months of this roller coaster my heart has run the gamut of emotions: hope, frustration, fear, disappointment, sadness and even anger occasionally. I try to remain grateful through it all because I realize I have been incredibly blessed to have two little girls so close together with relatively no trouble at all. I will forever be grateful they have each other. This experience has also been very humbling. I am so used to being in charge of my life. Things have generally gone pretty smoothly for me (knock on lots of wood) and I have felt like I was able to change most of the things in my life I didn't quite feel were right. This has been a whole new ballgame, and it sounds strange to say this since I know it's not over and I'm not quite sure how it will end, but I really do think I am grateful for this struggle. It is good to know that we aren't in charge of everything. It is good to know that God is. It is hard to trust Him but I feel like this experience is giving me a chance to really try. I am also grateful for a new perspective. I want this baby more than I can really say and it is good for me to know how so many others, of whom I love and respect very much, have felt or are feeling at this moment. They too have felt a void in their lives. They too have longed to be parents, either for the first time or for the third. I am grateful to know how that feels, even though it is terribly painful, because I believe it gives me a bit of insight into how God feels about all of us. He knows the hurt and he knows the frustration and it is a gift to be able to feel that for some of His children.
I have faith that this is all going to work out how it's supposed to but I can't stop praying every night for a miracle, that this month will be the month I finally see that faint second line on my pregnancy test. Until then, however, I'm determined to live my life intentionally and joyfully. I want to go on adventures with these two beautiful girls I've been blessed with, to soak up this warm summer weather and appreciate where we are as a family right here and right now. I want to feel myself grow and change and be a blessing to those around me rather than a lump on a log, mourning my situation. This has all been so hard for me to write but it has been unbelievably therapeutic. It has reminded me of all that is good and how much I have learned already in this process. I also believe that there really are spirits waiting to come be with us but it will all be in God's timing. I just can't wait to meet them.
Photos are courtesy of the talented Jalene Taylor who took these as part of The Motherhood Project.