Saturday, March 1, 2014

Chapter 1: Single Pink Lines

Many mothers would say that their motherhood journey began with two pink lines.  Mine began with twenty-five single pink lines.  Long before my babies inhabited my body, my longing for them had consumed my heart and monopolized my head.  Never had I wanted anything with the intensity I wanted a baby.  My entire life I had dreamt of motherhood, being a mom had long been my goal, my ambition, my driving force for decision making.  And then with each negative test, the desire grew stronger, and inched closer to desperation.

There are heartbreaking stories of women trying for close to a decade to have children, of countless miscarriages, of thousands upon thousands of dollars spent on failed treatments.  My short experience with infertility was far from tragic, although you could not have convinced me of that those mornings as I drove to work with tears streaming down my face over the single pink line.  But I was young and although we tried wholeheartedly, we did not try for terribly long.  But I knew there was a problem and I had no doubt what I wanted and that resulted in us ending up at the first of what would be many specialists in the story of Max and Addison’s life- the Reproductive Endocrinologist.

In what felt like forever, but was merely a matter of months, the source of the problem was uncovered and two months of tiny shots in my belly later and our short but emotional infertility experience ends with two little miracles growing inside of me. The tears of frustration are replaced with tears of joy and life has truly never felt so promising and the future shines so bright the excitement threatens to blind me. As the weeks pass, it feels like a domino effect of thrilling additions to this new dream- two babies! A boy and a girl!

There is a Bible verse that says that God works for the good of those who love in him in ALL things.  There are aspects of Max and Addie’s story where I have yet to see the good.  There are heartaches that could make me question if that could possibly be true.  But when I reflect back on our initial struggles to get pregnant, all I can think about is that verse for in place of what I saw as a trial, all I can see now are the blessings.  Had it not been for those shots, there likely would not have been two. Max without Addie, Addie without Max- impossibly sad to imagine.  Knowing what we do and living through what we have, one would have forever been one. Our struggles gave my children a sibling, it made our house full.  The challenge to start a family resulted in us completing our family.

Equally significantly, the mornings shedding tears over the missing second line prepared my heart for a turbulent start to motherhood.  As I longed for my babies, a fierce devotion to them was growing. As I considered a future without them, an appreciation for them strengthened. Because motherhood would prove to be the greatest challenge of my life, I believe I needed to desire it wholeheartedly and without doubt or reservation.  And the undesired blessing of infertility gave me exactly that- the longing for motherhood which would sustain me.  A longing that would see me through difficult days and long hospital stays.  A longing that ensured that to this day, I have never missed life before.  A longing that grew from tears but has delivered strength, stamina and joy.  No doubt the Lord does work in mysterious ways.  

1 comment:

Jean Koenig said...

This is surely the most beautiful and moving story - one that mothers and would-be mothers everywhere will love and relate to. Thank you Stephanie! What a privilege to have you as my granddaughter.
Much love
Grandma Jean