Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It All Started When Two People Fell In Love

Today I begin the story, from the beginning. I'm one of those women, nearly extinct now, that always dreamed of being a mother. I wanted 8 children and I wanted to wear high heeled shoes every day and go, "tap, tap, click" down a spiral staircase. :)  We romantize much of motherhood as little girls but those hours spent playing with our dolls, is also great preparation for the future. I nursed my baby dolls, and why not? Every mom around me was nursing their real babies in my Mom's LLL support group. I even went through a phase where I begged my parents for a monkey because I so badly wanted to have a creature that I could put in diapers! I even dreamed about carrying my crying monkey to the nursery in church to tend to his needs. When the monkey idea was shot down, I decided that I just needed to pray with all my might...with that little mustard seed of faith, that my doll would turn into a real baby--overnight. I tucked my little doll in her cradle and went to bed asking God to make her into a real baby...and totally believing that He could and He would. I remember running down the stairs to check on her the next morning only to see her little china face, unchanged. I think I said something like, "that's okay God--sigh--I'll still love her and you." I was crazy about mothering and a little type A even then...I wrote out chore-list for my kids and assigned the duties that it would take to keep a home with 8 kids organized and happy. My sisters called me "fertile Mertile" because I was a little on the hormonal side of balanced.

Then I met David. On a road trip with friends, I remember a conversation about family size. Both of us thought it peculiar that we had both thought 8 was the perfect number since we weren't even dating at the time. Fast forward to our marriage. We did what most modern couples do before getting married, research the various options for contraception and I even tried taking an oral contraceptive for about a month. Eating soda crackers and sipping on sprite all day was not my idea of a fun honeymoon so I ditched the pills. Then we tried a monitor from the UK. Basically, you pee on a stick for about a week of the month and it gives you a red light for days you are fertile and green for when you're in the clear. About three months into our marriage we decided to be "open" to whenever God would give us children. Now, mind you...this was counter to popular counsel for newly weds..."It's nice to have at least a year to focus on your marriage and build a stronger foundation" and "medical school is extremely demanding, perhaps you'll want to wait until David is done with his schooling." We both braced ourselves for having children back-to-back.

I want to bust a myth today....a myth particularly popular in the Christian community. The myth goes like this: IF you trust God fully with your fertility/family planning (by doing nothing to prevent pregnancy), you will end up with a large family. Part of the reason this is the prevalent idea is because people with large families have been out spoken about not using birth control and just "trusting God" with the timing. I'm hear to say, you can trust God with the timing and end up with anywhere from 0-20 kids!! And by the way, trusting God doesn't mean there is no planning involved or decision making about contraception. More on that later.

One year into our marriage I was really starting to wonder why I wasn't getting pregnant and I was fervently praying for "all the children you want us to have, no more and no less." Going into the second year, it was a real ache and something that pained me every day. When we moved to Israel, I was overwhelmed by all the young pregnant girls. It seemed like I had landed in the land flowing with milk and honey and babies! My empty womb was crying. I finally starting asking myself the hard questions, questions that I encourage every woman to ask herself. "What is the purpose of my marriage?" "What is the purpose of my life?" "What will I do if I never have kids?" "What will my marriage look like if I never have children?" Most of us don't want to go there...we tell ourselves that it will happen eventually, we just need to be patient and have a little more faith. But I personally have found, that when I answered those questions, it opened a door to greater peace and contentment...and it added depth to my marriage, my relationship with God, and my self-awareness. There would be a whole new identity crisis, after E was born, that God was preparing me for even then.

No comments:

Post a Comment