Saturday, February 9, 2013

the unexpected and difficult things in life

There are many things in life you just expect will happen. As you enter adulthood you just expect to get married, to have children, to stay healthy, to.... and the list goes on. At least you expect it for yourself.

The thing is ... we aren't promised those things. As much as we would like to think so, we aren't.

I was blessed to get married just before my 30th birthday to an amazing man. Again, later than I had expected.

When we decided to have children, we assumed that we would have them soon after making the decision. I mean, both sides of our lovely family are super fertile - we currently have 6 nieces and nephews with two more on the way... all from three siblings who are younger than me.
But the fact is, it has now been over two years of trying to get pregnant.
This has been an extremely difficult journey. It started as a secret journey. I wasn't ready for a very long time to talk about it openly and to share it with others. I am not sure why exactly. I just wasn't ready. It didn't feel safe to share.
People often have a tendency to want to make things better. They want to smooth over a difficult situation/topic. They want to fix it. I am not saying that I am above this. I am guilty of this as well. But one thing I have learned when it comes to sensitive issues (such as trying to get pregnant), it is best to just listen. You don't need to fix it. You can't.

So here is some advice, if someone shares that they are unable to have children, if you feel like you need to say something - say I am sorry to hear that. That must be difficult. AND STOP THERE. REFRAIN FROM SAYING ANYTHING ELSE. If you must say something else and if you believe the following words, you can say something like - I really pray/hope it happens, I believe you would make a great mother. Hearing that you know someone who waited five years and then got pregnant ... isn't helpful. Telling me that I need to change my diet ... isn't helpful (after trying for several years, believe me we have tried it). Telling me that if we adopt, we will probably have our own biological child soon after ... isn't helpful (And really? Did God tell you something you should tell me? Because I know plenty of people where that hasn't been the case). Well you get the point.
After two years, these comments don't hurt as much anymore. I have learned to just smile and move on. But I thought it might be helpful insight as I don't think I was aware of the hurt that could be inflicted by the small things we say in trying to fix a problem.
I am now much more vocal about our pregnancy struggle (hence making it even more public by writing this post). I figure that the more people who are praying for us the better. One of the most touching prayers I have heard about is from our almost two year old nephew Jonathan who prays uncle buck, auntie signe, baby, mamen. That just touches my heart.
It is still a roller coaster of course.  Some days are easier than others. But it has gotten easier in some ways. I remember early on when everyone who was married and of childbearing age at our church was pregnant or had just had a child during the same exact time we were supposed to be pregnant as well. Why were these people able to get pregnant when we weren't? Those were very dark months. Even though now that same question haunts me, I am able to still be sincerely happy for people who get pregnant (and please don't hesitate to tell us if you are - we want the chance to rejoice with you).
Getting pregnant and having a child is a miracle. One gift that I have been given if we are able to have our own children one day, is to understand much more intimately how much of a miracle it is. Not that I didn't know that before, but I feel like I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation of what an incredible miracle a child is.
I long for our own child. At the same time I am trusting. I am trusting in God's timing. He is all knowing. He knows more than we know. And there may be a reason we are not pregnant or may never get pregnant*. 
To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. The Utmost for His Highest

I feel like I can rest in that this year. God has given me peace (not to be confused with happiness) about the situation. This is a time to trust and to be open to what God's plans are for our lives even if they are unexpected and difficult.
*I hope that you don't read this post as a cry for help or advice but rather something that I chose to share with you about my life. We have some idea of why we aren't getting pregnant. We don't mind sharing with you in person if you want to know. And I know me being sick isn't helping the situation, but note I haven't been sick for two years...


  1. I am so thankful you felt comfortable sharing the struggle you are having, Signe. And I am so happy to be able to join the many others who are praying for you and Michael, and whatever the Lord's will is for your family. Even though I know it has been a struggle, it is such an encouragement to me so see you rest and find peace in the Lord's perfect timing, as this is something I struggle with in so many areas of my life. Love to you two! :)

  2. So happy you shared. We are praying for you guys. And of course you will be wonderful parents. Love you!

  3. I am really glad that you shared both your heart and some advice on what is helpful and what is not helpful. I think sometimes people need to know what to say and what not to say when people are struggling. We often say too much and try to fix it ourselves rather than do as you ask and listen. Listening is loving indeed... I am excited about seeing you in just a few months! Love you friend - Jen