Not having a baby

Having my third child was really hard on me. I could have died giving birth. The doctor found I had partial placenta previa, which means that a part of my placenta was covering the cervix. I lost my mucous plug at 28 weeks and anytime I stood up to do anything more than shower, I would have early labor contractions, begin bleeding, and need to go to the hospital. What stopped the early labor was bedrest, so for months I rested in my bed. After little bird was born my husband and my family all breathed a sigh of relief. It was over and I didn’t have to worry about dying while giving birth anymore. My doctor recommended surgery to prevent further pregnancies because one placenta previa occurs, there’s a greater chance it will happen again. So I had one surgery that led to two more and it just so happened that I wouldn’t have been able to get pregnant again anyway.

My uterus had adenomyosis(endometriosis, only inside instead of outside the organ). I was okay with it at first because my hands were full. My goodness, my hands still feel full these days. I don’t know that I could handle anything else on my plate right now. But it doesn’t mean I never felt that maternal instinct to have another baby every now and again. I had an urge to have another baby for about 3 years and no uterus to produce one. Life was full of regret in that area. I was angry, I was sad, and I felt useless. I felt like someone was missing and it hurt so bad. It made me angry.

In all honesty life is so full with Christ right now that I have no desire to have another baby. I realized that I was angry and looking at myself as a failure while placing my worth on something I could no longer do. Being a mother is a dream come true. My anger was directed towards the Lord and I didn’t know it. Browbeating myself with Scripture about having bucket loads of kids became a pastime. To top it off I had an ache for the child I missed knowing. If life was perfect and everything went smoothly all the time, every time, I would have four kids right now. But life is not perfect, and once in a while I think about the absence of the person who could have been. I don’t think it’s the Lord’s “will” that anyone die, but I sure do see His hand in all of it today. I am so grateful for Christ’s forgiveness, redemption, and grace. For years now I have heaped guilt upon myself for not carrying the first baby to full term, for later taking my own fertility, forgetting that I probably never would have been able to get pregnant again anyway. All I could do was look at my own decisions, not Christ.  This area had become all mine. I have spent years living in a state of wanting. I wanted to be fertile. I wanted to have purpose as a female and somehow getting the baby organ removed made me feel less valuable. Until very recently, I felt like I would never have purpose as a real woman again.

The truth is, my identity doesn’t lie in motherhood, the fact that I could bear children, or my ability to care for them. The Lord gave me three healthy, beautiful boys and I have been so ungrateful in wanting anything more than what He’s given me. Christ has lived in my heart since I was 17 years old. He was with me through very dark times, He knows me inside and out, and He chooses to live in me, via the Holy Spirit. He loves each one of us, including myself and our value is not placed on anything we do, including having babies, homeschooling, or serving others. Our value is ONLY in the fact that He has given us value through Himself. He has allowed us into a very loving, very intimate, very precious union- we are included in Him and His relationship with the Father for eternity.

There have been many feelings and convictions that have been at the core of my belief system. It has affected my marriage, my self-esteem, and my relationship with Him and with others. I am not so calloused to say that none of that matters, because life can really sting sometimes. But, I am convinced that nothing can keep us from the Love of Christ. I am strong in Him today and secure in what’s been set out for me. My value is no longer in my motherhood. Should I lose my family today I would be just as loved by Christ.

The Lord created unity between husband and wife to be a picture of the unity between Himself and the church. Having babies is simply to populate the earth. I felt so undesirable as a barren woman. Something bad happened to me in that area after the hysterectomy. I felt like my purpose was served in my marriage and I was tempted to move into my own bedroom. Would there ever be a reason to share myself with my husband if my body couldn’t serve it’s purpose? In my heart I could only see what I was unable to do and therefore had no desire to ever to be with my husband because there was no purpose. But that is simply not true… people with 2 dozen kids may get mad at me for writing this, but we are not purposed to keep having babies until we run out of baby making stuff. The picture of a husband and wife together is a beautiful reality when it comes to the relationship we are to have with Christ, the two become One. The Lord has revealed Himself to me in this area in some very personal and real ways. I am blown away by His life and what He accomplishes in the downtrodden.

Thank you for reading this personal (I actually left a lot out, if you can believe it) post about my desire to have babies and my value that rested on this desire. I hope that ultimately Christ is seen in this post and not my crazy baby fever. Two of my 3 brothers and my brother-in-law are all pregnant or just had a baby- literally like 2 weeks ago. My third brother has been married for several months so they’ll probably get pregnant soon. I am soooo happy and excited for all these new babies to be born into the family. I want to be the best aunt ever and take them places when they get older and spoil them with love. Behind all of these feelings is a small sigh of relief that Chris and I are in the next stage of life. I don’t have to lose sleep, diaper a little one, or breastfeed. I will be getting my 8 hours of sleep per night for the rest of my life! I am glad to be where He has me, with no complaints. And that in itself is a little miracle.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Jackie

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