Not a story I could ever write, but one I’d like to write down at least a bit of. I mean holy goodness. So much holy. So much goodness.
About 12 years ago we started our journey into unplanned unparenthood. About 6 years ago we stopped all tests and “trying”, found happy again, embraced an unplanned but brilliant life and even adopted the childless fistbump. And then of course 3 years ago we learned firsthand the fragility of life and the power of living a miracle.
So much holy. So much goodness. My 30s brought a lot of life.
And now 40 is bringing a whole new life. What the what? Literally as I sit here typing, with my laptop perched on an ever-growing belly, weeks (days maybe!) away from meeting her, I still have a hard time believing it. Goodness and mercy aren’t just following me, they’re kicking me from the inside out!
From unplanned unparenthood to unexpectedly expecting.
To say this little peanut caught us off guard would be an understatement. Our whole world got flipped upside down when we saw those two pink lines. Immediate laughter filled the room – the laughs of wonder, delight, and pure shock. About five minutes later the terror showed up, where suddenly I felt super responsible for this fragile life, and super vulnerable to what a positive pregnancy test meant, deeply deeply aware of the many directions it could go. Nothing can make you more wary of a pee stick than infertility kicking you in the teeth over and over again.
My first doctor’s appointment was entertaining to the staff because I remained in a stupor, just dumbfounded. One nurse said “you’re the most chill pregnant lady I’ve ever seen” and I looked at her like she’d just told me I was calmly growing a third arm. I mean, that’s how bizarre the whole thing felt.
Turns out that this little surprise came home with us from a trip to Rome over the New Year – same week that these two little Protestants were blessed by the Pope, actually – do with that what you will. It was our first international trip post-heart attack (complete with my hot-mess tears on the flight). We didn’t post a single photo from that trip. It was just ours. As we rang in 2019, there wasn’t even a flicker in our mind that this little girl would be coming home as our little Italian souvenir.
In the weeks that followed that positive test, my mind and heart did somersaults – which paired nicely with the nausea I was experiencing. We had fallen in love with the unexpected life we were living, and I couldn’t find right side up for a bit as we tumbled into this new narrative. Simply put, it’s disorienting to be expecting so many years after you’ve released expectation.
I think finally, all these months later, I’ve found just a few words to capture this season. Hoping to get some of them on paper in the coming moments before she arrives.
Right off the bat I felt smacked with the word kindness. But by itself it doesn’t tell the whole story. Because kindness came before this gift. Better and fuller is that this is another measure of God’s kindness.
another … this word matters to me, it’s not just tossed in as an extra, it’s there because we knew God’s kindness before those two pink lines arrived, as we lived out the story we were given, as we learned to let infertility describe but not define us. To all hearts still waiting in some season of barrenness: He sees you. Watch for His kindness, I promise you will find it. In the barrenness, not just in the fullness. Actually, that’s not my promise, which is why I can be confident in it – it’s His.
measure … blame it on being a PhD wife, as Jason wraps up his doctorate this year, but I’ve learned a lot about measures and metrics as I’ve watched him study. I’ve watched him research and calibrate data, and while I’ve understood less than half of what he’s doing, what’s not lost on me is that the measures are precise and timely. But they also measure only a precise time and space. A good researcher pays attention to what the precise measurements tell him, to be sure, but also to what the whole picture is. So too, as we’ve marveled at this new life, we’ve known it is but one measure of God’s kindness, the one He’s using right now to show us more of who He is, but by no means the only one. She’s not the whole picture – maybe that’s part of the gift of receiving her after all these years, we finally know that while she will add so much to us, she does not have to live with the pressure of being what completes us.
of God’s … no pretending or wondering if anyone but God decided this life would exist. It is against all odds for a couple to conceive after 12 years of unexplained infertility (no matter how many stories you hear about it “always happening”, it doesn’t – the actual math and science of it all tells quite a humbling story), not to mention that this little girl’s Dad shouldn’t have survived by medical standards. So yeah, she’s God’s handiwork and declaration through and through.
kindness … just giggly sweet kindness. Like a ray of sunshine that you can feel. Like a smile from lips etched in cotton candy. Like a stream giggling along the rocks. Kindness that kicks me awake both physically and figuratively. Something He didn’t have to give, but chose to.
I’m hoping to capture a few more thoughts from these past months as we head into the home stretch of meeting this wee face. Signing off with bare feet, white hairs, deeply grooved smile lines, all of it. So much holy. So much goodness.