All ages have stages.
In my early twenties it was becoming an adult. What career are people choosing? In my mid twenties, it was the marriage stage. Every few months there was a new wedding to attend. As I near age thirty-two, I’ve moved into the parenting stage.
Every stage has phrases people warn you about. In those early twenties it was, “The real-world is tough.” In my late twenties it was that “Marriage is hard.” Now, it is “Parenting is really hard.” So as I’ve entered each stage I’ve expected a certain degree of toughness.
With all the humility I can muster, I must agree that parenting seems to be the most challenging phase. And I’m divorced.
I do not have children of my own. Yet, most of my friends are in different stages of either trying to become parents or trying to go through parenting.
Many of my friends have one or more children. Brandy had her son a little over a year ago. Bri has two kids, Mandy has two kiddos, and Heidi had her son a few months ago.
When it comes to the parenting stage, it seems to me that all I’ve been warned about is how hard it is to be a parent. There are other portions that people forget to mention.
Not a single word was uttered about stillbirths. I have no words for such tremendous grief.
Few gave warnings about miscarriages, and the tears my friends cried over an entire life that seemed to go away faster than it came.
No one gave me any warning about the infertility part, and watching my friends learn that bearing a child would become a dream deferred.
Vomiting. Emotional swings. Rips, tears, stretches, and hospital bills. Pregnancy and bearing a child…. Again… I don’t have the adequate words.
Postpartum depression. The dark cloud that hangs over a time many hope is filled with joy.
And, last, no one warned me about the emotional ups and downs of trying to conceive a child.
Me, and several of my friends, are in the last group.
Each month passes, and to me, it feels like a small failure. I know that trying to conceive pales in comparison to death, a miscarriage, or infertility. Yet, it’s a part of becoming a parent that I hear so little about.
Everyone says that trying to conceive is fun. And that’s true – it is. But as time passes, joy starts becoming angst. They say that after 12 months you might be infertile, and testing is recommended. As we slowly edge closer to that time, I start to ask those questions that everyone in their thirties might ask. “Did I wait too long? Did I do something wrong? Do we buy more tests? What do we do?”
To be totally honest – the first month I got my period after Del and I decided to start trying to conceive, I cried the entire day. I closed my office door and cancelled two meetings. I never thought I’d react this way, because I did not realize I wanted motherhood so much until I saw those little drops of blood.
A while ago I was reading a blog from someone who suffered a miscarriage. She said that her greatest regret was that she did not tell more people she was pregnant. She regretted that, because then when she miscarried she suffered alone. No one knew why she was crying at her desk at work.
Trying to conceive is not a miscarriage, but trying to live alone in an emotional time period is something we all do.
We think, “Why share my suffering, if others suffer more?” We tell ourselves, “My burden is too great to share with others.”
Those are lies the devil tells us to keep us alone. If he can convince we are alone, he will take us from all that we love.
Christ died for us all. He died for the rich and the poor. He died for those that live in happiness, and those that are suffering. In him, we are never alone.
I’ve been emotional lately. My body and my mind feel like they’re swinging through phases I didn’t know existed. But I am not alone. And if you’re reading this, I hope you know that you are not alone either.