Sunday, November 20, 2016


My husband has been traveling a lot lately- so much so that it sometimes feels like I'm learning how to do life as a single person again (a single person in a long-distance relationship, really)...

Here's the recipe my mom uses if you're craving any!
My mom put together this giant recipe book a few
years back for all of her kids, complete with photos
from the past. I'm sure she'll appreciate me posting
 this old shot of her and my dad together :) 
Cooking one pot of Mexican Corn Chowder and literally eating it at least once a day for a week,
figuring out how to adapt my social calendar to doing and creating things for me to do alone instead of with someone else, getting to go to sleep earlier than I'm used to, hearing my thoughts louder and louder without having someone to bounce even the craziest ones off of... the list goes on.

And so I find myself talking to our dogs more- like they're humans. Today I couldn't help but wonder if I'd be a lot lonelier if they weren't around...knawing on tennis balls, shaking their hair all over the house and wagging their tails and wiggling their giant bodies every time I come home from work or other gatherings. It's good for my soul to have dogs right now, even if they can be master escape artists or incessant barkers from time to time.

I still get asked occasionally how I'm doing with this whole pregnancy thing. I appreciate when people ask. It's not a sensitive topic for me to discuss, although I realize bringing it up on the other side could feel uncomfortable and people want to be careful.

Obviously I'm not writing about it much anymore. Mostly because it feels repetitive. Mostly because I feel like I entered into a period of not even wanting to get pregnant anymore. Mostly because I still don't know how to digest my own thoughts and feelings and then regurgitate them out in any sort of comprehensible manner.

Because this was a week where my husband was gone. But it was also a week where I might have found out I was pregnant... or not. A week where all my normal "start" symptoms were delayed or not apparent and my heart, as a result, went a thousand different directions.

The initial thoughts were along the lines of irony... of course the moment when we decide more resolutely that we don't think we want children would we be pregnant. And then irrational fear: Jack & Rose style- maybe my husband will die on this trip and this is how his legacy will continue. And then rational fear: wait, what would having a child actually mean for my life? And then excitement: Finally! And then worry: Do I want a baby? Like, really...? And could I do it? And then joy. And, really... just a bunch of unnecessary thoughts and feelings pre-knowing if I'm even pregnant at all.

I had picked up a book on my way out of the office on Friday as I was heading home for the weekend. It was a book a friend had given me a year ago to read, a book that had remained on my shelf the entire time (and even through an office move). For whatever reason, I thought I might open it up during my weekend alone.

Would you believe that this book, while largely about other things, was also largely about the struggle of a woman to get pregnant? The very open memoir of a woman who longs for a second child, encounters miscarriages, false positives, the cruel waiting, every other person in the world around her (seemingly) getting pregnant... which then lead to giving up the trying and then winding up pregnant (of course). I haven't actually finished the book. It was at this point in the story where I needed to put it down for a minute.

Because I don't want kids.
And I do.
And I don't know how to deal with those very opposite realities.
I don't know how to deal with the relief and the disappointment that occurs simultaneously each month.

I don't know how to talk to people about it. I don't know how to talk to moms who have their own world of mom language and mom needs-- because I'm not one and, a lot of the time, I don't want to ever be one.  I don't know how to talk to women who are trying to have children and are crushed by their infertility-- because I'm still on this fence of relief and gratitude when I discover I'm not pregnant. I don't know how to talk to women who just don't want children-- because while I can carry this torch more fully than the others, I still don't know if I buy it. I still can't shake the thought that I'm just coping with this all in way that plays out in defensiveness and apathy.

I don't know how to talk to my husband about it either.
Because it's crazy.
It's back and forth, in an instant.
It's tears of disappointment coupled with sighs of relief.
It's applause of celebration and stabs of heartache.
It's the pleading that I might trust the Lord with all of this, no matter what, with the constant question of if we should seek further medical advice before it's "too late" or start pursuing adoption.

So I guess if you were to ask me today how I feel about this pregnancy thing?
I think I might tell you that I feel pretty alone in it.
Not because I don't have people around me who support and love me, or a husband who I'm continually thankful for... but because I don't know know what I want.

And, for maybe one of the first times in my life, I feel like I'm the only one in the world who feels like this. For any other situation or instance in my life, I knew there were people who could relate to what I was going through and how I was feeling about it.

But this?
This feels foreign. This isn't something I hear about or read about.
And maybe I feel like something is wrong with me. Because how can you not know if you do or don't want children?

But I'm torn.
Not wanting.
Torn because I see what other people have and I'm thankful I don't have it.
Torn because I see what they have, and my heart hurts because I don't.

And so I'll do the only thing I know I can do... and take it to the Lord. Because as crazy as I am, there's true comfort in the fact that the Lord knows me and the desires of my heart better than I do. My husband actually reminded me of that recently- that the Lord knows us. And He is good. So while I am torn, He is taking care of me. He is taking care of this.

And probably because of that (and that alone), I am still overwhelmingly content.
Content, yet pushed to abide in Him more fully each day.

Strangely, there's enough hope in that for me right now. It's enough to override all the other tumultuous, crazy emotions this last year+ has been for me. It's enough to remind me that there's other things that matter more. It's enough that this doesn't have to be all-consuming or defining for me.

And, maybe even more strangely, I know that the Lord is being good to me in this entire process- even if I don't know how I feel about all of it.

So today... today, I'll eat my chowder, talk to my dogs, wait for my husband to come home, and be thankful for all that I do have.

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