I want to interrupt our baby background for a moment to share some reflections. I will pick back up where I left off in my next post. The whole idea behind this journal to begin with came from that appointment where my midwife brought up getting the tubes tied. She is a woman of faith, as I have mentioned before, and she knows our deal, why we do what we do. I feel like God can use other people to guide and direct your path sometimes, so I consider what she says very carefully. Whereas, before this pregnancy and the last, before c-sections were introduced to my body, there was no question. Part of what I believe is that I trust God to know what my body can handle. I truly believe that His hand is in conception, and who knows me better than me but my Heavenly Father? It’s easy to feel that way when everything goes smoothly, but it doesn’t always. That’s one of the reasons I have felt that this decision was one that was right for my family without the need to judge others for not doing the same. I may have been pregnant nine times at this point in my life, but I’m only an expert in how it pertains to my body, not yours. At this point, how many c-sections can I have back to back? Should I find a practice that will do vaginal deliveries after a c-section (a much more heated debate than you can imagine)? How much can my body take? How much can my sanity handle? How full can my husband’s plate get (you know, since he’s the only one with a “real” job)?
So, this is where this journal was born. We’ve been considering this all along. When do we intervene, and do we intervene? I can’t seem to make the decision to take that power into my own heart and mind because I know my heart and mind isn’t always right. So I decided that writing down our thoughts, those moments when I say “I CAN’T DO THIS ANOTHER MINUTE!!!!!” along with the ones that say “This is why you do what you do” would help us make a more thought out and clear decision about what might be next for us and our reproductive choices.
One day, when I was struggling with some of these thoughts in my head, I came home and hopped on Facebook to find a message from an old acquaintance from high school. She was congratulating me on my pregnancy and shared that she was pregnant with her ninth, with only four living children, but at 21 weeks, was a little hesitant to share the news. It turns out that she has experienced miscarriage THREE times beyond the 20 weeks point! That is devastating! In that moment, I counted the blessing of having nine pregnancies with only one miscarriage, at only seven weeks along. Was that still loss for me? Yes. I was heartbroken and wrestled with God on that one. However, I was reminded by Adam that trusting God meant trusting Him through the good and the bad, through birth and sometimes through loss. I was also in a Beth Moore Bible study at the time with some very close friends, and the night’s Bible study just after this happened, which I felt the need to attend, was written just for me in that moment. Now surely that isn’t true, but God found a way to use it to comfort my heart and make me feel what I needed from Him in my loss. When I am faced with news of my old pal’s experience, or the friend who lost her precious baby boy at 5 months gestation and will only be able to carry a child through the placement of a cerclage, which keeps her cervix from dilating early, I think “Who am I? Who am I to take this precious gift I have been given and say ‘No thank you?’ when there are so many who would love to have a ‘normal’ pregnancy and delivery?” And countless women who want so much to birth their own precious child, only to be told that their body won’t make babies or can’t carry them to term. Who am I to say no?
I told you I was going to be honest, but let me also say this. This battle in my head and my heart, these questions I ask of myself are simply that. Questions I ask of myself. I judge no one else for their reproductive choices. I don’t think that if this is what I’m supposed to do then every woman is supposed to do it. I don’t want anyone to feel judged or feel the need to defend their family size or spacing. I know I sure am tired of feeling the need to defend mine. Please remember that I am simply sharing my story, and I can promise you, there will be entries where I share the moments when I ask myself, and God sometimes, “Are you kidding me? You think I can do this again?”