Having babies is quite a journey.
Ours started way back in 2004 when I finally saw that little plus sign on the pregnancy test. So many tests, so many hopeful moments, and finally, our dream was coming true. We would become parents. Chad was just days away from beginning finals during his last year of law school, so I drove to Target and bought a little pink bib that said "I love my daddy." I remember my excitement was about to bubble over, walking around that Lubbock Target, holding my secret inside me, my secret living being like a tiny time bomb just waiting to explode into our lives.
I wrapped up the bib and gave it to him as motivation to power through his finals. He was so excited he picked me up in a bear hug and we giggled while we stared at those tiny pink lines that mattered so much.
Life went on. We moved. I grew huge. Adelade fought her way into this world on January 2nd, and she looked it. We recovered. Life was hard and wonderful and more fun than ever.
A few years later we started hoping for another baby. I got pregnant right away. We took the test while staying with Chad's parents one weekend. We were so excited to be able to tell them in person--I think we even videotaped it so we could capture his mom's happy tears. But, weeks later problems surfaced. We lost the baby. Reading those little pink lines was never really fun after that, just scary and nerve-wracking and tiring. Every pregnancy afterward started with sighs, hopeful little smiles exchanged, and months of waiting before telling anyone anything.
That's how my third pregnancy began. Complications set in and we were fairly certain another miscarriage was beginning. We went for an early ultrasound, and there was Sawyer, a little peanut of a person, heart flickering brightly on the black screen that just months earlier had confirmed that our second child was gone. His little flashing pulse was like a beacon of hope for me.
A thousand prayers went up.
Sawyer showed up in January, easy-going from the start, his personality like a billboard that said, "Why worry?" It was hard for us to even remember the panic we felt in the beginning when he seemed so fragile.
Years passed. Two more miscarriages. The first was an agonizing, months-long process of ultrasounds, hope, hope lost, and hope renewed. We prayed, cried, and it was finally all over twelve weeks in. The second was early, and not even surprising. We had become so accustomed to the fear, it almost seemed better to expect the worst. The ultrasound tech's demeanor at each appointment was slumped, uncomfortable. She would ask us again, "Now, HOW far along do you think you are?" No heartbeat. Life come and gone so quickly, we didn't even get a chance to witness it.
Finally, I became pregnant for the sixth time. We waited in agony for the eight week ultrasound that would show us whether the baby had a heartbeat. As soon as I saw that beautiful flicker, I knew she would be okay. Emerald entered our world in May, our little miracle baby that I thought might never be. Three children. Six children. I feel blessed to have experienced all of them.
I learned so much about God during the agonizing times. Ever-present. Life-giving. Faithful. Sovereign. Patient.
And I learned that I really can say of a God so good and so caring that when He chooses to give me what I feel I can't live without and when He chooses to take what I desperately prayed to keep, I can trust Him.
I have no doubt at all that one day when I leave this world, three children I never met will be waiting to greet me, their only mama, and I can't wait to see if at least one of them has red hair. :-)
He gives and takes away. I choose to bless His name.