I’m 1 in 8 and 1 in 4. Something I don’t think about daily anymore. It was something I thought about hourly for a while. This week I have seen so much awareness for infertility and infant loss. Something I am very familiar with. Some details have faded but the memory of the feelings don’t. My first miscarriage came after we had our first child Morgan. New Year’s day I went to the hospital in immense pain knowing I was pregnant. I quickly learned the pregnancy was ectopic and had ruptured in my tube. I was rushed to surgery and in a blur was released the same day to go home. Three hundred and 364 days later, Katie was born. I’m not lost on the timing or the way this part of my year was bookended. What started with the greatest loss in my life at this point, ended with one of the greatest joys.
After we had Katie, we needed a break. She was spit fire and 100% energy. When we did decide to try for one more, we instead lost three in a row. Crushing blow after blow. To complicate the whole thing we almost always had to use fertility drugs to get pregnant. The routine had become familiar but the emotional rollercoaster was draining and expensive. When I had lost all hope, Ryan said, “let’s try one more time”. My reply was, “you better make it a good one”, too which we now see the results of our twins, Gabby and Izzy.
A big part of my story after I had Katie was finding like minded friends. Moms in the same season, going through the same thing. None of us had it all figured out but we were doing our best or wanting to do our best. Those friends in that season were the hands and feet of Jesus for me. They jumped in with flowers and meals during those losses. They knew I would be sad and loved me anyway. Their company was a soft place to fall when everything else around me seemed to be spinning. Those women knew me and my desire to have more children and walked the journey with me.
We each have a story about how we became a mom and the variations are all different. Being a mom in and of itself is a binding factor. It might be through adoption, through In vitro, through a surrogate or all natural childbirth. Mine included an ambulance ride, emergency c-sections and long stays in hospitals. (That’s the part I leave out when talking to a pregnant mommy!) But it is all what makes us a mom. The joy, the pain, the love and the loss.
You have a story too. One day God might place on your heart to share your story in just the right moment when a friend needs help and encouragement. How to love someone through loss is hard, but what an opportunity you have to love and minister to someone who doesn’t know Jesus or the hope he can bring them. They just might need a little help learning how to share their story too.
Reflecting day to day-
Something I have done for the past eight years was written a story that I shared a couple of times a month with those I served with. It went out on Friday’s.
Two weeks ago, that came to an end. I was a casualty in a large layoff….restructure of sorts. I got the meeting request 20 minutes before (big first clue) and when it only includes the boss and president, you kind of have an idea what’s about to happen. In all of it, the greatest sadness was not being able to say goodbye to the staff and hundreds of volunteers I worked with. It was immediate, abrupt and sad. I loved what I did and who I did it with. In the end, I count it as a blessing for having spent 15 years serving and working in a ministry I so loved. Not many can say that.
This space I now live in, is the in between. In between what life looks like going from working 40 hours a week to looking for a job. The questions of what now and the white space in my days is both hard and good. You see, I live my life with a core belief that God has a purpose and will for my life. Each day I choose to walk towards that or away from it. Each unexpected twist isn’t anything He didn’t already not know. There is comfort for me in this and also a wrestling of sorts. What’s next?
I am also living this “in between” in my personal life. I have two kids in college and two kids starting junior high. Parenting both looks very different.
Being a last child, and later in life kid, also means my only living parent is older. With age comes life and health issues for anyone. Alongside my siblings we are doing our best to come alongside my dad in this “in between” stage. The balance of wanting him to enjoy all the independence he can while also advocating for him when he can’t.
Last week my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It was sweet, memorable and also a reminder that these past years we have had to fight for it. We are “in between” a very hard few years and looking forward to dreaming new dreams and all that God has for us the next 25 years.
Living in this in between season of life is both a blessing but also requires determination. It’s my story right now and what I will be sharing about. The struggles and the celebrations, the mundane and extraordinary. The how-to’s and what not to do’s. This is my life. I invite you to come along for the ride and share if you think others can relate. My heart beats to encourage, inspire and even challenge you as you read along.
Living day to day-
P.S. As I learn my new voice, I’d love to hear what you might want to talk about. Email me at email@example.com.