Not A Baby Story: Matt & Kelly Edition
As I’ve word vomited on the World Wide Web about my inner struggles with not yet being a mom, I’ve been both reminded of and introduced to fellow hopefuls along the way.
Meet my friend Kelly and her soulless-ginger-of-a-husband, Matt. Kelly graciously agreed to an interview over lunch.
She’s stirring the pasta primavera when I arrive at her place and I smell the cheesy-goodness of her homemade bread. As soon as she calms her vicious attack dachshund Josie, we get down to business.
Matt and Kelly met in college, while Matt was dating Kelly’s friend-of-sorts. The friend-ish girl kept telling Matt he was going to break up with her so he could date Kelly. Apparently she was a prophet, because it happened. But Matt was a bit of a player so Kelly warned him she’d not be his next conquest. He said “Okay. You’re not. I’m looking for my wife.” Kelly holds her laughter at bay when she says, “The first time he asked if he could kiss me I said no.” She pauses and smiles for emphasis. “The next time he didn’t ask.” Smart man.
We land on the topic of their pre-marriage conversations regarding children. Kelly gives me a wan smile and says, “While we were dating, he told me he is the only male grandchild and it’s basically up to him to carry on his family name. And he wants to have all these kids and name his firstborn son Matthew James Jr. and call him #2.” I giggle.
“I told him,” She stumbles slightly over her words. “I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to have children.” She tells me when she was in 5th grade, a doctor misdiagnosed her appendicitis, which resulted in a ruptured appendix. Josie interrupts with a bark and startles us. After Kelly’s clenched-teeth shushing attempts are rendered useless, she rips off a chunk of bread and chucks it into the kitchen. Josie is silent. Kelly continues, “Matt was really cool about it. He was really understanding and encouraging and…married me anyway.”
Kelly was prescribed a regulatory medicine after several years of no babies. She tells me she knows what it feels like to be sure you’re pregnant, make silly plans and discover a week later there’s no bun in your oven. “When we were first going through this process, I didn’t have a lot of joy.” She pauses. “I guess I just blamed God for us not having the blessing of children when we wanted them.”
I ask Kelly what else she struggles with. She launches into a fear she’s had ever since she and Matt said I do. “Matt dated a lot of people before he dated me, so sometimes I wonder…what if he would’ve married one of the girls he dated before me? He probably would be a dad by now. It hurt me to know that my body was keeping him from something he wanted so badly.”
Before her statement sinks in enough to bring me to tears, she continues. “But in the past four months, God has really kinda conquered that fear in my life. There’s nothing I could’ve changed to make our story go differently. After our last doctors visit—when they officially labeled me infertile—Matt and I went to lunch afterward. He said, ‘You know I don’t blame you for any of this, right?’”
She is thoughtful for a moment after I ask her to compare where she is now with where she’s been. “I’m in a much better place emotionally. I’ve been focusing on my relationship with Christ and my marriage—because I’m not a mom yet. I don’t want to focus all my emotion and all my goals and dreams on being a mom when I have a husband here in my house right now. I can focus on my relationship with God right now. God’s really been working on me having joy. When we got the not-great news from our doctor, I wasn’t that upset about it because I know I have every reason to be hopeful and joyful no matter what circumstances I’m in.”
An Aside: Matt & Kelly Brown live in Conway, SC. Matt is the Student Pastor at The Rock. Kelly is a stay-at-home-wife (a fancy way of saying she slaves away all day in order to keep her husband sane). Due to the exorbitant costs of infertility procedures and adoption, they are simply waiting. And praying. And loving on the special kids already in their life.