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What to Expect When You’ve Already Expected

My dear friend had her third child this week. A perfect, healthily-squalling little girl.

An unexpected surge of joy shot through me and I teared up as I watched her through the nursery glass. I was in awe over how much this little girl is already loved. Plus it looked like she wouldn’t have to spend the first week of her life in the NICU like her older brother did two-and-a-half years before her.

After I had my fill of newborn sweetness, I ambled back down the hallway toward my friend’s hospital room along with her other two kids and mother-in-law. Just before we reached the oversized door, I heard her mother-in-law ask, “Is it hard for you to be here?” I turned to face her as she said, “I read your blog.”

Understanding flooded through me. Of course! She’s thinking of mine and Jerimiah’s inability to get preggers and must have thought my tears were of an entirely different variety. Not that I’m above crying for that reason … I began to stammer my protests when she spoke again, this time in a strained voice. “My oldest is adopted, you know.” I did know. My friend’s husband is their only biological child and from what I understand, his conception was a bit of a miracle.

And over thirty years later, his mother’s tearful eyes replayed the movie of her decades-old pain. Like it all happened yesterday.

Just because she has two grown children doesn’t mean she’s forgotten the agony involved with the journey it took to get them. The anger. The impatience. The self-loathing for a body seemingly incapable of doing what every woman’s was designed to do. I realized that even if I am blessed with my own children someday, I will never escape the memory of the waiting.

At the very least, I hope I can turn the tale of my unpleasant journey into a gift of empathy and compassion. Like what my friend’s mother-in-law gave me.

“The present becomes the past that shapes your future.” – Andy Stanley

** Don’t forget about my Kindle Fire giveaway!! You have until April 15 to rack up as many points for yourself as possible. Read here to find out how. **

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  1. I know that feeling all too well. I feel so blessed to have a beautiful little boy, but at the same time, still know the heartache of not being able to get pregnant. I’m still praying for my miracle, and maybe oneday God will bless us.

    • beth

      Thanks for sharing Katie. I pray that He will.

  2. Words cannot express how much I love you nor how much I long to see the desire of your hearts fulfilled. I am so thankful for your brave transparency. A number of folks I know have walked your path. I know your courage inspires as much as your sadness resonates.

    • beth

      Thank you Carol Anne. I love you too!

  3. It will happen when God has it planned for you, but you can always borrow one of ours in the meantime. Especially for the diaper parts! Plus, your “baby” is due April 1, right? ;)

    • beth

      Haha, thanks Jen! I’ll keep your offer in mind.
      And yes, my “baby” is due April 1! Though I wish time would stand still so I could catch my breath before its arrival. :)

  4. Thanks again for sharing. This is beautiful, and you’re so right. Even feeling my little miracle kicking around right now, I can still so quickly tap into three years worth of that desperation, and I’m not sure the fear will ever go away.
    I hope also that I’ll be able to give the gift of understanding to other ladies who are walking the same difficult journey.

    • beth

      So well said Erynn. I’m quite certain you will be a generous giver of understanding. I’m also plain stoked about your little miracle!! :)

  5. Carolyn Trucano

    Continue to support your friends in their joy. God will bring you joy as you rejoice with them, and respect those who remember what their own feelings were and remember what those feelings were like when you blogged about about the empty arms. You have reached those who have been on both sides of the issue. Love you.

    • beth

      Thank you. :) Love you too.

  6. Allison Stout

    A friend had her little boy last weekend. I had the joy of holding him while he slept for hours last Sunday. When he first was placed in my arms, I was overwhelmed and had tears in my eyes. I was so scared that I would feel sadness and that it would be completely transparent on my face. It was the complete opposite. Seeing Max’s face and the faces of his amazing parents gave me new energy. This is what I’ve been trying years to get. This is what I HAVE to keep hope for….because I could have held him forever.

    I thank you so much for sharing your story. It has truly helped me. I’ve gone from the girl who always responded to the “When are you going to have children” question with “one day” to now sharing my story with those who are open to it. And I’m amazed at the support that has come from it…and I’m forever grateful.

    • beth

      Allison, I’m filled with joy every time I read your comment. So happy that you had your Max experience! I understand how good it feels. And what a relief it is to feel it. I’m so very proud of you. Not just for sharing your story with others, but for wanting to see past your own pain. I am honored to be your friend.

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