More than four years (or 53 months.. but who's counting?) and some four dozen babies (seriously) later, despite many evaluative tests and various remedies and strategies for conception, we still wait.
I have deliberately avoided discussing my struggle with infertility on this blog. Not because I think you'd be unsympathetic, but because I didn't want it to become, for me, a forum for complaining. I would be lying if I told you it hasn't been painful. But I would also be lying if I pretended we have not had our share of grace and blessing. So many blessings..
---St. Josemaria Escriva said:
"God in His providence has two ways of blessing marriages: one by giving them children; and the other, sometimes, because he loves them so much, by not giving them children. I don't know which is the better blessing. In any event, let one accept his own."That was a hard thought for me: God is blessing our marriage by not giving us children. Or at least, by not giving us children according to our plan and schedule. I do hope to be a mother someday, but clearly my plans for immediate parenthood were not what God had in mind.
I've been thinking about St. Josemaria's words a lot, especially (you may have noticed) since it feels like everyone is getting pregnant lately. There is a delicate balance between being thankful for one's own blessings and still pursuing the blessings we feel called to, like children; between looking around at my life and saying "I am so blessed" but still being able to look forward with hope and say "I do want children."
It's not enough only to look forward, because I could too easily forget about all the wonderfulness in my life right now. But neither is it enough to merely "be content" with life as it is. We are called to foster a sense of "not yet" in our plans. What's in the future? How should we plan for it? What are we supposed to do to bring that future into the present?
I even admit to selfish thoughts like, "well, they can't do all the things T and I can do, since they have kids." But, inevitably, I say to myself, "but I know they don't care.. they'd never change a thing." To be honest, we wouldn't change a thing either. Still, I have sometimes tried to convince myself that my life, sans bebe is better than life with kids, but that thought is empty. Comparison is a deep, dark hole that will never bring fruit.
I am no saint. I can only speak from my experience and I have succumbed to these temptations many times. But I do know that there is grace in abundance in such struggles. "Let each accept his own" is St. Josemaria's advice. Grant it, O Lord.
And we will keep waiting. But not without hope.