A little over 18 years ago on February 19th I was in the recovery room after delivering my third baby, Jason. I had a (barely) three year old and a thirteen month old (January 19th) waiting for me at home. I was overwhelmed by the task ahead of me but grateful for the safe delivery of this new baby boy. As I laid there, I sensed the presence of another child destined for our family. Obviously, fertility was not an issue for me and I assumed that in a couple of years (once I got my feet back under me and my brood a little older), we would welcome that child in to our family.
But God had other plans for me.
I recognize now that God had me feel that child at that moment so that I would have the courage to endure what was ahead of me. I think that had I felt that at any other time I would have written it off as being 'baby hungry' but, because it came at a time when I was definitely not planning my next pregnancy, I knew it was a quiet prompting that I would need to reference back to in the years ahead.
During the next eleven years and as a result of an infertility work-up, I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis. I went through laparoscopic surgery, Lupron hormone injection therapy, miscarriages, D&Cs, tears, heartbreak, grief, pleading with God, frustration with women who were carrying unwanted pregnancies and long stretches of not being able to conceive or conceiving only to lose the pregnancy at two months.
One night, after yet another ultrasound showed no heartbeat, I sat in my rust velvet swivel rocker and rocked and cried and cried some more as I grieved the end of a pregnancy and prepared my heart and mind for yet another D&C. I had come to know all too well the look on the ultrasound techs' faces when they are unable to find a heartbeat. Each time they would look and look and look, then place the call to the radiologist to come to the ultrasound room to confirm their findings and then the news that this pregnancy, with all of it's hopes and dreams, is over. I even had one radiologist look at me and say, "Don't go buy maternity clothes. You won't need them."
But still I clung to that feeling in the recovery room and I pressed on.
Ten years later, I was 35, my endrometriosis was severe and I had an appointment with my doctor to schedule a hysterectomy. I felt like God knew my heart and I had tried. Two days before my appointment, I found out I was pregnant. With guarded optimism, I went to my appointment and prayed for the best. Because of my age and medical history, I was considered a high risk pregnancy but I was praying that this pregnancy would be blessed and that I could carry this baby to full term.
On February 19th, exactly eleven years after that day in the recovery room (and two weeks before my due date), I delivered a healthy baby girl with big blue eyes and curly hair.
God had kept His promise to me but it was in God's time, not mine. And in doing so, I learned that God keeps His promises, He is aware of me, He knows me by name and He knows the righteous desires of my heart. He was always there - through heartache and triumph. But in the process, He allowed me to grieve and grow, to trust and love, to wait and listen and to always show faith.
My baby girl is know grown up and graduating from high school on Thursday. She is a daily reminder to me of God's miracles and promises. During a very hard time in my life, she was a reminder that God's time table is not always mine but He is there - always.
I thought I had learned all of my times tables in 3rd grade with Mrs. Shoell but I have found that I had one more to learn from God and, in learning that one, I have been blessed.