Have you ever made a life plan? An example was that I had planned that I was going to be married by 23, stable career and a house by 24, first child by 25, second child by 27, and so on and so forth. I got so wrapped up into this stupid life plan, that seeing my life for what it was in the moment was nothing but a big blurry mess. Obviously, I’ve moved beyond that, but after an interesting instance today, I can’t help but feel a part of me still holds onto a little part of that life plan.
I’ve wanted to become a mother for a while now. Partially because for about 2 years, I was convinced that I was not able to have my own children and I felt that I was one of the few people who were just born to be a mom. I will spare you medical terms because I don’t exactly know what they are and I don’t want to pass on false information, but long story short, my mom had a genetic disorder that caused her ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and her uterus to be covered in fibriods and cysts. Being that this was determined to be a genetic disorder, her doctor told her that my sister and I needed to be going in yearly to be checked for development of the same conditions.
About a month or so before my 20th birthday, I had my yearly appointment. I was convinced it was going to go well and that nothing had changed since I hadn’t felt any different than I did the previous 5 years when all this started. I was wrong. My doctor told me that I was beginning to form masses on my uterus and by the looks of them they were cysts. We talked about all of the warning signs that I needed to be aware of that would deem them a “medical emergency”. She informed me that I was about 10-15% coverage which was normal for cysts and I was on my merry little way.
She told me that I didn’t have to change anything in my day to day routine, but if I would have done my research, I would have. I would have stopped taking my daily birth control pill that I was using to mask brutal cramps and symptoms. Little did I know that while it was masking those symptoms, it was also masking the full feeling of what was all going on “in there.”
A year passed and I went back in for my checkup a few short weeks before my 21st birthday. Not so good news. The coverage had gotten worse. I was sitting at about 75-80% coverage. She was surprised that I hadn’t felt worse pains or had any symptoms of it – OF COURSE I DIDN’T… I was still throwing all different types of hormones in my body.
She did all her checks and left the room for a few minutes (Felt like a half hour but it was about 5 minutes), came back in, and delivered the news to me. If the coverage were to remain the same or get worse, my chances of having my own children were little to none. She explained that what I had was similar to what my mother had. She also explained how my sister and I were to be considered my parent’s miracle children. That meant if my parent’s were able to have two happy, healthy babies, I could too….maybe. As our discussion progressed, I was convinced that I wasn’t able to have my own children. I wasn’t willing to go through hormone therapy and I didn’t wan’t to have a major surgery at my age. Besides, there are other options; adoption, surrogacy , foster, step-children, etc.
When being a mom is all you’ve ever wanted and someone comes in and tells you that it’s not possible is the worst feeling to experience. It was like my whole purpose in life was just ripped away from me. Yes, there were other options, but it wouldn’t be the same as looking at MY child and seeing my eyes, my nose, my smile. It was hard to accept and I would be lying if I said I didn’t hit a very low point in my life. All I wanted was to be a mom, to give my future husband biological children, to have that drive every day to get up and going because someone else was dependent on me; to care for someone other than myself.
I did some research and found a few natural ways to help possibly ‘heal’ what was going on inside. First thing, throw out the birth control. The hormones were pumping my body full of negative chemicals that were in no way helping me like they once were. Second thing, lead a healthier life style. I would eat out 4-5 days a week. It wasn’t doing any good for my body, inside or out. It was convenient, but my ability to have children meant more to me than ‘convenience’. Lastly, cut back/eliminate sodas. All of the additives were also pumping my body full of terrible chemicals that were hindering my chance at a healthy body. I continued this for the next year and actually skipped a year of my appointment because I didn’t want her to tell me that things were looking worse.
I finally convinced myself to go back to the doctor in 2013. Actually, right after I cancelled my wedding. After much anticipation, my doctor had wonderful news for me! I was back down to about 30% coverage and it was all on my ovaries and the top of the Fallopian tubes; my chances of having my own children was back down into “normal” range – God willing.
Not only did I take this as a sign that maybe it was God’s sign to me that I shouldn’t have been with the person I was with, I took it as a sign that he had a bigger plan for me. Fast forward a few months – who enters the picture? Shane. I figured that if we were going to become serious, he needed to know. I told him my story, and as I cried, he wiped the tears and assured me that things were going to be ok. To an extent, they were ok.
Having a family of ‘our’ own has been the topic of many conversations between Shane and I. He already has two children that I love as my own, but it’s a different kind of love when they aren’t biologically yours. (I know that sounds bad but keep reading) I want to be able to look at OUR child and see Shane’s eyes, my nose, Miah’s smile and Miccah’s ears. I want to be able to see bits and pieces of what him and I created and see the link to their siblings. The topic of a future family has been the topic of more conversations lately with trying to find a home church for us that will be fitting for us and OUR family – current and future. During one of the last conversations we had, the comment was made (logically speaking) that he wanted to wait until Miccah and Miah were on their own and then start our family (roughly 7 years from current time). I’ve always had the ‘life plan’ that I would have a child within the first few years of marriage. I respected his wishes but felt as if the doctor had walked in again and told me my chances of being a mom were slim to none again. The reasoning behind my selfishness was because my mom guessed that all of her issues started long ago, but they were really prominent in her early 30’s when her symptoms became noticeable…. 24 + 7 = 31. You can probably see where this is going…
After that discussion, I felt that if it was in God’s will that we didn’t have a child until then, that was fine. It wasn’t by our choice, after all. However; welcome, terribly timed baby fever!. The neighbors behind Shane had a beautiful baby girl last week – I mean simply gorgeous – mixed race so she has that perfect skin tone, thick, black, curly hair, just simply beautiful. Of course, him and I viewed her in awe and made comments back and forth of how adorable she was. During church, I caught myself going back to that conversation we had about waiting 6 years for children – of course, downward spiral from there. Shane is amazing with children. The love and awe just radiates off of him whenever he (we) are around children and when I see that, I can’t help but WANT children with him one day. So, my brain did the girl thing and wandered during the sermon until one statement Pastor Steve said (which I missed the first part of it) hit home.
“…some issues are just bigger than what you can handle. That’s when you need to pass the baton and put them upon God’s shoulders. Pray, meditate, communicate.”
He was right, this issue wasn’t between Shane and I, it was between God and us. He has a life plan for us but I couldn’t help but still have that fear in the back of my head that if we waited 6 years, the chances of having our own could be gone by then. I tried to push my feelings aside because, quite frankly, I felt like I was being selfish. Shane immediately knew something was wrong and held my hand as he asked me what was wrong. I looked in the Sunday School room and saw Miah playing with another church goer (maybe 3) and just gazed in her direction as the phrase “Do you really want to wait 6 years for that?” He caught a glimpse of what I was watching and immediately, I had tears. He pulled me in and hugged me tight.
The one thing I hate in today’s society is the amount of split families. Miccah and Miah are some of the blessed children who have both parents around and they co-parent well together. My fear with waiting until they were at college now went beyond just medical reasons; I wanted my children to grow up knowing their brother and their sister, not just seeing these random college aged students coming and going around the holidays or random weekends and not realizing that they were their brother and sister. Shane let me voice my concerns and calmly replied “Of course I don’t want to wait that long. You saw the way I looked at Olivia, how I look at Owen. That comment was made logically speaking. The house we are located at now, it isn’t big enough. That’s the only reason. Aside from not being married and not having a bigger house, I’m ready to have children.” Something about the way he talked about it calmed me down. We continued to talk about it for a while and by the end, we agreed that we would like to be able to enjoy the first year of marriage as not only newly-weds but as a new family.
I can’t even explain how much joy Miccah and Miah have brought to my life; in my eyes, they are “my” children. I go to sporting events when work schedules allow, I bake, I shop, I counsel. This family has been nothing but countless blessings to me and I am exited to see what lays in our future… after all, it’s God’s plan, not ours.