Our little ones' "numbers" are etched in my head, because each one tells a story.
Ellie--7 months to conceive. I remember not knowing if it was going to happen for us. At the 6 month mark I finally let myself cry. And that day became the one I wrote on all the paperwork for "Date of Last Period," giving us our due date for sweet little Peanut.
Pistachio--1 month. I remember we had just decided in June 2012 that we were ready to start trying. Not knowing what it'd look like this time around, but hoping it didn't take as long. We couldn't believe it happened on our first shot! Ellie was 15 months when we found out--they were going to be a precious 23 months apart. And then we lost our little one at 10 weeks.
And now--here we are at 26 months and counting... (with another negative yesterday)
Sometimes I can't believe it's been 3 years since our date at the Irvine Spectrum where we sat at the Wood Ranch Bar & Grill, and decided we were excited to start trying for a brother or sister for Ellie... I look at our spunky 4-year-old, ready to start pre-K in the fall, and I can't believe that still hasn't happened. That there's going to be about a 5-year age gap (minimum) between her and her next sibling. And my heart aches...
These are the hard things. The monthly roller coaster of hoping and being disappointed. The negative pregnancy tests. The longing. The sadness that comes when well-meaning people ask, "Is she your only one?"
But each month I also know God has a plan for our family. I cling to the hope that He will be glorified through our family. And each month I have seen God stretch me and grow me in ways I never would have without experiencing infertility. I've learned things about God--our Father and Creator--that wouldn't have been nearly as meaningful. I've been tested as a friend, and have learned more than ever how to truly rejoice with others, even amidst my own pain. I've learned how to wait. I've learned what a miracle life is. I've learned how to not be in control.
This time is precious. By recognizing my deep need for God each day as I struggle through infertility, I end up walking closer in step with Him than if things were going according to "my plan." You better believe I can't wait for this trial to be over. But I'm also strangely grateful that God has entrusted us with this painful journey. It has shaped me in more ways than I even know. And I pray that He'll continue to use this time to grow me into the friend, the wife, the woman, and the mom that He has called me to be.
If only growing pains didn't hurt so much... ;)