I remember holding my daughter for the first time and thinking to myself “So…that’s why I was born. For this moment, to be your mother.” Somehow my water wasn’t the only thing that broke that day. My insecurities, questions of purpose, where I belong, worrying about what other people thought…all these were instantly smothered by a soft pink baby blanket. The voices were drowned out by a calling to be the mother she deserved. I loved every stage. I loved how breastfeeding made me stop and learn to be still. I loved how her toddler years taught me how patient God is when I don’t understand why I can’t have what I want…like a sibling for her.
We started trying when she was 18 months old. She is about to turn 11, and still no second baby. There’s also this strange specific desire to have a son. I’ve been tested, and everything looks fine. My husband is reluctant to go through with his side of the testing, since his is more…well, complicated. We just keep hoping it’s THIS month…month after month, year after year. We try to focus on the blessing of already having a child of our own, but I’m constantly reminded. Baby commercials can bring me to tears. Just seeing pregnant women can trigger an “episode.” I recently took a trip to Chicago and counted 37 pregnant women I saw in a three-hour period. I wrote about these “friendly reminders” in a poem on my blog and still continue to process the “why” question…almost daily.
But there are many women who have not experienced the privileges I’ve had with our daughter, so after I have my toddler tantrums in my head, I have to go to my time out chair and land on gratitude for every second I have with her. I try to remind myself that God has a story in mind for her, too. Maybe part of her story is being an only child. Maybe, just like Advent teaches us to wait for the true joy of Christmas day, I have to wait for that first grandson, who I have every intention of spoiling. Or maybe God hasn’t given up and it’ll be this month…or next month…or never. But I have to trust He has a plan and His timing is perfect. Even though it feels wrong, I have to trust that He’s right. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it’s awesome…kind of like parenting and life, in general.
Kristin Baker lives on the St. Joe River in Osceola, IN, with her husband, Cody; daughter, Lauren; and golden retriever, Samson. She is the director of story at Granger Community Church in Granger, IN, and enjoys writing, running and kayaking. She shares some of her writing on her blog Worshipoetry.