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Friday, February 29, 2008


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Beautiful post, Arwen.

Arwen, my baby #3 is the same age. I can empathize a little with what you're going through from my first pregnancy.

I remember after I started getting my period again, that I was so used to feeling such sadness and frustration from all the months (30 for me for our first child) of waiting. It was automatic to feel that emptiness. I had to "retrain" my reaction at getting my period to, "God's timing is best".

Of course, I'm still working on this.
Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for writing about this. It is easy for me to take my fertility for granted and I learn so much from your perspective. I struggle with feeling guilty over fearing another pregnancy and how overwhelmed I am with my current children and it's a relief to hear that you have some sense of that hesitation, also.

When I went off the pill I wasn't really thinking that I'd get pregnant anytime soon and was shocked when I got those two lines after just one month. I know many people who "accidently" got pregnant the first time and tried for a year or more for number 2 or the other way around. Fertility is such a tricky thing, you just never know. I would be ready for another baby in a second, but my husband is not so ready, so back on the pill (well, mini-pill) I go now that my cycle has returned. I have to admit I'm a little disappointed about it, but I'm willing to wait a couple years and enjoy our time as a family of 3.

Ahh--here is the tender kernel:

"Now I look back on the past four-and-a-half years and see clearly that His faithfulness has never wavered. It was only my understanding that failed."

It's easy to say from my current position but it's kind of exciting to see what's in store, knowing what was at the end of the last journey, yes?

It's all a gift--everything. Every blessed thing.

And the Holy Spirit hasn't gone thrifty on you with the whole wisdom bit has he? I expect even more will be showered down on you in the weeks and years to come. I hope you continue to share it here.

God Bless!

The beautiful thing about this Mf is that it can be applied to absolutely any situation -- not taking what you have for granted, relying on God's grace to keep you from fear, all of that is wonderful. Thank you.

Excellent manifesto! I'm trying to apply the same principles to BW1.

I've been wondering how you were doing with this, since so many are moving on to baby#2 (praise God!), but it's not something I normally ask people about. This answered my questioning mind.

I've found that it was a balancing act - between petitions to God and praising Him for the miracle that we already had.

I have other thoughts on this, but they would not be as well written as this Mf, which I love btw.

Thanks for this post. I'm not on the same journey that you are on, but the advice applies nonetheless. I do believe that God knows what he is doing and sometimes we are so impatient that we forget to enjoy the journey and let the story play itself out.

It is funny that you wrote this, because I have been feeling the exact same trepidation about joining the "trying to get pregnant" world. I've also enjoyed the time of not thinking about it since I have a baby, and it stresses me out to have to imagine myself starting the process again.

I know we don't get to choose, but I'll be hoping that God's plan for you is a quick one.


I'm so glad you are going to strive to eschew fear. I enjoyed reading this for my situation: since my firstborn son, I've had 2 miscarriages, which has brought wonders of His plan for us to have more. We just recently began trying to conceive again, so your & the others' comments are timely for me.. especially letting God take care the plan, leaving less wonder for me. I agree with Tracy about the 'balancing act.' I want to be at peace when each period comes too. I have prayed that if I should get some tests done on things that I can help my body with, that God will keep me from pregnancy, so I don't lose another precious baby.

Thank you for being open & writing this!!

In the past I haven't blogged much, yet I'm starting to more, if anyone wants to read. : )

Arwen, this is totally irrelewant, but I just wanted to let you know how amny times (and it was a lot) I had to read the first point of your manifesto to realise you were not talking about sitting on a bicycle. Now that I've shared that image of you I will go back and finish reading the rest of your post.

I have no idea what this journey has been like for you, I can only glimspe a small part of it from what you write her. I've been a mostly lurker for too long, and I hope you will forgive me.
I am a 25 year old single lass who longs for a husband and family of my own. At the moment there seems almost to be no way that that is going to happen for me, but this I do know - God is good. God has a good and perfect plan for my life, just as he has for you and your family. Let's enjoy the ride as He begins to reveal his plans to us little by little.

Arwen, that was so right where I am - only we're still on the BW #1. But about God knowing what is best and resting in Him and NOT letting fear run the show.

In fact, in our anger and fear, God has shown us that he has a path for us and has had this planned all along. So resting in Him is good. Hard, but good.

Ah, gorgeous post my friend.

The last part really resonates with me.

Ah, secondary infertility. Of course you don't qualify yet, and won't for eight months (or hopefully not at all). I hear that all the time--about those terrible mothers who are so upset about not being able to have another child, that they are *ignoring* the child they have. Don't believe it. Sheesh. That woman doesn't exist. It is possible to hold two things in your heart at once. Incredible, inexpressible joy and gratitude, and also great sadness and grief and loss. People who haven't been there don't understand. It is much better to be a mother than not, but the experience of having had a child informs your loss in a way that is really quite hard to describe.

I am glad you are willing to accept what comes. The problem with infertility is that it is a suffering without resolution, and if you walk that path, you reexperience that epiphany on a regular basis--maybe even every month. I really can't tell you how many times I have struggled with infertility, and come to the conclusion that God is faithful, etc. etc. etc. only to find myself struggling again 28 days later.

I am not sure how many children I would have if I could choose. I think I've lost the ability to think of it as a choice. But I know I wanted more than one, and I waited a long time, and now the door is closing. Where I am at now, is that I understand that I am experiencing loss each and every month, and I am working and thinking in a serious way about how I can effectively offer up my pain--not in a sort of philosophical way--but very seriously, because I realize that it's not going away. Not after eight years. Not after twenty. Not after menopause. Not when I am in a nursing home with Alzheimer's. The children I never had will always be with me, so what am I going to do with it? This is the cross I've been given. Really, truly. I mean I think we all think we are going to be the lucky one, and able to pass the cup. But that's not how it works, is it? We're supposed to drink it, to keep the sun rising each day, or something like that. Being willing to accept God's will brings some peace, but it doesn't take away the pain.

Really, really excellent. Waiting for something you want (whether it's something ridiculous, like a toy when you're a kid, or whether it's something really grown up, like a baby) is so, so hard. I might have to adopt your manifesto for HW (husband wait).

This is a truly beautiful post. I pray that your second (and third . . . and fourth . . . ) child comes quickly.

That's a beautiful post, Arwen. I also like the title MfBW2. :)

I pray for peace and joy for your and your family during this simultaneously wonderful and difficult time of waiting for a second child. May you be wrapped in God's grace and held by Him through any times of fear.

Just a thought, though I am not an expert on these things: even though your cycle has returned, isn't fertility still somewhat decreased during breastfeeding? So, it may be that continuing to breastfeed Camilla is just perfect for giving you a little more time to catch your breath and catch some more zzzzzs before baby #2 is on his or her way. And as Camilla becomes (hopefully!) a little less high-needs and you are nursing less, then you and your body will be ready for another little one. This is what I hope for you!

I love this post, Arwen. I pray that you will be able to remain focused on these truths when moments of fear and jealousy threaten to rear their heads, that God will keep you peaceful.

Even though we are in such different life situations, this post is a blessing for me, too. This sentence in particular caught my eye: "Now I look back on the past four-and-a-half years and see clearly that His faithfulness has never wavered. It was only my understanding that failed."

As I struggle with being single and my desire to be a wife and mother, that sentence is a wonderful reminder that getting what we want is not actually the marker of God's faithfulness. Thanks.

I don't get the title. :o(

And, actually, although breastfeeding decreases fertility, if you breastfeed at night regularly, it can actually cause your fertility to increase. Which makes no sense to me, but I read about it in several places in my Psychology of Women class last semester. They kept citing how women kept getting pregnant quickly after one child, and how they were baffled by it because they thought that they couldn't whilst breastfeeding. Yet, no one explained why this worked. I am chock full of confusion on all matters fertility-related, probably because that is not so much an issue for me at this venue of my life. Rest assured, though, that you're all in my prayers each & every day. :o) I love you! Kisses.

Is any lesson so difficult to learn as trust? Last weekend, my fabulous husband had a surprise birthday party for me and planned a weekend for just the two of us. I'll skip over the details to say that as we were driving to I-didn't-know-where, the carseat was still in the back... and I was ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED with it. How are my parents going to get the carseat? He forgot about it; he must have forgotten. They won't be able to go anywhere if they don't have the carseat! How are they going to get it??? And I asked him about it. Repeatedly.

After somewhere around the seventh or eighth time I asked, I decided that I just needed to trust him. A fine reflection on me, huh? My loving husband was physically present with me, entirely capable of and willing to verbally explain most anything to me - unless he had reason not to. And I struggled so mightily with trusting him! Is it any wonder I have such a difficult time trusting God so often?

This was a lesson to me, though, about God knowing all sorts of things that I don't, and that I don't know these things for good reason, and that MY lack of understanding says absolutely nothing about HIS plan.

I think I need to bookmark this post. I'm right there with you, except the post-bf'ing cycles only returned two months ago for me. Right now, I'm just hoping to eek out another few months of a peaceful mind before every cycle becomes a CYCLE. You know?

Thanks for writing such a beautiful post.

I can very much relate to the feelings of panic. After my daughter died, we didn't want to conceive again right away, but when we did TTC, that first we-didn't-conceive cycle brought back ALL the grief all over again, as if Emily had only just died. It's as if in a way the body is working out the unresolved pain and fear for the mind when we can't work it all out in our heads.

You're much more graceful than I would be in a similar situation.

As far as cause and effect thinking, my mother's sex education as a child was such that she thought that, "You get married. The priest gives you a special blessing. Nine months later you have a baby." No further details were offered or asked for.

Thank you for that. I'm trying to hold myself to a similar manifesto. I am well into Baby Wait #2 (or #3, depending on how you count it) which is marked by a painful scar of miscarriage. And I struggle with double the fear and bitterness. But even I can see that God's faithfulness has never wavered, only my faith.

You know something great about our electronic age? The fact that I get to learn by reading what you are learning!
I too am in a time of waiting. But mine is the more typical almost cliched 20-something single gal who would love to be a 20-something married gal. I'm nearly 27 (I have to warm up to a new age, forgive me for practicing) and recently out of a year-long relationship that was the best I've known...but obviously not God's best. Anyhow, I've read your blog for a few years and reading about someone else who is daily learning to trust in God for what she wants is a real encouragement. Even if what we are asking God for is different. I can apply those three points to my own life. :)

I feel somewhat the same way as Catherine does - it's often a cyclical thing; acceptance, moving on, not obsessing, then something happens (surprise pregnancy/miscarriage in my case) and PLUNK there you are back in the emotional soup again (if that isn't too weird a metaphor). But that's why it's called the steep and thorny way to heaven I suppose :).

This was a wonderful, beautiful post. And it reminds me why we are all very, very fortunate that God has gently and repeatedly declined my application to be Assistant General Manager of the Universe. He's got things covered.

Love this post. Am in a similar situation, except my son is 8 mo and I have not yet had a period (still BFing, but now pumping since I went back to work 6 weeks ago, and that has caused my body to attempt to return to "fertility," such as it is for me). I've been thinking a lot about diving back into the world of infertility, and I thought of my time being pregnant and a new mother as a break from that, much as you have described it here. I hope that both of our journeys to the families we want are relatively brief and uneventful.

I am praying for you Arwen. This is indeed a heavy cross to carry. :-(
God Bless

Hi there. I just wanted to say that a friend emailed me a link to this post because we are in similar "fertility circumstances" as you are.

I have been blessed with two lovelies that are going to be 5 & 4 in two weeks. We have been trying to conceive our 3rd for 3.5 years. We have had 2 losses and 1 failed adoption. Like LOUISE said above, you can hold both grief and joy in your heart all at once. Hope and doubt. Fear and peace.

Walking with you. Praying for you.

(Oh, and LOUISE, if you read this - I LOVED what you wrote and I would love to read more of your writings, do you have a blog?)

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