For a while there, after Jordan was born, the bulk of my daily conversations with my closest girlfriends was an interview of sorts centered around one fundamental question: how did you know when your family was complete?
There I was, with no-longer-empty arms and a heart full and spilling over with the afterglow of our miracle, holding a babe who pulled me in for kisses with tiny fistfuls of my hair. But still, it didn’t feel complete. And I hesitated in acknowledging it. I imagined that saying the words out loud would be akin to a teenager who was just gifted with a brand new Maserati on the dawning of her 16th birthday. And then, just months later, she was sitting cross-legged on the kitchen counter chatting with her mom as she made dinner and asking for another brand new car.
The last thing I wanted was to appear ungrateful. To be perceived as if our one babe wasn’t enough; that the miracle wasn’t enough; that the answer to my decade-long prayer wasn’t enough.
But still, I couldn’t shake the feeling. And I had heard countless stories of unlocked wombs after years of barrenness followed by a long-awaited pregnancy. “Watch out,” friends would say, with a wink and a knowing smile. “You know what they say!” So we went ahead and hoped that would be our story, not knowing if I would ever even be able to get pregnant again. And I vacillated daily between a wordless kind of most profound thankfulness and the fear of asking for just one more miracle.
I was driving to town one day when an [Elevation Worship song came on], the lyrics grabbed me, providing the permission and the anchor-words to my can’t-seem-to-shake-it prayer:
I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
The months came and went, as they always did. After ten years of delayed fertility, I was used to it. And this time, the blow was … different. Softer. Almost imperceptible. Because, well, Jordan. But the desire for another child was still there.
And then, one day in March, a repeated-quiet-time-word forced me to be brave. I had been studying for a [Dear Monday] writing on dew and suddenly found myself in the midst of a fertility-conversation about clouds dropping dew and rain creating fertility and how the fertile and lush vegetation is entirely dependant upon the opening of the heavens. And so I asked God boldly in black ink:
LORD … would You do it again? Just one more time? Just one more miracle? Will You make this body fertile again?
A couple of hours later, I spotted two tiny little pinpricks of red – so nearly imperceptible that they probably should have gone unnoticed. And, [just like with Jordan], I googled it – the pinpricks of red and the day of my cycle. And the words that sat staring back at me? Ovulation bleeding.
One week later, I received the results of some hormone testing I had done a little while back. And when I read them, I stood there in my kitchen, and I cried. The progesterone levels were low. Extremely low. Like, well below the scale of reference for low kind of low. And my cortisol? It was high. Like, off-the-charts kind of high. Both of which are contributing factors to infertility. And I cried, convinced that it would be easier to get pregnant after we had Jordan. But it still wasn’t, though it was so easy for so many other women.
My mind spun with the months-long regimen ahead of me to get my hormones balanced and in the healthy range to achieve a pregnancy my body seemed so incapable of producing again, and I wasn’t sure I could face this mountain again.
Is there a psalm for exhaustion? I prayer-wrote the words that same day in what would later become [this post]. And a few hours after that, I went into a full social media blackout to squelch the gnawing anxiety and at least get that stress-fueled cortisol level down.
A week after that, I sat on the lanai speechless and sky-staring at the morning. I had crept out of bed in the early grey almost-darkness and shut myself quietly in the bathroom with a piece of plastic I had developed a vehement love-hate relationship with. The positive pink line was almost immediate. One that I didn’t have to strain my eyes to see.
He had, once again, made the impossible possible, but I was too nervous to get excited. I wasn’t sure it would stick. With my low progesterone levels, I knew that there was a higher risk that it wouldn’t. And as I wrote the words, I glanced up to that morning sky and right there in front of me was a fraction of a rainbow illuminated against a grey and rainy sky that disappeared at the edge of the blue-sky boundary.
When I saw it, I flashed back to those [black-and-white rainbow promises] God had given me over the years – the little snippets of His prepared-story that fed my faith and kept me going. It was another reminder of His I-am-in-this-presence. Another morself of hope.
That morning, my body temperature was a low 97°. In my low-progesterone research, I had read that 40% of pregnancies in women with a body temperature below 98° end in miscarriage. So I prayed a simple prayer: LORD, raise my temperature. Let this little babe stick like glue and burrow in tight and settle in comfortably where You can grow and weave to miraculous perfection.
The next day, my temperature went up a couple of tenths of a degree. And again the day after that. Until, three days later, it was up over 98°. It also happened to be Good Friday.
I remembered another Good Friday a handful of years ago – one marked with a flood of pregnancy announcements. I sat in my car in the darkness of a nighttime parking lot and cried, feeling like I was stuck in my own Good Friday and desperately waiting for my resurrection-Sunday miracle. And that morning? I sat there on another Good Friday, pregnant with my second.
A few weeks later, we heard this second little miracle’s heartbeat. And my belly began to swell. And it all became real. I had gone from a red bikini promise to a red dress announcement. And my mind is still spinning with the glory of it all.
Last week, our little family gathered into a darkened room to catch a glimpse of the newest tiny miracle being woven into our worlds. He was burrowed in tight and stuck like glue and settled in comfortably, and God hid His holy weaving-hands for a moment to let us peek at his handsome little face.
Oh, baby boy, we cannot wait to meet you in December. And just like your brother, you have will have a mighty story to tell someday. Until then, I promise to be the chronicler of the things you won’t otherwise remember.
All for the greatness of His glory.