Breaking the 6-Month Silence

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

For those of you who have kindly asked, no…..we have not fallen off the face of the earth. But I have found myself in a bit of a free-fall over the past 6 months, grappling to get my bearings.

 

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This summer took a lot out of us.  Clocking 15,000 miles in car travel and visits with over 200 friends and family across the US was both exhilarating and exhausting!  Returning to Bangkok with a dozen uncompleted blog posts on my mind and a camera full of summer pictures was a daunting task to tackle….so I didnt!

But the bigger disorientation was finding myself back in a role that I thought was a season we had graduated (with honors) from.
Two pink lines.

Surprise!

Pregnant.  Seriously sick.  More fatigued than I ever thought possible.  And overwhelmed at the prospect of new-mommyhood all over again. 

 Its been 5 years folks!!  5 years since Ive done the sleepless nights and inconsolable crying and walking the halls and baby wearing and breastfeeding round the clock.  I feel old this time!

As a doula, I have clients all the time that start their families in their 30’s after careers and marrying later in life.  And they have it HARD!  I watch them struggle in ways I don’t think I ever struggled with my kids because I was young and naive and energetic and it was the reality I knew for a decade and I just sorta had it figured out.  Eat.  Sleep.  Burp.  Rinse.  Repeat!
No big deal!
And here I am now. Thirty-something and totally able to understand why they are undone by a baby!

Im finding myself with the biggest gap we’ve ever had between our children looking at starting over again with a baby and Im taking a deep, deep breath!! I’m certainly feeling my age. 9 months of nausea and weight gain and round ligament cramps have always plagued me, but Im feeling it more intensely this go-round.

C and I married young and started our family immediately.  2 month old twins by our first anniversary is about as crazy as it can get, right?
We weren’t phased!
But the bottom line this time contributing to my sense of spiraling out of control is this; selfishness has crept into my lifestyle.  For the first time in my adult life, I’m at the place I’ve kinda got my life in a comfortable rhythm that doesn’t revolve around a little person calling the shots and planning around nap times and feedings.  Ive grown accustomed to the freedom of planing my own time independently.  I love my clients and enjoy my work and can pretty easily schedule around my school kids day to be available to them.  Teenagers are a whole new ballgame and Im loving being at a place I can engage them fully without the demands of little ones drowning out the quiet undertones of our big kids!  Lazy slow-start Saturday mornings in bed is a new luxury that Gigi’s coming of age has provided us with for the first time.  The little conveniences of independence and date nights that don’t require hiring a babysitter and pumping a bottle….gone are those days again.

Yes I KNOW in my “knower” that every baby is a gift from God and we will welcome this one with great joy!!  Im getting there….but its been a process for me of grieving the end of a sabbatical of sorts from the trenches of life with young children!  God has gently and faithfully been bringing me along through time in His Word that repeatedly has led me to the stories of Hannah….Sarah….Elizabeth and Rebekah who longed for babies and God answered the cry of their hearts by opening their womb!  While infertility is not a burden we’ve ever had to bear, I watch dear friends of mine wrestle with wanting one or more babies and struggling to conceive and Im humbled that He has seen fit to gift us with another.  Babies are not a byproduct of an act…they are a gift!  Undeniably, this unexpected gift is nothing of our deserving, but a tool God wants to use in our life to continue teaching us reliance on Him.  For some, infertility is the vehicle God uses for that classroom of trusting Him….for us, its more than we think we can handle that drives us to our knees.

So that’s where Ive been friends.  Being brutally honest here.  Riding the crazy current of emotions and hormones and trying to apply what I know in my head to what I feel in my heart.  The tidal wave is receding as I enter my third trimester in a much better headspace and starting to enjoy the little surfer inside who is thrilling Gigi with its kicks and somersaults.  She cant wait to be a big sister and I laugh thinking that all along as we’ve coddled her as the “baby of the family” that God has been smiling at our 5 year gap with yet another surprise up His sleeve for us!

This “faith like a child” thing isn’t a one-time deal we figure out and get to tick the box and move on from.  In His beautiful sovereignty, He’s calling us to trust again, anew, afresh in His ways which are far better than my own.  Falling hard on grace these days!!

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  • Elaine Horton says:

    Love your honesty and transparency! Love your humble submission to the Lord even in the midst of emotions that scream otherwise. Love your family! Thanks for serving Him daily in the midst of “life”. And excited that you’ll be joining the ranks of families like ours… CRAZY with seven:) Hugs from across the ocean. The Horton Family

  • Lydia L Honken says:

    Mandy! I get goosebumps reading this post and think of you so often…especially as I trail you by a trimester with the exact same surprise (and number) and thoughts of head/heart processing, and ultimately, praises to the King. Congrats on the sweet littlest man. 😉

  • Laurie O says:

    Totally get it. TOTALLY. This post mirrors my EXACT feelings starting over after a ten year gap. I had my first at 32. Got the “old” feeling down well.

    My feelings haven’t all gone away. Still amazed regularly by my unique station in life. It’s a walk of faith.

    And yes, the little person is TOTALLY worth it.

    Trudge on. Walk on. Sprint on. Whatever the day brings.

    Love, Me

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