I realized the other day that for the nine years I have known my husband, 7 of those years I have been in mourning. Mourning, at first, my inability to stay pregnant after two losses. Wondering if I would ever have a baby.
With the birth of Reuben in 2016, I mourned the loss of my independent life and the changes pregnancy and childbirth inflicted upon my body, even while I rejoiced in the arrival of my beautiful son who I had longed for.
We had Becky in 2018. 2018 is one of the best years of my life. My autoimmune diseases were subdued enough that I was living normally. My husband was helping so much around the house and with the kids. I felt seen and cared for postpartum. I thought maybe I was better. After two kids, maybe I could have more. Maybe my dream for a large family of 5 or 6 children was attainable! Hope blossomed in my heart and my desire for more babies thrilled me. I tried not to think of my years of infertility and miscarriage before I had Reuben.
In November of 2019 I was diagnosed with step throat and took a round of antibiotics, the first round in 6 years. I don't know if this was the trigger or just a side note, but my health has been abominable since. All my autoimmune problems are flaring. I went on to suffer two miscarriages in 2020, one at 8 weeks in January and one at 10 weeks in May, during covid.
For the rest of May, June, and part of July I had a awful flair up of Epstein-Bar virus or ME/CFS causing me to be bedridden. After taking a round of herbs, I am left with on and off chronic fatigue (but only occasionally, thank God) horrible gut bloating whenever I eat anything, stomach pain, headaches, depression and anxiety. I'm seeing a natural doctor to see if they can help, and would appreciate prayers.
And again, 2020 has been the year of mourning. Again infertility haunts me. All the fresh pain of losing babies with the waves of those I have already lost is staggering. And, so many are suffering due to covid...the explosion in beirut...war in artsakh...racial issues in America...I could go on, but I won't. During all of this, I have been in deep morning. Mourning the losses of my little ones. Mourning our choice to stop trying to have more babies, because my body can't, I can't go through this again. Mourning ending of my nursing years, as my debilitating chronic illness made it necessary for me to wean.
I always wanted a big family. I have eight children. But only two are with me right now. I have two beautiful blessings to be thankful for. And even though they were not allowed to stay, I am thankful for the six who wait for me in heaven, so thankful for the little time we had together.
I have a God who loves me and who is good. My trials point me to Jesus and how much I need him in my life. I am his. His will for me is good, even when it doesn't seem that way to me. I have a husband who works hard for me and who loves me, and I am able to home-school. I have a lot of yarn. Yes, I am thankful for yarn. I love knitting and crocheting and the process of making something and sharing it with the world.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for God is with me and his rod and staff will comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
There is more suffering to come, because we are but sojourners on this Earth. God is good and I will trust in him.
I wonder what the next nine years will be like? All I can do is keep going. And rest, and give myself time to grieve and time to mourn and time to pray.