A warning to my male readers. This post has words like, hormones, fertility and pregnancy all through it. If reading those three words makes your hands clammy, just don’t read this post. It may not make much sense to you anyways….now you’re going to read it right…to prove to me that you aren’t scared of those kinds of words…ok…go ahead…don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Those words, “Not Pregnant,” how I have come to hate seeing those two little words taunting me across the over 99% accurate digital pregnancy test screen. I love technology… When it’s on my side… when I skyped my old roommate to help pick her engagement picture outfits, when I received a text from a friend living on the other side of the world, those moments make me thankful for technology and how quickly and how accurately we can have data, and answers and connection. But words “not pregnant” with over 99% accuracy make me long for a little less knowledge, if only to have a few more moments to flirt with the hope of pregnancy.
Two weeks ago my husband and I saw those two words flash on the screen as we heard a knock at the door. It was the UPS man delivering my planner.. … And I laughed and almost screamed at the irony of it. A planner delivered, fresh with open boxes and blank dates staring at me longing for me to feel them in with to-do lists and special events. I love planners, and I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this one, because I had bought it specifically for blog planning.
I had dreamed of a long afternoon with pencils, pen and highlighters in tow to plan every glorious post and detail until next December and couldn’t wait to let those blank dates have it! Instead I just cried, and my husband held me.
I numbly opened the planner, and wanted to throw it against the wall. And then rip every little blank date page into shreds and then put the shreds in my blender until all that remained was a mushy stew of paper. Then I would look on pinterest for some genius craft project that can be created with shredded and blended paper, because even if all I could create out of paper mush is a sculpture of a flea it seemed like a better use of the planner…then to actually plan…
Because the plan was to get pregnant during our first year of marriage….The plan WASN’T to have two miscarriages in the first year of marriage. The Plan after extensive testing was to spend a month on two prescriptions to regulate my cycle and give my body the progesterone it lacked in my two pregnancies. The plan wasn’t to go through another month of taking 2 different drugs, whose side effects range from nights of restless sleep, mornings where I wake up feeling like I got hit by a truck, random bouts of nausea, accompanied by hot flashes and a general feeling that an alien force has taken control of my body and brain and I am only a pawn in the hands of an evil emperor plotting the ruin of my life through renegade hormonal surges.
Not to mention the everyday feeling I get that I am a science experiment only existing to complete the daily fertility drill of: temperature in the morning, peeing in a cup in the afternoon, and medication at night. I am beginning to understand why they say if you are trying to have babies and aren’t having babies you should stop trying to have babies, because the stress and pressure and deadlines can actually put so much strain on your body you don’t do what you were made to do.
But we have to try, I have to keep track and I have to take the medication. I lost two babies and the only thing they could determine after a month of testing and declaring me perfectly normal and healthy, was that I need progesterone early in my pregnancy. And by early they mean, before the over 99% accurate pregnancy test can detect pregnancy. We also trust our OBGYN implicitly, and after being a patient under two OBGYN’s I did not trust, I will stand on my head for a week while doing the macarana if she tells me too.
We are trusting her and we are trusting God to work through her knowledge and experience and the incredible compassion and vigilant care she has given me. It’s not that the tracking and testing and side effects are even close to the level of horrible so many people face every day because of various illness and disease. I know that the choice is so easy…go through another month of annoying tracking and side effects with the hope for a healthy pregnancy. There is no option in our mind. It is worth every moment of the longest moments of my life. But I have to be honest that it seems overwhelming, that it makes me mad, and it makes me want to throw planners into blenders because I realize more and more everyday, I am not in control. I can’t make this happen. I have a part to play. But at the end of the day God is the Creator and giver of life and I am not.
So on my “fill in every blank” in the planner day. It sat empty and untouched on my kitchen counter. I looked at it with blurry tears and couldn’t face it. Couldn’t face writing in a plan that may or may not happen. Didn’t want to write in important dates, when the one date I wanted to write more than any…a due date…I didn’t have. So instead I painted…I painted this mirror. Because it is ugly and dark and not cute. And my life felt so much like that, that day…..ugly, dark…and for what its worth…. not cute.
So I made this mirror better. It took about 3 coats, to turn the dark into light. (Anyone else Annie Sloan Chalk Paint fans? This is her “Old White” The great thing about Annie’s paint is that you don’t have to sand or prime, EVER!)
Then I had to add another coat because of a failed attempt to distress it…the only distressing that actually took place was the look on my face when I realized that my attempt to “antique” looked like I had rubbed mud all over the frame and it stuck. So onto a fourth coat. And a clear wax.
And I have to say it looks much better. Cleaner, fresher, ready for all our guests to apply their makeup and check out their cute selfs when they stay in our guest room.
I feel a bit like my mirror after the first coat. I feel fresher, newer more hopeful than after our second miscarriage. But there are places of ugly and dark and not cute in my heart that haven’t been refinished yet. I need a second, third maybe even a fourth coat of renewal and refreshing of hope.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
I realized I was hoping in a pregnancy test, I was hoping in a word “pregnant” instead of in the One who brings pregnancy, and so my heart was sick.
But Isaiah 49:23 says, “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
When the word didn’t appear, I was left to see there is more refinishing to be done…inside me…. Refinishing doubt into trust. Refinishing accusation into awe over His Holiness. Refinishing plans into grace…grace to receive a second, third and only if absolutely necessary a fourth coat. I am not refinished. I am part done, with part undone. I am human, I am dust and some days it seems a huge accomplishment just to say “ Ok…I’ll keep trying.” Today I can only put one item on my “To Do” list. The item is called “Keep Trying. ” I will check that little box I draw beside all my “to-do’s.” (tell me I am not the only person who draws little boxes by to-do items, for the joy of checking it off?)
Its enough to send my type A personality into hysteria to be able to check only one box for the day. But its ok… As I am undone, I am becoming re-done.
What about you? How do you respond when life doesn’t go as planned? Any other trash to treasure lovers out there? What is your favorite piece you have given new life too?