Buy Buy Baby

Written by Olivia Grist
Life is funny. Funny like ironic, not funny like Seth Rogan. Has anyone seen Sausage Party yet? I just cannot wait. Anyway, this post is not about Seth Rogan. 
 
If you've been following the journey my husband and I have been on over the last (almost) 2 years, thanks for supporting us. If you haven't, I'll catch you up (realllllly quickly). Next month, we'll have officially reached the 2 year mark of battling infertility. It feels way longer than that. Like a lifetime. We've tried most everything aside from IVF with no luck. In the summer, we decided to take a step back and stop trying the medications, injections, ultrasounds, exact calculations; all of it. It was taking over every aspect of my life, and I was starting to feel like I couldn't breathe. 
 
My relationship with God was suffering, and above all, He is my main guy. I started to blame Him, pull away from Him, and I was most definitely seeking my will over His. Ryan and I had quite a few conversations: some long and tearful, some screaming, some meaningless and totally meaningful at the same time. We eventually landed on one key point; without God, none of this is possible, and none of it really matters. Furthermore, without a strong marriage, we didn't want a family. The two relationships I held closest that were the initial catalyst for even wanting this baby were now shaky at best. I wasn't sure how this happened -  I don't really remember it happening. I don't remember the first time I started to blame God for this. I can't remember the first time I pulled away from my husband because of this. But it happened, and it needed to be repaired before we could enjoy, or conquer, anything that the future holds. 
 
Over the last 5 months, we've worked really hard to begin those repairs. Some things will never be the same; I'm learning to accept that. We will always be the couple who struggled with infertility. We may always be the couple who doesn't have a baby; I'm not sure if that's true or not, but we need to be okay if it is. 
 
I'm really learning what acceptance means. I used to think it meant to agree with something. Now I know it means to not obsess or attempt to control something. Lately, I've been going back to the same cocktail; Acceptance and grief. It's sort of like a Long Island Iced Tea; it sounds great, but after a short while, you're done. Accepting something and grieving over it is probably the hardest balancing act I've ever had to do. Each day, nothing is the same. 
 
Some days, I wake up ready to take on the world, grateful that God hasn't given me that baby that kept me up all night. Other days, I could honestly lay on the couch all day, listen to worship music, and cry because I'm somehow {still} angry at God, yet want Him to be close to me. And some days, I'm like Goldilocks, imagining myself doing the work I love with a baby in my arms, bags under my eyes, and my heart completely full. Those are the days that suck the most. 
 
Everyone who has ever dealt with infertility or just wants a baby knows about "pregnancy seasons". Sometimes, all it takes is 1 adorable pregnancy announcement to pop up in your newsfeed, and before you know it, every neighbor, fellow church member, and celebrity is pregnant. The couple who has 5 kids are just over-joyed to be expecting their 6th, the actress who plans to name her baby Laffy Taffy, and the couple you've secretly been stalking who did the exact same treatment plan you did. I don't believe in envy, but every ounce of my soul wants to be jealous of them. It's like when you have a stance on something, and you protest it and believe in it, and then it happens to you, and you want to stop believing in that something because now you understand; also known as empathy. Empathy = the capacity to place oneself in another's position. That's what the world needs more of, right? So often, we can reach the brink of empathy, but it turns to hatred. We allow the envy to come out instead of the empathy.
 
Empathy is what reminds me how much we still want a baby. I can place myself in another's position - in every single pregnancy announcement I see. In every ultrasound picture, every excited wife telling her husband the good news, every baby bump, nursery unveiling, and gender reveal. Empathy hurts. I don't want people to stop having babies, I know that they didn't take from me, and I know that it's not up to them. But it still hurts. 
 
I ask God for a lot of things, too many things, too often. And He's faithful. He listens... and often times, He even gives us exactly what we pray for. But not this; not this baby. So while I want to shake my fist and be angry, I also know that He wants us to be happy, but His plan and purpose are bigger than my happiness. And if He's saying no, it's for good reason. It is. If He answers my prayers about Instagram, abs, and vacations, He certainly hears my prayers about this. This isn't too big for Him and I'm positive that His heart is breaking with mine as I write this. I'm reminded over and over again what a good God He is. He sees the plan, and He knows it's good, but I'm willing to bet that watching someone you love try to do that balancing act of acceptance and grief is just as hard as personally experiencing it. 
 
The really difficult truth is that I'm not even sure I know what I want; and God knows that too. Yes, I trust God with my future, our marriage, and the future of our family. But, I'm human. My faith is human-faith. My emotions cover the entire map. I do things I don't want to, say things I don't mean, and I'm lead by fear and hurt more often than I'm lead by faith. I haven't completely given this to God. Not yet. I want to. I know I have to. But I'm not there yet. One day, I think I will be. But a small part of me is asking Him not to make me, to meet me more than halfway, to show up in a big way. He can, but I don't know if He will? I believe this life is about growth and helping others; so will that be the biggest benefit to me and His Kingdom? I'm asking some hard questions and if I knew the answers; we probably wouldn't be here right now. 
Buy Buy Baby Coupon
This coupon is what started this blog post. Almost 1 year ago, I got this coupon in a flyer, and I thought to myself, "I'll cut this out, and use it to buy an adorable onesie to surprise Ryan with when I finally get to tell him that we're pregnant." I looked at the expiration date; I had a year. There was NO way that another year would pass without me being able to use this stupid coupon. I've kept it in my office drawer, ready to use at any moment. Over time, my belief started to waiver that I would be able to use it, but I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. I found it the other day, and I realized that I'll probably never get to use it for myself. So I'll use it anyway. I'll buy baby gifts for friends and clothes to fill our Operation Christmas Child boxes with.
 
I'm not angry. I'm confused, sad, scared, yet still hopeful. That's acceptance. Today, with this coupon in hand; I'm performing the perfect balancing act. Tomorrow, maybe even later today, I'll stumble, possibly face-plant. But right now, I'm doing it. And it's proof, that every time I think I can't make it through, I'm right; but God can. There's a saying that goes, "God will only give you what you can handle." It's a cute phrase, but it's BS. God will only give you what HE can handle.
 
“Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest. Accept my teaching. Learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will be able to get some rest.Yes, the teaching that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
 
If you're struggling with infertility; I'm praying for you. I'm sorry that you're here and that you're experiencing some or all of these feelings, but I'm not sorry that God has given you this burden. I know that this is for something great. I know it for me, I know it for you, and I know it for couples everywhere. My prayer for all of us is that this will be a lesson in acceptance and faith, and from it will come something bigger and better than we've spent years dreaming about. 

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