The Foolish Thing About April

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I've always seemed to take things quite literally, or perhaps maybe just a little too seriously. I like things to be clearly defined, but still with enough flexibility to go at my own pace. Everything in my planner is written in pen, with the full month showing (always) - looking at the big picture while seeing my daily to-do's and goals...There is a routine. I know what to expect.. You may say predictable; If it's not written down---I forget, I don't do it, I'm not there, or I'm late-- so sorry!! Please remind me!
 
Whether it's in school, relationships, at home.. Whether speaking of bill draft dates or "deadlines" in my head of when this needs to get done how... Always, a reason. And with everything in my life- how my day at home with Taylor is structured- always, a purpose. Nothing mindless. Ever in prayer...Ever keeping Matthew 6:7 in mind...
 
I am in no way, or ever will be, a jokester. Jesting.. Everyone is different- and so is everyone's idea of fun and games. You can never please everyone...But because I don't care for sarcasm, nor jesting - unintentionally cruel jokes - I don't participate.
 
Unless it's truth- but the day in the timeframe chosen to say just happened to fall around the beginning of April. Even then, it was a compromise...
 
And this is why I begun to get nervous, emotional, just heavy when April 1st came around in that planner...
 
Wishes and prayers, aches and loss, pain and joy... There are so many feelings that may come as we approach April... April 1st... Otherwise known to popular culture as "April Fool's Day."
 
I wonder if the person who thought of this grand idea ever dreamed how painful these jokes can be to others...
 
It was early fall 2013, let's say September- when we both decided it was time for us to have a baby. I honestly came to the conclusion a few months prior- maybe it was that spring- but  it took time for Marshall to come around, because we had a way we wanted things to go- a "plan." Ideally, it would take a few months to conceive, and by Christmas we would share our announcement with the world, and the next summer of 2014 our sweet baby would arrive. But things never go according to plan.. Even if they are written in pen.
 
I think part of what fueled this desire was becoming so deeply involved in women's ministry - with other military wives - on base. Another part was just the plain old fact that I wanted to teach young children, preschool or 2nd grade - rather than 8th grade science as I thought years previously. Immediately after we moved into our rental earlier that year, I began volunteering at least 6 hours a week at the elementary school in our neighborhood. I met friends- other wives of those in the military- whom I began a journey of sharing life and bible study with weekly on base.
 
Being constantly around children to some capacity in school or service since high school only added to this desire, over time. Once we made the decision, I scheduled an appointment with my cardiologist to see if my heart was strong enough to sustain myself as well as a new life. It is...but with caution. Still I received the well wishes and the check off the list to stop taking my diltiazem (blood pressure & chest pain medicine) ...
 
And we were so naïve. Because we thought it wouldn't be long...
 
Yet God's plans are greater than ours. Months passed, and too many times I jumped the gun anyway to take a test- it was so hard to keep track. Too many months with a still empty womb and a hopeful heart. After 6 months, I went to see an OBGYN. She knew it was too early to declare anything, but seeing as I had an appointment - we were eager - and my unique medical history - she referred me to a high risk doctor. I went, and while I was thoroughly warned of the "risks" in my case, they said to wait until a full year has passed, while tracking everything, and then to talk.
 
The first year of waiting passed...Still only one blue line, month after month. Even those times when I didn't feel "normal" and skipped months, giving us false hopes, still, God said to wait. But I was tired of waiting. Babies were everywhere!! People even joke about having babies, why cant I at least take care of one who isn't cared for in accords with everyone's identity as a child of God?
 
I didn't know until months and months later, looking at a printout of my records, but the doctor wrote that I had amenorrhea, and technically still do. That means that skipped months and false alarms (prior to testing) would always just be... a part of life. It became such a painful part of life...Especially seeing the babies and announcements all around us. I think perhaps this truth is ever more real being on a military base - because for the most part, stay at home mamas with multiple little souls to shepherd is the norm, since the husbands are more often than not, away from home.
 
Those 2.5 years of waiting, hoping, dreaming, disappointments... Those years were long. They took a pull at me, and because of this caused some rifts in our marriage at the time (on top of the stresses of the military life). But God... He is in control of every little detail- and I desperately needed to truly believe that again.
 
Fast forward to 2015. The new year began... and what incredible things were in store! At that time, every other month- 6 times a year- brought a false alarm by way of a skip- because of amenorrhea. But we had hope. While the initial excitement wore off, the desire was still ever-present.
 
Just under a year ago, days after Valentine's in February, we saw two blue lines! This test took a little more prodding initially- because of the years of disappointments- but what a joyful time it was. Good things come in TIME! We were able to see Taylor's picture a few days later, and were beyond thrilled. Baby's first photo- when our little one was 6 weeks and 6 days old- will forever be framed and remembered as JOY! He is faithful.
 
We then thought of when to share the news...and how. Because of hearing other stories of love and loss firsthand through sweet friends I made in the fellowship on base, I absolutely knew that I wanted to wait until baby was a few months along... I guess to be cautious. In hindsight maybe it was more in distrust of God--- waiting for Him to "prove" to us that the wait, truly, is no more. As much as I wish that mentality wasn't the case, it is so easy to fall into that trap when you desperately want something so good, yet don't have just yet, all the while seeing it everywhere you go...
 
Here is what we did...
 
Well, ever since I can remember the past few years, Marshall always had a running joke going that each April 1st, he would text our parents that we are expecting...as a joke. I didn't necessarily like that - it was all him - but then again, it's April Fools, right? Well, this time, since we WERE expecting - and after that wait - I knew I couldn't condone that again. So come April 1, 2015, Marshall let our parents and siblings know... and I again texted everyone to confirm....And it took some convincing, which is understandable because of past trends,  but the news was spread! It was our time! (Also consider the fact that I never confirmed or said a word about this the years previous).We were somewhere around 10 weeks at that point, and the plan was to wait until 12 to announce to the whole world, for various reasons... We'd have an additional ultrasound by that point, and it would be later in that month... on our own time, to announce, rather than as a "joke." Still, this was a compromise, but this is how it happened.
 
In the future, never will I make big announcements on April 1st, and never will I be able to wait that long to announce something so life-changing and incredible...Yet at the time, we did what we did. And with this, I feel that maybe the couples who do jest about such a sensitive topic to many on this day... just simply... don't know. Your eyes aren't opened to the hurt all around you unless you have been in those shoes as well. Yes, there should well be a part of everyone which says it is dehumanizing to joke about life in such a playful and careless way...That is if you truly understand the struggle and pain behind such days, such announcements, such life-changing moments. I sure didn't until we were waiting months... years... longer than we thought we ever would. (Which also, in hindsight, isn't near as long as others so courageously fight the pain in waiting - years - decades, even - for the joy of a new life sustained. I can't even imagine..)
 
And this takes me back to my first point.... Maybe I'm "too serious" about things, maybe I mull things over a little too many times in my head, or maybe I am just a hyper-sensitive young mother who cries at the drop of a pin about.. well... anything. (Which actually, all of the above are true at different times!) But the truth of the matter stands: This April 1st, be careful about what you jest about - joking about such a sensitive topic to others. You never know how your words can affect someone - truly - until you are in their shoes. Something as intrinsic as a new life...This is not something to jest about. Instead---It is something to celebrate!
 
 
 
 

1 comment:

  1. I love this!!!! I have an opposite story. I didn't want children and when I was dating Nick, I said, "if you want kids, I'm not your woman. I want to be a career Marine and deploy." We were married May of 2008 and Dannika was born July 2009. I was actually devastated when I found out I was pregnant because I thought my career was done!! After some hard times and self reflection....I could not imagine a.more fulfilling life! It's never "MY" plan....it's always God's plan and he may throw a wrench into what YOU want to show you what HE wants...and what He wants is always SOOO much better.

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