Kiss Your Miracle

motherhood after infertility

Conclusion June 1, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Family,Infertility — Linnea @ 8:16 pm

I’ve been writing this blog for a little over a year now and it’s been a great experience, mainly because of you, my reader-friends. It was a bit scary when I first started, but your comments were always supportive and understanding. I had no idea all the things I’d be writing about this past year. I just knew I wanted to talk about my experience with infertility and my start as a mother. Then I was suddenly pregnant again, and I got to share all about that and the birth of Micah Nathan this past February. I also wrote about my dad’s cancer and death. This past year has been one of major changes; writing the blog has forced me to spend time thinking it all through. And if the blog has been therapeutic, you all have been the counselors. It’s been wonderful to dump out my feelings and have you read them and remind me I’m not alone. Your encouraging words will stay with me for a long time.

I’ve decided to wrap up this blog for now and maybe start something new in the fall. I’ve written a lot about motherhood through the lens of infertility, which is a perspective I never want to forget. My history makes me grateful for the miracles I’ve been given and it helps me empathize with anyone still waiting to be a parent. At the same time, I’m ready to move forward and let the infertility chapter of my life be closed. I don’t want to dwell on the pain God has removed.

The Bible talks a lot about seasons and how there’s a proper time for everything. Ecclesiastes, one of my favorite books, says there is a time to be silent and a time to speak (3:7). I think I’ve said what I wanted, so maybe now is a time to be quiet. Ecclesiastes also says, “The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” (6:11). A talker like me should take wisdom like that to heart.

Thanks again for reading. Your comments have lifted my spirits more than you probably know. I also have to give a great big thank you to my sweet Adam, who set up my blog, maintained it (along with blogs for several other people), talked through lots of ideas with me, read every single post, and touched up all the photos. It’s pretty cool to be married to your favorite person on the planet.

I hope over this past year I’ve said something you’ve found encouraging. But more than that, I hope I’ve given glory to God. His opinion matters most of all.

PS – I couldn’t do my last post without tossing in a couple family photos. I just love these people so much!


Testimony May 21, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Infertility,Motherhood — Linnea @ 9:18 am

I was a little nervous yesterday morning as I drove to our last MOPS meeting of the year. Along with three other women, I was scheduled to give a short testimony about how God has worked in my life. I’d decided to focus on the infertility and our miracle babies, which is a story I love to tell. But writing about it or sharing it in a conversation is not the same as talking about it over a microphone in front of a large group. It also didn’t help that I had to go first. The room was very quiet as I walked toward the podium.

As soon as I got through my opening paragraph though, I felt myself relax. I stopped worrying about how I was coming across and started thinking about the words, the story, and what God had done. When I got to the end of my testimony, I shared two scriptures God keeps putting in my head (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which just might be the theme scripture for the rest of my life, and Isaiah 43:1-2, which is one of the most comforting promises I’ve ever read). After I thanked everyone for listening and headed for my seat in the back of the room, I felt this sudden rush of happiness. I guess part of it was relief that I was done with the up-front sharing part. But mostly it was joy at the memory how God answered the biggest prayer I’ve ever prayed.

It’s funny sometimes how God works. I wanted to encourage one or two of my MOPS friends with my little speech, and I hope that happened. But I was also talking to myself, reminding my forgetful brain of just how good I have it and how powerful my God really is.

I can’t wait to pass our story on to Sky and Micah. I hope when they look back on their childhood they forget the times I got irritated and complained about nothing. I want them to remember how their mom was always talking about God’s goodness and His blessing on our family.

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty – and I will meditate on your wonderful works.” – Psalm 145:3-5


Challenge March 11, 2010

Filed under: Infertility,Motherhood — Linnea @ 12:21 pm

“He (God) settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.” I came across this verse the other day in the Bible (Psalm 113:9) and felt myself come to a stop. I haven’t read Psalm 113 in a while, and I couldn’t help but remember how that particular verse struck me during our infertility. I’d usually sit there wondering, what about me, God? Will this apply to me someday?

It turns out God did have babies planned for me, but I still think of infertility when I read the verse. I can’t help but wonder about my friends, the ones still waiting, unsure if God has children in store for them as well. Many couples who struggle with infertility go on to get pregnant or adopt children and become happy parents that way. But it doesn’t happen for everyone. If a couple dealing with infertility gets to a place where they feel settled in their lives as a family of two, that’s one thing. But what about those who continue to wait painfully year after year?

Most Christians would probably say this verse is mainly about God’s character. He is gracious and giving and takes care of His people. It’s a principal, not a promise. And I would agree with that interpretation. But that doesn’t mean the verse is easy for an infertile woman to read. It definitely wasn’t for me. The Bible refers to itself as a sword – a truth that works on many levels. Sometimes the emotions it brings out are piercing, and the only way I know to respond to that pain is with prayer. I used to pray for myself, that God would help me deal with the feeling of being forgotten, and that He would “remember” me the way He remembered Sarah, Hannah, Leah, Rachel, Rebecca, Elizabeth, and many other women of the Bible. Now I pray the same words for my friends.

This morning God added a new dimension to this verse for me. The word “happy” practically jumped off the page into my face. Now that God has answered my prayer and made me a mother, can I honestly say I’ve responded with joy? Not just at first, but now, in the day-to-day reality of life with two little kids? Am I happy? Or am I just on to the next thing I wish I could change? The verse is about God, but it’s also a challenge to me and the perspective I choose every day.


Nursing February 26, 2010

Filed under: Infertility,Motherhood — Linnea @ 10:48 am

“Please God, let him be a few ounces heavier,” I prayed as I drove Micah to the pediatrician this week. An hour later as we left the office, I was fighting back tears. Micah hadn’t gained any weight at all; he’d actually lost more.

When we got to the car I let myself cry. “I feel like such a failure,” I told Adam on the phone as I drove home. “Why would you feel that way?” Adam said. “You’ve done nothing but breastfeed Micah since he was born. We haven’t given him formula or a pacifier or anything that might get in the way. It’s not your fault if he needs a little more to eat.” I knew in my head that Adam’s words were true; some things are not in our control. But somehow I still felt responsible. It reminded me of our infertility – I knew the vague sense of guilt and inadequacy I felt was not from God, but it was still hard for me to move past.

Later that day I sat down with the breast pump as the pediatrician suggested. “I don’t like you,” I told it, even though I knew pumping might boost my milk supply. The memories of my middle-of-the-night pumping sessions during Sky’s infancy are not happy, and I’d hoped to avoid pumping for baby number two. So many people say breastfeeding is easier the second time around and I thought maybe I’d fall into that category, but apparently I don’t. So I sat and pumped and felt sorry for myself.

Then suddenly I remembered something. When my friend Niki dealt with several breastfeeding issues a few years back, she had to use a pump many times throughout the day and night. At the time Adam and I were struggling with infertility, and Niki told me later that she handled the stress and pain of constant pumping by praying for me. “It helped me get my mind off myself,” she said simply. Her spiritual maturity in that moment overwhelmed me. Did I ever handle stress or disappointment that way? By praying for someone else?

Remembering how Niki prayed for me brought back another memory – telling her I was pregnant. I’ll never forget the joy and excitement of that moment. But amazingly, I’m able to push it to the back of my mind, which is what happened this week. Instead of concentrating on the wonder of having another (!) newborn, I’d allowed my breastfeeding struggles to be my main focus.

Caring for newborns around the clock can be isolating and it’s easy to lose perspective. I don’t want to minimize the importance of breastfeeding; I have great respect for mothers who do it month after month despite the physical drain it can be on a woman’s body. But when I step back and remember the pain of not having children at all, I’m able to grasp the fact that there are bigger problems in the world than my baby drinking formula.

I don’t think it’s wrong to feel disappointed that I’m not able to breastfeed exclusively. But I can’t let my emotions get stuck there. I think Niki is onto something – I need to redirect my thoughts the way she did. There will always be something in my life that can steal my joy if I let it. But God has given me the ability to prevent that. Niki blessed me so much with her prayers. Knowing she was thinking of me during our infertility helped me feel less alone in it. I too, have many friends still waiting for God to bless them with children. And I think my pumping sessions are the perfect time to pray for them.


Patience January 21, 2010

Filed under: Infertility,Motherhood — Linnea @ 1:06 pm

With my due date a week and a half away, it suddenly occurred to me that I won’t be pregnant much longer. It’s a thrilling fact – hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll be holding a healthy baby boy in my arms. I also can’t say I’ll miss the aches and pains of the third trimester, the endless trips to the bathroom, or the way people now stare at my tummy before making eye contact with me.

As each day passes, I’m more ready to have this baby. But I’m also very aware that life, especially unborn life, is fragile. I can’t help but think of two friends of mine dealing with the grief of recent miscarriage, and others who are still waiting for that first positive pregnancy test. I hope Adam and I are blessed with more children in the future, but I don’t assume it will happen, especially not according to a time frame we’ve planned. If God chooses to give us these two kids and no more, then we’ll be grateful and satisfied – it’s really not hard to get there when we thought at one point we might not have children at all. And with that in mind, I can’t help but consider these last days of pregnancy a treasure. Sometimes I think even now the discomfort of pregnancy is starting to fade from my mind, replaced by the overwhelming excitement of welcoming a new life into the world.


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