Tuesday, January 23, 2018

acceptance

(I have definitely hesitated to write about this, as I am not trying to give my blog any sort of a miscarriage or infertility angle, but I read this post by Mary the other day and felt really convicted to give each little life it's due honor and to document each time of grieving, because every single soul matters so much.)

Ever since getting married I have pictured myself as a mother of tons of children, at least 8, maybe 12. Whatever God saw fit to give, that's what I wanted, and while I know that God has a specific plan for every one of us, I also assumed that he wanted that for me too.

At the year's start everybody was blogging or gramming about their word of the year, generated with Mrs. Fulwiler. I held off even getting one because it felt too trendy, or something. Then I got my word and immediately felt like it was weirdly accurately, spot on, and very much a word from the Lord. I have held off writing at all about it because I've been fighting accepting that it is even my word for the year. Irony of ironies.

Acceptance.

That's my word. How completely fitting it is.

In November we had our second miscarriage, the first was 6 years prior. After the November miscarriage we were blessed to conceive the very next cycle.

But then we miscarried again, for the 3rd time. His name is Dominic George and, as with our other lost little ones, he has taught me more in his extremely short time here than I ever thought possible.

The ironic thing is that this postpartum period was the most committed I have ever been to using NFP to have a bigger gap between children-- 3 years was my hope. My general attitude toward the child spacing was "we'll have a baby when we choose to have a baby". But then after the first miscarriage I had a huge change of heart and really hoped and longed for whatever children God wanted to give, whenever He wanted to give them. I feel like that was part of His plan, to convict me all the more that none-- not one of these little ones-- was "chosen" by me, but that He chose each of them and has given each of them us as completely undeserved gifts, the most recent loss has only served to strengthen that conviction.

But I have found myself in a place of confusion. Being open to life is what God wants, right? The desire to bring fourth new life is what God wants, right? He wants me to have a huge family, right? I look at these 5 beautiful lives I have right here to care for, to give my everything to, to nurture and to teach and I feel discontent because of the desire to have more -- I am having trouble accepting that THIS is where God wants me and that THESE are the children he has given to me and maybe only these children forever.



I had a beautiful mentor for several years when we lived in South Bend, her name was Debbie. She helped me through my postpartum depression and anxiety, she gave me guidance spiritually and I would say that one of the number one things she taught me through her words and example was acceptance of God's will. She has 5 children living and had 5 miscarriages in her life, and I remember when she told me about her losses, the beautiful acceptance of the will of God that she communicated- I have thought about it so much since this third loss. She taught me acceptance of His will in the very practical every day things- saying yes to him in the pile of dishes in the sink, saying yes to Him in the loads and loads of laundry, saying yes to Him in homeschooling even though I struggle with it daily, saying yes to Him during bouts of PPD, saying yes to Him in miscarriage, saying yes to all of it if it is what He wants. Right before we moved from South Bend, Debbie was diagnosed with mesothelioma and last month she passed away. I don't think it was any coincidence that I was forced to really think on the many things I learned from her right after these 2 consecutive miscarriages, when I was struggling with so many things that she helped me through when I met with her. I have been overwhelmed by the blessing of her life, of the many things she taught me while I was blessed to have her as a friend.

A "huge family" may not be God's will for me, and His will is all that matters. I am called to give all the energy and love and life that I have to these little ones and no additional little ones for right now. He has lavished so many gifts on me, He gives and He takes away, He wants only the good for me and my "yes" to His plan is my path to sanctity.

He is pleased with my openness to life, yes, but He is pleased ultimately with my grateful acceptance of His will, whatever or whoever and whenever it may be.

Saint Dominic and Saint George, pray for us!




18 comments :

  1. Oh Ana! I am so sorry for the losses of your sweet babes and your dear friend. Thank you for sharing your heart so vulnerably and beautifully.

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  2. So sorry to hear this, Ana and so sorry that you’ve had to endure this cross. May our Lord wrap His grace around you and your family. Count on my prayers.

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  3. Ana, I'm so very, very sorry for the loss of your babies, and for the loss of your friend. That is a lot of heartache for one person to bear in such a short time. I love your beautiful take on all of this - you are such a lovely soul. You are in my prayers.

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  4. I'm so sorry for your losses. Being open to life and to the will of God is not just gobs of babies, and it involves suffering, just like any other path. I've met women who got themselves sterilized after one or two bad miscarriages, because the pain was too much to ever risk again. Trust in the Lord! It sounds like you are. I'm 45 with 8 children, but more miscarriages over the years than I can count, starting after my 3rd. Each baby after that was appreciated like it could have been my last. I had my 6th at 34, and then 3 miscarriages and lots of just NOT getting pregnant. Then a surprise at 39 and an even bigger surprise at 40. I still get pregnant at least once a year and then lose the baby. May God's will be done in our lives. Thank you for the gift of life, dear Lord.

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    1. I am so sorry for all of your losses. Your experience is a serious witness to me of openness to all that God wants to give-- thank you for sharing!

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  5. I am sorry to hear of another loss for your family. It's so hard to lose all those hopes & dreams with the death of your baby. I will be praying for you.

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  6. I’m sorry, and this is so beautiful.

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  7. Long time reader of your blog, first time commenting. Just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your babies and for the loss of your dear friend. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Jenny

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  8. Ana, I'm so sorry for your losses, of your babies and of your friend.

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  9. I have four living children and four little saints in Heaven, the last two were consecutive miscarriages as well. Being open to life, is being open to loss. It's so hard and I had no idea how hard it could be until I went through my first miscarriage. I am sorry for the loss of your babies. I also long for more children and it is difficult to remember God's will is bigger than mine.

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    1. I am so sorry for your losses, Brenna. Thank you for sharing, your openness is such a witness.

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  10. Ana, I came across your blog from a Facebook post from Catholic Wife, Catholic Life. First, I want to say how sorry I am for your losses. I can only imagine what that must feel like and I think it is a beautiful thing to speak about your babies and share their names and stories and your love for them. Second, I have to say I was quite surprised as I read your post about how you long for a big family, but at the same time I saw the picture of your five beautiful children. I have struggled for a while now with longing for a big family, as my husband and I have one child. Though our marriage is still relatively new and we (God willing) have many years ahead in our lives, I still find myself longing for a big family (and I guess 5 children is a big family to me!). However, we are so incredibly blessed with our daughter and I know that if God chooses not to give us anymore children, we will still abound in his blessings thanks to our daughter. I guess this rambling comment is just to explore for myself, and maybe bring to light for others, how relative a concept the idea of a big family can be, and also how blessed we all are by God, no matter how many children we have. God bless you

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting-- I completely understand. This whole experience has really forced me to look at my own perception of a "big family". I am one of 8 kids and in my head I just thought I would have at least that many-- and I very well may! The main thing I am learning is just that God's will is all I should be wanting here and I absolutely need to work harder at cherishing these beautiful gifts I have been given-- I am so very blessed. Thank you again for sharing and for your perspective.

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  11. Oh Ana I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. I've struggled with family size for the last year so I know how it feels. It doesn't mean you don't love or appreciate what you have. I think people sometimes confuse that.
    I also did Jennifer's word generator and mine was "enough." I was stunned! So just like you my word applied to my situation. It's actually helped me and left me with some peace. I hope you find peace as well :)

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  12. Anna, so sorry for your losses. Miscarriage teaches us about life, too, and it’s a tough lesson. But you have a great perspective, praise God!

    I had my first miscarriage (of three) after 5 pregnancies, 6 babies (twins in there) in 8 years and never a single thought that anything could ever go wrong. It was so eye opening- how I took for granted having a baby any time *we* wanted. After 3 miscarriages in 1 1/2 years, and then not getting pregnant for 3 more years (not due to a lack of trying), I found myself pregnant at age 41 (husband age 52). I have a beautiful 3 year old who I consider my little miracle because we really thought God’s plan was that we were done! But He sure surprised us—and our 6 children ages 16-7. Having one more baby has been a huge blessing, but I totally understand your feelings. It took me YEARS after baby #6 and miscarriages to not be really sad about not having another baby. But that feeling did finally wane....and then I was pregnant again. All this to say, your attitude of acceptance is the best you can do. God wants you where you are today, and we never know for sure what tomorrow will hold. God bless you and your family!

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  13. I am so sorry for your losses. I too, wonder if the 3 children I have right now will be the only ones. I had a miscarriage in January 2017 at 9 weeks. We conceived thar one after my husband and I truly decided to accept the teaching of being open to life, something we struggled with when we first converted. It was devastating and we were lucky to conceive again in April but we lost that baby at 27 weeks on October 28th. We are trying to accept God's will as well. Even if it doesn't make sense to us. Prayers for you and your beautiful family.

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