Fear

It’s so easy to accept God’s perfect timing in retrospect. During Ethan’s final clinical rotations, life was insane. Not wanting to give too much away of other stories I’ll eventually share, I’ll only say that I could hardly manage myself without a baby. I couldn’t imagine having been pregnant or giving birth while in Tennessee or Colorado. Skipping ahead to April of 2017: we’re back in Indiana, Ethan is about to graduate, and my birth control finds its way to the trashcan again.

Only, now, in trying to get pregnant, I had the recollection of our failures, ending only a few months prior. I was truly scared to say that we were “trying to get pregnant” again. Even just talking to Ethan, I felt like speaking on the matter would completely jinx our ability to conceive. I thought if I tracked my temperatures or logged my cycle data, I would relapse and metamorphose back into to that crazy lady who drank no coffee and cried looking at stranger’s babies in Target. I became as dedicated to convincing myself that this was a casual objective as I had been to convincing myself, in 2016, that the secret to conception hid between the pages of baby books at Barnes and Noble.

The months began to pass. Some were totally nonchalant; I didn’t even think about what the date was when my period arrived. Some months, I took to praying for a baby and trusting that God has perfect timing. Some months were rough. In those, I decided God’s clock was busted and I needed to take control of my own life’s timeline by buying the expensive ovulation predictor kits and succumbing to the mechanical, precisely timed sex.

Whatever my level of baby fever was each month, I had underlying fear in the deepest pits of my stomach. For months, when I would inwardly reflect at the end of each day, I would land upon an anxious dismay towards the idea of needing to get pregnant. When I prayed about it, I prayed out of fear. I wasn’t praying for a baby; I was praying against infertility. I was even afraid of the fear I was having. What if God mistook my fear for having no faith? Thus, punishing me with the ironic fate, which I now deserved, of infertility. Reading through my prayer journal and jotted down thoughts from this time, I can see that my true fear was not of infertility; I was afraid of telling people about what I was experiencing. I was horrified of being vulnerable and exposing my pain to those who cared for me. Keeping these feelings inside was becoming torturous.

Then I thought, maybe, if I did start talking about trying to have a baby, I could somehow reverse-psychology my body and the jinxing system. If I verbalized these fears, I would realize how insane I sounded. The people I talked to could agree that I was insane, and assure me that I would certainly turn up pregnant in no time. I’d show those fertility jinxes who was boss. I slowly integrated baby-name discussions and baby-making jokes into conversations with my best friend, my mother-in-law, and my mom. It’s a little hilarious how seriously I believed I could “outsmart” whatever was going on.

Ten of these roller coaster months passed. Then it was March of this year, and I was relatively busy being a preschool teacher. I was preparing for several “end of the year” events and just trying to survive until summer. I wasn’t thinking much about having a baby. In March and April, something felt very off in my body. Really, I’d noticed some abnormalities around the time of my cycles in the months that had been passing. But, it wasn’t until those two months, when I wasn’t thinking about getting pregnant, that I was able to admit to myself that something might be wrong.

With no other thoughts in my mind than curiosities about my cycle irregularities, I made an appointment with my gynecologist.

In the months of wanting a baby, I was too afraid to call a doctor’s office to ask questions. I didn’t want to give infertility an opportunity to arise in dialogue. The thing is, I already knew that something was wrong, and didn’t want to accept it. I like to believe that God planned the timing of my irregularities just right so that I would finally call a gynecologist during a month when I wasn’t so concerned with being pregnant.

Liv – Authentically

“As you run, what hindered love will only become part of your story”

-Steffany Gretzinger

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