To cut or not to cut others off!

Trying for a baby before and after my losses was a really difficult time in my life. I just could not   understand how ‘others’ supposedly could decide when they wanted to have babies and they did so successfully and here I was after two pregnancies I had no baby to show for it.

I am eternally grateful that not once did my in-laws ask us what was going on. This indeed took off any additional pressure. Instead they were praying for us and likewise my parents (and I am sure other family members and friends).

However I tried to keep communication lines short and sweet with some people who may venture down the route of asking me what was going on with children. Indirectly, I also cut family and friends off by not letting them know ‘on time’ I was expecting as I just thought it better that way. I remember some people were not too happy when I told them between months four and six then there was a baby on the way. But after our first loss, I consciously decided to tell no one until the pregnancy had progressed to a certain time. I only informed our families when I was five and a half months pregnant with Faith and it was only then that those who met me in person realised I was pregnant. And alas less than two weeks after sharing our good news, Faith was gone in a flash. I then made up my mind I would not inform others until very late in future pregnancies or after the birth of our babies.  For the subsequent pregnancies I had to undergo a procedure that could possibly lead to the death of my babies right in theatre or afterwards. Although the procedure was meant to ensure I did not have a premature birth again it had its associated risks. It was a real dilemma. We did not want to make a wrong choice. Anyway after prayer and weighing our options carefully we decided to go for the procedure and thank God it worked for us. So in my situation, I felt it better not to inform others until the end of this journey.

The day I told my dad we lost Faith, the first thing he said was not again. Just hearing those words brought great sadness (temporary) and I decided it is best to only tell people who knew about my second pregnancy about what had taken place. I thought my dad was the stronger one and he would relay the news to my mum. He could not and handed the phone to her, so I had to tell her myself which was very hard. Sometimes people got upset that I did not tell them about my pregnancies but the reality was there was so much I was dealing with and I could not couple that with unintentional unhelpful comments.

Some things I was told that was meant to bring comfort actually did not. For instance, some people told me after we lost Isaac, that I should not worry that God would give me more children. At that point, more children was not what was on my mind, it was my loss of that child. As every child is unique, he/she is irreplaceable. As an African, some people believe in my culture that when bad things happen it may be that someone you know is the cause of it. It got to a point I nearly became paranoid. I began to think perhaps it is this person or that person that is behind my misfortune and I cut them off. Thank God that I have a heavenly father. He whispered and told me one day, the whole world cannot be after you, so stop suspecting this person or that person. He made me realise that I am the apple of His eyes, therefore He has my back. What a relief and deliverance for my troubled mind. But this did not happen automatically. I had to remind myself through God’s word (meditation) and build my faith to combat every negative thought, pregnancy complication and plan of the enemy. I knew as a result of my Christian faith that even if someone actually had ‘evil’ plans against me and my babies, it cannot work and I was confident and happy to sit and dine with them.

On the other hand, I believe it is beneficial to open up. Some of the people in our lives were instrumental in praying for us, giving practical advice, encouraging us and signposting us to a senior Consultant in another Hospital that took care of me during Faith’s pregnancy. From experience I also found out it can be awkward when informing others about the bundle of joys I subsequently had and inviting them to celebrate with us when they had not been a part of my world.

Thank God for good friends and family that still forgave me even when I chose not to involve them. In some cases, we may need to restrict the amount of information we share with others because of the situation at present. However we can avoid cutting others off.

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? Romans 8: 31

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Why are you afraid?

Trying for a baby indeed is a time most women (like myself) become ‘afraid.’ I would like to share three areas that gave rise to fear and address them.

My expectations

Prior to getting married, I had envisaged myself having three kids before I hit thirty. So when I had a delay for over a year, then lost two babies in a row, I was much shaken and quite concerned. Especially when there was no good reason for our babies’ demise.

Looking at the natural

I discovered I had Preeclampsia after delivering ‘Isaac’ (our first son) which developed into high blood pressure. I was told different things by medics. Some said I can never have Preeclampsia again others said there was a greater likelihood of reoccurrence in future pregnancies. In addition, I was told the high blood pressure was here to stay. But that did not deter me from trusting God that all would be well the second time. 23 weeks into my second pregnancy I went into premature labour and delivered our daughter ‘Faith’.  Although we were shocked that this labour was premature we were totally confident she would make it. But after a ten hour battle she was gone. All I said to my husband a few hours later was I can’t do this anymore. What was the point of trying for babies only to lose them?  At that point I was hesitant to give it another go in the near future.

Comparison

Although I got married a few years before many of my friends, a number of them had one or two children before me. Just thinking about it increased my anxiety levels and I could not wait to have, hold and keep my own babies.

What I did

  • Gave over my desires to God and decided to let Him make all things beautiful in His time
  • There was this particular day I was so discouraged about the whole issue. My husband then pointed out to me that my faith level was low. Just like cars need refuelling, likewise our faith needs refilling through meditating on the word of God. So I decided to write down bible verses that relate to conception, safe pregnancy and childbirth and reflect on them on a continuous basis.
  • I came to the realisation that although some of my friends had children, some were not even married and I should be thankful despite my situation. At the end of the day I too would get there even though it is later than planned.

Perhaps, maybe other things are giving rise to fear in your situation, you do not have to tolerate fear. Fear brings pain, distress and torment. Rest in God’s love for you and that He would not withhold anything good from you (which include babies).

Don’t give up in this difficult time, build your strength up in God’s word and expect your miracle.