November 21, 2011

"Are You Crazy?!"

"You've got your hands full!"
"Are they twins?"
"Are they triplets?"
"You must be joking!"
"Don't you need a break?!"
"I don't know how you do it!"
"Better you than me!"
"You know, they make a pill for that."
"Are you part of some cult?!"
"You must be Catholic."

And other negative, presumptuous, pithy feminist comments.

I'm not going to lie. When Moriah was born, I had NEVER taken care of a newborn baby before. I didn't have any idea what I was doing and I struggled in my new role of mother just 9 months after committing to my new role as wife.

During Lily's pregnancy I was stressed out the whole time because our insurance company pinned us with the possibility of paying for all the prenatal, labor and delivery care out of pocket when we had no money. But the Lord answered our prayers and Lily came at the right time.

When Shiphrah was born, I was stressed and overwhelmed. I had two toddlers running around and a newborn that was obstinate against nursing and very gassy (colic). Quite literally I was about to lose my mind and thought often about doing just that. I prayed every time I fought Shiphrah to nurse that I wouldn't get pregnant again before she was 18 months old. I needed a break and I despaired at least 8 times a day. I cried all the time. Jeramy and I talked about taking a little break, but still in my conscience I considered that it was contrary to the decision I made before our wedding day - to give God control of our fertility - but for the sake of sanity, I would put that on hold.

As the months passed, I continued to pray in this way while struggling to decide whether or not to use contraception or let God answer in the way He wills. Month after month continued to go by and I became convinced that God was not going to answer this prayer and I had to be content getting pregnant again before Shiphrah turned 18 months. Then suddenly, one day Jeramy came home and changed his mind about contraception. It was like an answer to prayer.

However every time we came together, I felt the gnawing of the Holy Spirit that what we were doing was wrong. "This isn't what we decided to do 5 years ago. God says, "Children are a blessing . . . " not a burden. They are my life now. They are my vocation now. I pour myself into them, eternal souls, the next generation." Feminism teaches that children are burdens; they're too expensive; they impose on your freedoms and lots of other nonsense antithetical to the Gospel.

Also during this time, God did a significant work in sanctifying me more toward contentment. My role as wife and mother is difficult, but it is what God has called me to do and, by golly, I'll do it with all my might unto His glory. If I could spend hours in the practice room daily and on stage for the pursuit of some wooden box, then I could certainly use the last 10 years of my reproductive life to nurture the next generation of humanity.

What, specifically, lead to my decision? I considered that there are friends of mine who have not been blessed with children naturally. How selfish it was for me to prevent this blessing. Also I considered the many friends I have that prevented children from coming that now regret the children they didn't have. I also consider that the next 10 years of my reproductive life is brief compared to the 60 or 70 years total I might live. I further considered that I never know which pregnancy will be my last and menopause might come to me earlier than the average woman.

So now, I embrace however many children God will bless us with. Yes, it is hard. Yes, I pray for God's grace daily. Yes, I make mistakes. Yes, I get stressed out. No, my children are not a burden. No, I wouldn't trade them for anything. Yes, I know they're beautiful. No, you can't have any - not one. And when I'm old and dying in my bed, I'll look back over my life without regret in this area, knowing that I allowed God to do as He pleased with me, and I'll be satisfied.


Erin said...

Praise God, Meggan! I'm so glad to hear the Lord has renewed your heart toward motherhood! Children truly are a blessing, and motherhood a joy-filled calling! Cherish the days :-)

Meggan said...

I should add that it wasn't lightly that Jeramy changed his mind toward contraception. He had been seriously considering it, silently, for some time then dropped me his decision (what seemed to me) suddenly. He would point out that grace, wisdom and trust in God's sovereignty are not divorced.