I've had quite a few people in the past few weeks ask me if and when we will try again to get pregnant again. As a result, I've been thinking about it a lot...I've been kind of preoccupied, actually.
Now, some people might read this and think that I'm sick for thinking about having another child after having just lost our firstborn 7 weeks ago. I often have those feelings, too...at times I am wracked with guilt by the concept of having more children.
A couple of weeks ago, a good friend spoke some incredible wisdom to me, though. She said that the emptiness I incessantly feel is really two separate voids. The first void is for my baby boy...and that void can never be filled in this lifetime. I will always have a deep hole in my heart left by Zachary. That's just how it is, and I will carry his memory and an intense longing for him every day for the rest of my life. The pain will lessen over time, but that void will always be there. The second void is for a family...for constant noise and chaos in our home, to have our empty baby room be occupied, to comfort a crying child, to watch my wonderful husband do the same, and to do all of the other things a mom gets to do. And that void can (and I believe with all my heart will, one way or another) be filled! The desire for a family is one that God has placed in my heart, and the dream of being parents did not die with Zachary. I will not be replacing my firstborn son...it's impossible. And having more children in the future is in no way dishonoring Zachary's memory. So I am excited at the possibility of having the opportunity to raise children in the future.
That being said, however, now is not the time. Physical implications aside, I'm not ready. When we first left the hospital, and even until just a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to get pregnant as soon as possible. In part because I deeply desire to have a child in my arms, but I also figured if I just got pregnant right away, it would almost feel as if I had never gone through such a traumatic loss. I wanted to have something to look forward to again as soon as possible. And I'm convinced that whether we get pregnant in the next year or ten years from now, I will still be grieving...maybe not as intensely, but still grieving. And pregnancy will bring to mind all sorts of memories of my first pregnancy. I will, in a way, be grieving a whole new dimension of this loss.
But now is not the time. And I have no idea when the time to get pregnant again will be. All I know is that God knows when my body and my heart have healed enough, and I will have a peace about having our second baby. I don't have that peace right now. And I've been battling this mindset that, because God chose to take Zachary, He "owes" us a healthy family. God doesn't "owe" me anything, and it's ridiculous for me to demand anything. He knows the desires of my heart, and He will fulfill those in His timing and in the way He knows is best. My job is to trust Him and to be grateful for everything He gives me, even the small things...even the most painful things.
And I feel like God's not done changing my heart through this process. I'm certain that He will never be finished using Zachary's life to transform my own until I get to heaven, but I want to dedicate as much of my attention as possible to His transforming work for the time being. I'm not through the intense phase of grief yet, and I need time to feel whole enough in order to pour my love into another child without reservation. I just want God to use this pain for all it's worth...and to make it something powerfully beautiful! I want Him to refine me like gold, even if the heat is excruciating. I want God to get rid of everything in my life that does not make Him proud, even if that pruning feels crippling at times. He is faithful...sometimes believing that is simply a matter of faith these days, but I've also never known it to be so true. I will know when it's time to have another baby, and God will be faithful then as He is now...but until I have His peace about it, it's not time.