In Her Words
Family Dream Disrupted
My yearning for a third child
By: Stacy Elliott
Sometimes life throws us random scenarios. At the mature age of 44 and blessed with two high-tech in vitro babies now 4 and 5 years old, I still hadn’t made peace with myself about having a third child. As much as I wanted to try again, having back-to-back boys had worn me out. I was close to 40 when they were born, and for the next couple years my husband and I didn’t have the energy to pursue another round of blood draws, vial mixing and shots. I wasn’t ready to live my life by a dipstick, so we did nothing, but my heart never settled.
As a young girl I had created my fantasy adult life that included an amazingly handsome and loving husband and three beautiful, well-behaved and charming children — all this by age 28. When I didn’t meet my husband until I was pushing 35, I started to acquiesce on the rest of my list, and figured I would be lucky to have one baby.
Over time, I tried to talk my heart out of my three-child plan for all the obvious reasons. I was older, I already had two beautiful healthy boys, and neither my husband nor I wanted to embark into the heart-wrenching world of in vitro again. Time marched on.
Then the unimaginable happened. Just days after my 44th birthday while on a trip with my husband (sans children), I became pregnant. Shortly after the trip, I knew something was up, but how? I had been told by more than one doctor that it would be impossible for me to conceive naturally.
While my husband was initially shocked, confused and anxious, I was secretly ecstatic. My dream of a third would finally be fulfilled. Knowing that my boys were in school a better part of the day, I was thrilled about the time I would be able to devote to my newborn. With crazy abandon and excitement, I began to share the news in my sixth week. I felt that God had given us an amazing gift, and I wanted to tell everyone about our miracle.
Can the unimaginable happen twice? It did. As I headed for the gym to work on keeping my body in shape to carry my precious cargo, the spotting started. I stood in my bathroom and pleaded, “No, no, no,” with the God who had blessed me with this miraculous pregnancy, but to no avail. Within 24 hours, I had miscarried the only natural pregnancy I ever experienced.
I’m a firm believer that “things happen for a reason,” and that God creates situations and experiences in our lives to teach us life lessons. But for the life of me, I can’t figure this one out. What purpose could possibly make sense to give us such an unexpected blessing and then take it away? Now that we know it’s possible for me to become pregnant, should we try again and for how long? Or was this series of events designed to finally put my yearning heart to rest? As I grapple with these questions, I recognize I may not get an answer immediately. So I wait, and I ponder and I pray. Soon a door will either open, or it will close. Either way, I have faith that my heart will eventually find rest.
Tell us: Have you had to alter your family dreams?