Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Another negative pregnancy test. Another period. Another cycle begins. Another hope for a child ends. I mourn my loss quietly in the bathroom, stifling my sobs so I don’t wake up my husband in the next room. When I am finished, I wash my face, put my loss behind me, and head out into a new day, as ready as I can be for another day with my two children. That’s right, I have been blessed with children, but I also know the pain of struggling to conceive.

I’ll be honest—I haven’t, by definition, suffered from infertility. I’ve endured months of negative pregnancy tests, but not years. But the pain is still real, and at the end of each month, when I see another negative pregnancy test, my still-raw wound opens again. And again. And again. It never has time to heal before it must be torn open again. Every single month.

RELATED: Secondary Infertility – Living With The Heartache of Loss

Our firstborn was a wedding gift from God. There was no trying involved. No charting. No ovulation tests. Just one positive pregnancy test.

I assumed all of our pregnancy experiences would be like our first. They weren’t.

Our second child required monthly charting. Daily testing. Weekly conversations with my husband that included words like “peak fertility” and “ovulation.” He knew my cycle just as well as I did. It took us about six months of actively trying to conceive before we were blessed with our daughter. It felt like a long time for us to wait, but also short compared to so many other women I knew. But that knowledge didn’t make those months of struggling to conceive any less difficult. Or the effort required any less burdensome.

RELATED: What Trying For a Baby Is Like When You Have Trouble Getting Pregnant

In the months that we waited for the conception of our second child, and now as we find ourselves waiting again, I’ve been forced to find the hope in these seasons of infertility. With each month that passes, one hope dies and another is born in its place. Maybe this will be the month. Waiting is agonizing, but there is peace to be found here. I am taught to be patient and to find contentment where I am. Change is inevitable in the life of a mother, and a new baby brings plenty of change, so we can make the choice to appreciate the calm we are experiencing right now.

Every month brings its pain and loss of hope, but it’s impossible to continue living without acknowledging the gifts we’ve already been given.

I cried this morning when another test came up negative, but by breakfast, my kids had me laughing again. My life had me laughing again. Embracing joy in the midst of sorrow is difficult but possible. And in seasons of secondary infertility, it can make all the difference. It’s the difference between hope and despair, peace and inner turmoil, contentment and longing. Given the choice, I choose hope. I choose peace. I choose to be content with what I’ve been given.

RELATED: The Unexpected Joy of Waiting on God

When you’re in the midst of a season of infertility, whether it is short or long, there is always a temptation to live in the future. Another period means another month of waiting. Another negative pregnancy test means another month of planning. If it’s not this month, then maybe next month? So you constantly look to tomorrow, and you are tempted to forget about today. What is the point, when you’ve lost hope once again?

But my children are the point. They are a daily reminder I need to live in the present. I have so much to live for right now.

Even though it’s hard, I have to trust that God will give us another child when the time is right. And right now? The time isn’t right. God has already blessed us with so much, and I know if I continue to trust Him, He will continue to bless us. When He chooses to give us that third child, it will be in His time, not ours. He knows when we will be ready, and when His time comes, He’ll bless us with the gift of a child—however he chooses to bless us.

So as hard as it might be at times, I choose His time. I choose His plan. I choose to find hope during these seasons of infertility.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Shannon Whitmore

Shannon Whitmore currently lives in northwestern Virginia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, John and Felicity. When she is not caring for her children, Shannon enjoys writing for her blog, Love in the Little Things, reading fiction, and freelance writing on topics such as marriage, family life, faith, and health. She has experience serving in the areas of youth ministry, religious education, sacramental preparation, and marriage enrichment.

She’s My Rainbow Baby, but I Wasn’t Ready

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding baby girl in front of Christmas tree, color photo

On January 30, 2021 we lost our baby boy. I’d carried him for nearly 15 weeks when my water unexpectedly broke one night, and we miscarried. Just over a year later on February 10, 2022, I found out I was pregnant with our rainbow baby.  But I wasn’t ready.  I recall feeling out of sorts, thinking the last time I felt this way was during my first pregnancy, but there was no way we could be pregnant again. I anxiously awaited the results of a pregnancy test, and there it was: two pink lines.  But I wasn’t ready.   RELATED: Sometimes...

Keep Reading

This Little Life Changed Everything

In: Baby, Motherhood
Newborn photo of baby's hand, color photo

I get to run today. Yes, you read that correctly—I get to, not have to—and that’s a big and powerful difference. To say the past few months have been a whirlwind would be an understatement: a move to a new house . . . during the final days of pregnancy . . . with an earlier-than-expected labor that was wild, crazy, terrifying, complicated, and beautiful, perfect because of what it culminated in–new life and new perspective . . . followed by the Dreft-scented, snuggle-heavy, sleep-deprived days of life with a newborn. After all of this, I can honestly say life will...

Keep Reading

Why Is It So Hard To Admit Our Own Postpartum Struggles?

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn close up

I recently attended physical therapy in an attempt to put my parts back together after having my second child. My physical therapist was also a young mom so we began talking about the various stages our children have passed through. At one point, she asked me if I had experienced any postpartum depression or anxiety. Without hesitation, I said no and then quickly backtracked and said, “Well, some difficult thoughts so yeah, I guess that would be postpartum anxiety.” After fumbling through my explanation, I immediately felt slightly ashamed for dismissing the notion so quickly and also a sudden urge...

Keep Reading

Worrying Is Part of the Job

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman's hands holding baby head

My baby girl is four. How did four years go so fast? It blows my mind how much children develop in a short amount of time. One day they can’t lift their heads and then suddenly they’re shouting, “Go away, Mommy!” Lucy is my rainbow baby. She was born on a Wednesday evening in October. Our first day with her, we rested and gazed at our little creation. At midnight on Friday, we sent Lucy to the nursery so I could rest. At 2 a.m. a doctor rushed in. He flicked on the lights. Our tired eyes were blinded. “Lucy...

Keep Reading

I’m Sorry It Didn’t Come Naturally

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn in hospital, color photo

I should have spent every waking moment with you. I should have been right there by your side through every difficult and challenging moment you faced. I should have moved hell and high water to make sure I was there. But I didn’t. And I should have. I’m sorry the first days of your precious little life were filled with strangers and wires and loud noises. I’m sorry you were being poked and prodded from the moment you finally opened those little eyes. I’m sorry that the angel nurses of the NICU were there for you when your mommy should...

Keep Reading

Dear Sophia’s Mama

In: Baby, Motherhood
Baby in isolette inside NICU

I think about you often. I noticed you on our second day in the NICU. I was in the hallway in front of your daughters’ room speaking with our nurse. You looked up from your chair and tried to smile. As I walked away, I looked at the nameplate on the door. Sophia. From where the rocking chair was in our room, I could see out our door to Sophia’s room. Over the next few days, I noticed your daughter’s door proudly displayed several milestones. “Off ventilator” and “first-time mommy held you” made me realize you were seasoned here. Your...

Keep Reading

The End of Maternity Leave Makes a Mother’s Heart Ache

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant on shoulder

As my last week of maternity leave begins, my heart feels heavier and heavier in my chest. I can’t fall asleep at night for fear that I haven’t fully appreciated this time with my sweet baby girl. I know plenty of moms who find joy in returning to their old routines. Mamas who feel peace in knowing they can unlock a part of themselves they haven’t used in 12 weeks.  As for me, I’m filled with an anxiety I’ve never felt before. I’ve waited my whole life to be someone’s mama. I’m doing it for the first time, and while...

Keep Reading

Hyper-what? The Toll of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

In: Baby, Motherhood
woman with morning sickness in bathroom

Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Hyper-what? It sounded like some fancy medical diagnosis that would never touch my life, but . . . alas, here I am several months deep. I remember briefly hearing about Kate Middleton’s battle with it, but I never thought it would affect my own life, especially after having four prior uncomplicated pregnancies and births. I want to share my personal story because I’ve been lucky enough to find a few fellow moms who shared their stories with me. Without the help of those who had experienced the diagnosis, been transparent about it, and made it out on the...

Keep Reading

Time Moves a Little Faster with You, My Last Baby

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman hugging toddler

Something about that last bottle of formula I made, it makes me wonder where did this last year go? I feel like I just brought you home from the hospital. In the middle of a pandemic. We had no visitors like we did with your brothers. No cards, no flowers, just me, you, and daddy. Those 2.5 days flew, and we were on our way home. Time moves a little faster with you. You’re our last baby, and I am about to make the last bottle of formula for you, the last everything. It all hits me at once. This...

Keep Reading

I Carry the Baby I Lost In My Heart

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Early sonogram image of baby

I ignored it at first, the pink on the tissue. It wasn’t anything to worry about. I’d known for three weeks at this point that I was expecting baby number three, and I was still giddy about it. In fact, I had just shared my news with people at work and told them when I was due.  I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.  So, when I visited the bathroom, I ignored it.  Two healthy textbook pregnancies and births, why would this be any different?  But, looking back, there was a little nagging voice at the back of my...

Keep Reading