Each morning feels like Christmas morning now that we have a baby in the house.
She’s still a surprise. A brilliant, happy surprise.
But even Christmas can have its moments. (Maybe even especially Christmas?)
There have been some emotionally charged minutes, hours, even days.
Postpartum, it turns out, is nothing to sneeze at and some things I thought were long-ago dealt with in my heart have cropped back up suddenly when difficult moments arise.
When a nurse made a comment about me not nursing the baby properly. When a doctor didn’t agree to a treatment plan that I thought would be better for my family. When I heard about another birth that went far smoother and easier than mine, which I was thankful for, but also questioned why everything had to be so hard for me. When someone made a comment about how they thought my baby was too skinny. When a waitress assumed I was my daughter’s grandmother.
And then a lady in line at Walmart assumed the same thing.
And another waitress.
And another person in a store.
And another person I had just met.
And… Well, you get the idea. It’s happened a lot. And she’s only three months old.
Pretty much every time I leave the house a stranger makes a comment about my adorable grandchild.
My husband finds this hilarious and to be honest, I was a bit jealous that he could laugh. So I tried to laugh along with him. But I wasn’t doing a very good job at it.
We were telling a friend the story one day and my husband said around his chuckles, “Tasha doesn’t find it very funny though.”
And the friend looked at me quizzically and said, “Do you actually want to look younger? What’s wrong with how you look?”
For some reason his questions made me stop.
It wasn’t really about my looks, I realized. I’m fine with my graying hair. I’m fine with being in my thirties and I have no desire to try and look twenty. I’m even fine with my body not being thinner or more fit because hello, it just gave birth to a baby which was amazing. There was nothing wrong with my looks or my body.
The problem was the same lie I struggled with before infertility was attacking me after infertility.
The lie had been that I wasn’t having babies because I didn’t deserve to. You’re not good enough to mother an infant, the lie shouted in my ear. And here it was again.
You can’t nurse properly. Why should a doctor listen to you? You had such a hard delivery and your baby isn’t gaining weight quickly enough because you’re not doing things right. And, obviously, if people are assuming that you aren’t the mother—maybe it’s because you shouldn’t be.
The comments about my looks triggered the anxieties about my worth and there I was, back to where I’ve always come around to—wondering if there is something intricately wrong with who I am.
Of course, it’s not logical.
Writing it out seems kind of silly, even. But I’m being honest here because most lies aren’t logical and some are downright silly—but that doesn’t mean we don’t experience them.
I knew having a baby wouldn’t fix my infertility. But I had no way of knowing what that would look like.
For me, as you can see, my area of struggle can still connect back to my perceived worth.
Isn’t that where the enemy often attacks first? Whatever God proclaims “good” is probably going to be the site of some of the earliest battles. And God’s statements about mankind make His sentiments pretty clear. If worth is calculated by what someone is willing to pay—our worth is of infinite value. Everything, God proclaimed. People are worth everything to Me.
This was an area I struggled with continually through my years of infertility. A place my heart kept circling back around to— I think because of a single lie: This wound of infertility is the reason I struggle with believing God about my worth. The weight of having a broken body and endless lost dreams was so heavy—I felt like it was the source of my unbelief.
But it wasn’t.
I know, because here I am contending with these same lies even after infertility.
I’m working at it, friends.
I’m speaking truth to myself and about myself.
I was a mother even before my baby was born because God put a mother-heart in me.
Nobody “deserves” or doesn’t deserve gifts from the Father. They are gifts! Not earned payments.
I am content with the good body and good life that God has given me.
I am not in a competition with anyone else to see what I can get from life. I am thankful for the blessings I have, but even without them I will still choose to honor and glorify Christ.
I don’t know where you are in your story,
but I promise you can’t receive any “thing”–no matter how good it is—that will cure your heart of false beliefs. Not a baby, not a husband, not financial gain, nor a pretty house or travels or success.
Our hearts are only healed of false beliefs by acknowledging truth. Acknowledging Christ. Acknowledging His words, His ways, His life—and what it all means for ours.
Infertility marked my life for over a decade.
Now I have a baby.
And during both seasons of my life, God gave me the Holy Spirit to comfort me and help me as I navigated life with its blessings and sorrows. The same Holy Spirit that Ephesians tells us is our “deposit”—the proof that Christ will fulfill His promises to us. (Ephesians 1:13)
The Holy Spirit that allows us to know true HOPE. (Ephesians 1:18)
The Greek word here is elpis and it means: a belief, an expectation, a trust, confidence.
This world is not our home, we can trust. Jesus is the resurrection and life, we can believe. He is our redemption and salvation, we can expect.
Our HOPE is in Him alone, of this I have complete confidence.
We went out to eat for our son’s 13th birthday recently. His 5th birthday with us since his adoption. A big celebration because this next year is his “longest time in one family” year.
Oh, the deep healing and redemption and hope that is wrapped up in that truth.
And when the waitress started to ask my 14 year old daughter a question about the baby instead of asking me, I spoke up with a bit of a smile on my face. “The baby can stay right here,” I said. “I’ll need to nurse her soon.”
As soon as the slightly startled waitress walked away, Lizzi and I burst into laughter together. “Aw, Mom,” she said, “I was so close to getting another compliment about how good I look for just having a baby.”
And for the first time, it was okay. Funny, even.
Because my worth isn’t in whether or not I can have babies, or whether my hair is brown or gray, or what anyone else thinks about my life or my age or my choices.
Now, if I can just remember this truth today and tomorrow and all the days afterward—I’ll be able to enjoy a whole lot of laughter and joy and hope.
Let’s speak truth to ourselves, friends. Let’s embrace the Holy Spirit’s presence and comfort and help. Let’s put our hope in Him alone.