It was on the fourth post-partum day that I stared at our newborn baby boy and was just overcome with emotion. It dawned on me that the tiny human in the bassinet was a series of answered prayers rolled into one. How apt that the first onesie we ever bought for him had the words, “I’m proof that God answers prayers” printed on the front.
You see, for a long time, it was just me, my husband Lester, and our now 17-year old son Job. I had convinced myself that I was comfortable with that even though Lester longed to expand our family. To his credit, he was very patient with me. We started seriously talking about it a little over 3 years ago. To tell you the truth, I was terrified of going back to the beginning. The first time around, I was way too young, didn’t know what I was doing, and made a lot of mistakes that I still regret to this day. What mistakes would I make with a new kid? Will I make the same ones? Can I still do this in the latter half of my 30s? So many fears.
So I prayed. I knew that God understood my hesitation. I couldn’t even ask for a child because I wasn’t absolutely sure if I wanted one. So instead, I asked Him to change my heart and alleviate my anxieties. The answer wasn’t immediate. Even though we had started trying for a baby, I still had my doubts. However, they slowly faded away and then turned more into longing. First answered prayer.
Then, nothing happened. Every month I would get my period and would just be devastated.
After a year, since it wasn’t happening the “natural way”, we eventually did all the infertility workup. I took medications for months to help me ovulate. Nothing. I underwent Intrauterine Insemination, which is an expensive and uncomfortable procedure. We hoped one session would be enough. It wasn’t. The recommendation was to repeat it for several successive months, and if still unsuccessful, go for surgery to diagnose and/or possibly fix whatever was keeping me from getting knocked up. Unfortunately, this came during a rough financial patch so we weren’t able to push through with our plans.
Last year, we decided that I would skip right to surgery instead. As scary as it was to go under general anesthesia for major surgery, I didn’t want to look back a few years from that point and wonder if it would have made a difference. Before my anesthesiologist put me under, I prayed a silent prayer for my family and asked God to get me through this safely… and that whatever was wrong would be fixable. The surgery went smoothly. We hoped this would be it.
Months went by with me taking pills that made my abdomen hurt so bad when I ovulated… still nothing. My OB wanted me to undergo IUI once again. We were feeling discouraged and sad.
We wondered, ‘God, are you saying NO or NOT YET?’ I began to feel like I was rushing God, or worse… maybe pushing something that wasn’t meant to be.
My husband and I came before God once again. At that point, we acknowledged that His plans were better than our plans… that He was in control of everything. We also knew that if He willed it to be so, nothing would stop Him from giving us a child. On the other hand, we surrendered our requests and desires to Him and asked for strength to just trust Him.. regardless of the outcome. Even if it never happened for us. This brought us some comfort. We stopped all the procedures and meds, and we focused on just being grateful for everything that we did have.
Then, on January 24, 2020, I realized I was several days late. I thought nothing of it at first because that had happened before. Then I remembered that I had felt a little nauseated the week before. I didn’t want to get my hopes up but I knew I had an extra pregnancy test I had lying around that I had bought over a year ago. I snuck it into the bathroom to take it since I didn’t want Lester to have to endure the disappointment in case it turned out negative. And there it was… Two clear lines.
I couldn’t believe it! I kept it to myself and bought two more tests the following day. Both came out positive. The level of joy and excitement that came over us was immeasurable. We immediately got to preparing.
Three months later, when COVID-19 hit, it was nerve-wracking to think of bringing a child into the world in the middle of a deadly pandemic like this one. As the isolation dragged on, anxiety threatened to overwhelm us but the life growing inside my belly gave us something positive to focus on. Although we wondered about the timing of it all, we knew God’s timing was perfect, so we didn’t question it.
The pregnancy went by smoothly, which is awesome especially since we couldn’t have regular prenatal check-ups in the first several months.
Finally, last September 27, 2020, our son Daniel Stephen was born through a normal vaginal delivery (Yay! No cesarean section!) and in good health. My labor, though painful, progressed quickly so I didn’t have to suffer too long. Lester was granted permission to be with me in the delivery room — something we thought wouldn’t be possible because of tighter restrictions due to COVID-19. We got to experience Daniel’s first moments in this world together. These are moments that will be etched in my memory forever.
This whole experience has just reminded me that God does answer every prayer. It’s just that sometimes that answer is NO or NOT YET. And when that happens, we need to trust Him enough to know that He has a perfectly good reason for that.
It’s been a month since Daniel was born. I think about all we went through to get to this point and can’t help but cry. But they are not tears of sadness or pain.
I cry because we were fully prepared for the answer to be NO.
But we will be forever grateful that God chose to say YES.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7