For the month of July, Kindred Mom is covering the following topics: Family Culture & Connection, Simplicity, and Infertility/Secondary Infertility as well as some of our Core Themes.
Today, we are sharing an excerpt of a guest post Kindred Mom founder Emily Allen is sharing over on Lauren Bourne’s “I am Fruitful” blog. Please visit there to read the complete post! This essay is about Emily’s friendship with Sarah Allard who shared an essay earlier this week titled, “Invisible Mothers”.
(photo by Latisha Hale)
We are in her kitchen, washing dishes between conversations with the various women who have dropped by for an evening of jewelry-making and friendship-forging. For years, we have been bringing women together for fellowship and camaraderie, playing to both of our strengths—her as a hostess, me as a deeper-conversations sort. She nervously tells me she thinks she might be pregnant. She hasn’t tested yet, but she has a hunch this could be the month. My heart swells with excitement for her. They’ve been trying for a while, but haven’t stressed about it. Both are eager to welcome a baby.
A few days later she tells me.
“Not this month,” she sighs. I’m sorry, I say, and I mean it. She’d be the best mom.
A few weeks later, it is me that has pink lines for the fourth time. I’m a little timid about telling her because it is uncomfortable when mom-with-multiple-other-children tells friend-who-is-still-waiting-for-one that we will be having our fourth baby in March. Still, she smiles and hugs me, and cheers me all through the pregnancy.
Still no pink lines for her.
For months, we pray and cry, and I fumble my way through trying to support her, always feeling like I come up short because I can’t fix the situation. I can’t do much except listen and pray and continue tenderly walk through the waiting along with her.
I give birth and try to figure out the chaos of four kids in my house. Two boys and two girls. It’s all so perfect, everyone says. Surely we’re done. I think we are for a stretch of months until I hear God asking me to surrender my plans. I will, I say to Him. I will receive what You give, Lord, even if that means another pregnancy, and another round of that humbling place of giving my body to the very challenging task of childbirth. I pray and try to encourage my sweet friend who is still waiting and still hoping with the best attitude she can muster.
Still no pink lines for her.
Over a year goes by when a call comes, and she says, “I’m pregnant!”
I cry with joy and the next week I make a similar call back to her and say, “I’m pregnant too!”
She is having a baby! My number five is on the way. We’re excited for each other, and it all feels so wonderful to take this journey together since we’ll be due in the same month.
She’s 11 weeks and eager to see her baby on ultrasound at her OB appointment. I’m a week behind her and feeling the nausea and exhaustion of the first trimester. I’m waiting for her call to gush about the little bean-baby she is growing, except when she calls, she is suddenly solemn.
“There is no heartbeat.”
Emily Sue Allen is the founder of the Kindred Mom blog and podcast and is passionate about helping moms flourish in motherhood. She is a contemplative, creative soul who celebrates the beauty of a humble, handmade life and deeply values the power of encouragement. She lives with her husband and six kids in the Pacific Northwest, and personally blogs at lightandloveliness.com. She invites you to connect with the Kindred Mom community on Instagram or Facebook.