My feet have tread the carpet in this hallway may times for the past 10.5 years. I’ve walked past these walls filled with anticipation, filled with dread, relieved, with my heart in my throat….so many emotions over the years. I’ve walked out of these hallways with good news, iffy news, terrible news…This is the hallway of my OB doctor. This is where my feet took halting steps as I went in to find out if my babies had heartbeats. Its where I walked with tears so thick I could barely see, after finding out my babies didn’t have heartbeats. I’ve walked away with joy in my steps after confirming my babies were alive. My feed have plodded laboriously to and fro, heavy with child. So much sorrow and joy, hand in hand over the years.
Today I walked this hallway and I thought I would be sad. Its the end of a chapter in my life. I went in for my 6 week postpartum check up…at 6 months postpartum. Oops! (I really put that appointment off). This was the last page, the last paragraph, the last sentence of my childbearing years. It was really just a formality because I had just never gone in. I was able to bring Jubilee, and she wowed the receptionist and patients in the waiting room. (Proud mama!) My appointment was short and sweet and before I knew it I was on my way out, back down the hallway.
A quiet peace and joy flooded me. I thought I would feel a great sense of loss, knowing that I would never walk these floors pregnant again, but I didn’t. Women have told me that I would “know” when my family was complete, but I never believed them. I really do know though. The last 3 pregnancies have been especially difficult. I had our 4th child 5 weeks early with preterm labor beforehand. That was followed by a miscarriage that was so heartbreaking. Finally, with Jubilee I had my “normal” 20 weeks of severe morning sickness followed by 12 weeks of contractions, a labor-stopping hospital stay, and a 6 week premature baby. My body was so done. My husband and I knew that we could not carry the load of another pregnancy again. I wish I could. But after 8 pregnancies, 3 of which ended in miscarriages, and 2 premature, my body has said it is done.
Gratitude fills my being at the privilege of raising up 5 children here on earth, and at the anticipation of meeting my three babies in heaven. I feel so blessed. I am so thankful for my doctor who truly listened to me, validated me, and cared for me during all of my pregnancies. Without her, we wouldn’t have made it this far.
Reflecting on this hallway has brought to mind the many hallways we walk in our lives. They are places of the “in between ” where we walk one foot in front of the other, not knowing what lies ahead. We must walk through them no matter how much we dread the outcome. Or how much we anticipate the outcome! They are unavoidable. We talk about open and closed doors often, and how we choose to handle those things. Bu the hallways. How do we walk the hallways? Is it with trepidation and anxiety? Or confidence because someone greater than us wakes beside us?
I am a terrible wait-er! Some people feel the most anxiety after a life change has happened. I feel it in those in-between times. It is in these hallways of the in-between where I need to cling to the words and promises of my God. I have a choice to make- do I really believe what I read in my Bible every day? If I do I need to act like I believe it! He says “Do not worry. I am with you. I have given you a hope and a future.” Our greatest hope is that of heaven. So even when I walk brokenhearted, I am NOT hopeless.
What hallways are you passing through today?