By: Katrina Faulkner
Growing up I had many dreams, ranging from owning a horse farm and being a doctor to playing professional basketball. Most of these “future plans” were just phases. But the one that wasn’t a flash in the pan; the one constant was that I knew I wanted to be a mom when I grew up.
In my early 20’s I met the man of my dreams, Kyle. We got engaged after a year, and seven months later we were married. The plan was to live in downtown Washington, D.C. for five years, then move to the ‘burbs to start a family. I don’t know why the magic number was five–maybe it was because at that point I would be 27 years old and (in my mind) responsible enough to fully care for another human being. Maybe it was because I once read in a magazine that 27 is the “healthiest” age to have a baby.
Our fourth year of marriage came and I began to get the itch to start a family. Many of my friends already had babies and we’d paid off our student loans. We were ready and excited for the year’s coming change.
I remember in March of that year going to a women’s conference in Virginia Beach. During one of the conference sessions we heard from a woman who struggled with miscarriages for a number of years before having her first baby. And I had a few friends who experienced miscarriages and my heart went out to them. I could only imagine all of the expectancy and anticipation they felt being flooded with sadness and loss. I would pray for them and feel bad for them, but never considered that this would be part of my journey, too.
After that conference I decided to be proactive and started taking prenatal vitamins so my body would be fully ready when Kyle and I were officially ready to start our family. We began having conversations and both felt at peace about going off birth control in August of that year. The first few months were fun and adventurous, no schedule, no birth control, just dreams of the belly, baby and happily ever after family. During those months eight couples we were friends with announced their pregnancies. We were over the moon for them and couldn’t wait to join the club to talk about cravings, symptoms, and cute pregnancy outfits.
Towards the end of November, I knew I was a day or two late so with guarded anticipation I took a pregnancy test and it came up negative. After hours of researching pregnancy boards and blogs online I found that it can take up to a week after a missed period for the HcG levels to rise for a positive test. Each day with no period and increasing pregnancy symptoms was another step closer to the dream.
That week Kyle and I packed our bags and headed out of town to spend Thanksgiving with family. I told Kyle we may be pregnant and tried to stay cool and calm. We decided that we would wait until the end of our trip to take another test, get the positive results and share the news with our family.
My mind raced during the entire trip: “How will we tell our family?…What will the social media announcement look like?…Do we want a boy or girl?”
Too contain my excitement, I tried to put as many ideas on my secret Pinterest board and read a gazillion pregnancy and new mom blogs. I already loved the feeling of being pregnant; the symptoms were un-deniable. I could feel a new rush–that’s hard to put into words–flowing through my body. My clothes began fitting tightly and I needed to eat every few hours in order to curb nausea. I loved experiencing those early signs that I was carrying a life within me.
I will never forget that Sunday morning, December 1st. I woke up ready to take the pregnancy test, now over a week late. We were ready to move from wonderment to confirmation…and then would come the celebrations and announcements.
The test only took a few minutes to read, but the waiting felt like an eternity. I was shocked when it showed a negative sign. Frankly, I didn’t believe it until 20 minutes later when the bleeding and cramps began.
I knew immediately what was happening but had no idea how to react. What was normal? Do people go to the hospital? We would have been over six weeks along; do I tell people?
I told Kyle it was over and that there was no more baby. We decided to keep going. We declared that this too would pass. It’s ok; just keep moving. I remember telling myself I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want people to pity me or to keep wondering how I was doing–that just wasn’t me. I’m healthy and strong so I could manage. We decided to not say anything, pushing through the next few days with and trying to keep over-emotional responses suppressed. It hurt, but I knew God had a perfect plan for Kyle and I (Jeremiah 29:11) and that He would give us a family at the right time. I could never doubt His goodness and grace that has been so evident throughout my life.
That week I remembered praying – not asking why – and hearing strongly in my head words that were not my own: “It’s going to take longer than you think.” I am so grateful God speaks to us as individuals. But really, God? Is that supposed to be encouraging? Why would you say that? Nevertheless, I held onto this as a promise that we will have children of our own in His perfect timing–not knowing how long it would take–and resting assured that God sees every single detail of our lives and will give us what we need to sustain.
Rather than asking God why, I’ve learned to ask God what. “What do you want me to learn from this?” “What should I do next?” It’s from these questions that I’ve listened for God and heard from him words that would keep me moving forward
Katrina serves on staff at CapCity Church. She has been married to Kyle for six years, has a background in physical therapy, and is enjoying living in the suburbs of Virginia. Katrina loves meeting new people, drinking vanilla lattes, and seeing people connect with their purpose. To hear more of Katrina’s inspiring story listen to her Beautiful You Night interview HERE. Follow her on Instagram @katrinafaulkner.