Six or Sixteen?

Thursday, my oldest, Katelyn, will turn 6. Even though its hard to remember my life before kids, sometimes it seems like yesterday that Katelyn was born. For those of you who do not our back story, here it goes. It was a long wait before we had Katelyn. We tried for over three and a half years before we got pregnant. This was one of the hardest, most difficult times in my life.
I was very nieve to think that once we decided to have a baby, it would happen quickly. For some it does, but for others it doesn’t.
I always knew that I wanted to be a wife and mom. That was always my dream. When I was younger, I did think about being a teacher for awhile, but ultimately I just wanted to be a wife and mom. That was enough for me and what my heart desired.
Patrick and I had been married for about three to three and a half years when we decided we were ready to start a family. While we did pray about it, I can honestly say I’m not sure we really waited for an answer. Now that I look back on it. And maybe we felt we did have an answer. And Gods answer may have been yes, just not quite what we thought.
So the journey began. And it was a journey. An up and down roller coaster of sorts. At the time, my best friend was going through the same thing. We had been friends in high school but had lost touch. But through a series of events, we found each other again and instantly became friends again. I can say without a doubt, God brought her back into my life for a reason. Without her, this whole journey would have been so much harder. We understood each others ups and downs. We spent Mothers Days together, being sad about what we didn’t have. We went on weight loss journeys together, negative pregnancy test, and literally held each other up when we felt we couldn’t take it anymore.
For three and a half years, it was a lot of tears, a lot of negative pregnancy tests, a lot of feeling like it wasn’t going to happen, etc. But it was a time I was closer to God than I ever had been. I spent a lot of time on my knees, praying, at the alter and just pouring my heart out to God. I felt I had something in common with Hannah in the Bible. She goes into the temple and is praying because she wants a child so bad, and she is visibly upset. She is so upset that the priest thinks she’s drunk. I can relate. I felt out of my mind at times.
Through it all, my husband was right beside me. He was my strength, the person that held me up. I let myself get to a dark place at times. I would go shopping for a baby shower gift and come home in tears. I would walk through the baby section at Wal-Mart and for me I felt it was a reminder of what I didn’t have.
Also at the time, we had a pastor and his wife that had been through a similar situation. They were then parents to 3 kids, but I had heard their story of their struggle when they first started trying. So they were also there for us through the whole thing. I remember a many of Sundays, going to the alter and just crying, heartbroken, and after the services they would give us the biggest hugs and just say “I know.” They walked through that time with us, an no matter what has happened since and that we are in different places now, they will always be a part of that journey and hold a special place to me. They helped me through it and gave me hope. Again, just another example of God placing people in our lives when we need them.
And I have to tell you, through this whole three and a half years, I never went to the doctor to get help. I was and am overweight. And I felt like if I went, they would look at me, say lose weight and that was it. And I was scared. I was scared to hear I couldn’t have kids or something was wrong. Those that know me well, know I tend to live in a denial like dreamworld. When things get hard, I tend to deny there’s a problem, ignore it. It’s how I cope.
Through those 3 years, the baby that wasn’t always had a name. She was Katelyn from the day we started trying. I knew I was going to have a girl. At the beginning she was Katelyn Grace. That was the baby girl I saw in my dreams, I longed to hold. Somewhere through it all, I was sitting in a Sunday morning church service, and all I could hear was FAITH. Yes I knew I needed to have faith but it was more. I distinctly remember it hitting me. I wrote it on a bulletin, if you have faith, her name should reflect that. After church, I told Patrick and he never questioned it. So she became Katelyn Faith.
After about 3 years, I finally got to a point where I said, “God this in your hands. I’m through giving it to you and taking it back. I want to follow your plan for my life, whatever that is.” For the first time, I was giving up control. I was saying that whatever His plan was, it was sufficient. It was not easy but I finally had some peace.
One of the hardest days for me was Fathers Day, 2006. Patrick had always been the strong one. He had always encouraged me and told me it would happen. So many times he had held me when I cried after yet another negative. He would lead me around the world in a store so we wouldn’t go by the baby section. But that day, sitting in church, when it was all about fathers, I seen something in his face I hadn’t seen before. That day he was broken. He struggled to hold it together. And I realized then, it was more than just about me. I had been selfish. This was our life together.
During this, I had finally made a doctors appointment. Being a new patient, it was a couple of months before I could see him. But I had taken the step.
Before we got to that appointment, I found out I was pregnant. I took at least 3 tests at home, then made an appointment with my family doctor to confirm.
I need to backtrack just a little. About two months before this, my best friend invited us over one night and I knew. I knew she was going to tell me she was pregnant. I just knew it. This person who had cried with me so many times, was finally getting her hearts desire. They had been trying longer than we had. I remember as she told me, me trying not to cry, and her worried about how I was feeling. I was truly happy for her. Truly. They deserved this and had waited so long. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous. And I told her that. But my overall emotion was love and happiness for my best friend.
Anyways, so a couple of months later I was pregnant. I had a scare at the beginning but through it all I had peace. And on March 28, 2007, God gave us this perfect little girl. As a baby, she was actually laid back, calm. She started sleeping all night at two months. She went everywhere with me. Now that she’s turning 6 this week, I can’t help but think about the times we just didn’t know. So the verse, “for this child, I have prayed” is our truth. I can’t imagine our lives without her. She is smart, funny, beautiful, and sassy. She is dramatic but sensitive and loving. She truly cares about others. She is tender hearted and cries about things we don’t even understand. She has attitude and sometimes the things that come out of her mouth, makes me think she’s really 16 and not almost 6.
To Katelyn, I have to say I love you forever and always. And you were wanted, prayed for, and loved long before you were ever born. You had my heart long before you ever knew.

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