Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Knowing

Can I know? I mean really know in the deep recesses of my mind and soul that I will never bear children?

When I was about 10 years old I told my Nanna that I felt like I knew things, knew them before they happened and wasn't surprised when they did happen. She told me that she believed the women in our family have such a gift of knowing. I was 10 so I took this as fact and didn't ask about it further. She died when I was 16 and I never talked to her about it again.

From childhood I knew that I would die at 20. This isn't as morbid as it sounds. It was one of those thoughts in the back of my mind. A statement similar to "I am going to school today" in its weight and yet not as immediately obvious as to its truth. I was convinced it was true. Yet it didn't impact me greatly, I was young and I still planned and dreamed for my adult life. The thing is, I did die when I was 20. Not a physical death, but a spiritual one. A month before Easter in the year I was 20 years old I was given the gift of faith, and as such counted myself "dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11). In scriptural words my old sinful self died and I was born again (John 3:3, 1Peter 1:23).

During high school I became convinced that I would lose my first child. Again it was a calm knowing, a quiet fact, one that didn't bother me as much as impending exams, hormones, friends and boys. Since that time I have miscarried my first child, and numerous others.

In the weeks following my conversion to Christ I had a strong knowing sense that I would never have children. I talked about it with my Mum and she shared she had always feared that would be true for her too, and yet it obviously wasn't and she told me not to worry. At the time I wasn't worried about it. Again it was simply a fact, a deep stirring in my heart with no immediate implications as I wasn't in a relationship and had no plans for marriage.

During this most recent IVF cycle I knew I would get pregnant. I've never known before, never had that deep confidence that I would conceive. I've hoped, prayed, and misinterpreted symptoms, but never known I would be pregnant. I find myself almost unable to explain how I knew (and how I didn't know it wouldn't continue). It seems ridiculous to me, a trained scientist-practitioner, that I would support a theory based on gut instinct without any tangible evidence. Then again, I suppose that is what (a simplified view of) faith is.

So as my DH and I face another IVF cycle I am pondering this question: Do I know that I can't have children?

There is no medical evidence that I won't conceive or bear a child to term.
I do not have a direct revelation from God saying that I won't have children.

And yet I have had a feeling for 10 years that I won't have children, and a growing heart and love for children in need. Years ago my DH and I discovered our love for children, not just our hoped-for own, but all children, in all circumstances. We planned (huh!) to have a couple children of our own and then to foster children in need, to combine our desire for a big family with our heart for struggling and lost families.

I feel terribly confused. I think that the answer won't become apparent until it's the right time, but I could do with some guidance.

6 comments:

  1. Well...
    Maybe it's more along the lines of knowing you would die at 20. It is a sense that you won't have children or that you won't have them "the old-fashioned way"? Which has already come true with IF treatments?

    Also, this knowing is also validation of what I'm guessing is a pre-existing fear for someone who loves and wants kids as much as you do. So it could just be voicing that fear instead? Whereas I'm sure you had no real fear of dying at age 20.

    On the other hand, you do have a knack for knowing when your friends are pregnant...

    Whichever the case, I hope you find your path easily.

    I am thinking of you!

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  2. A premonition is just a shadow of the real thing. You can't let it mess with your mind. Especially now, in a time of grieving. You are right, the answer will become apparent at the right time.

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  3. Don't let this thing beat you!!

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  4. I don't know. I read this post this morning but have been mulling it over.

    I think you & I may be alike in how our fears effect our thinking. When I was 14 I was going on my first long plane flight shortly after there had been one of those horrible plane crashes of a huge passenger jet that was all over the news. In the midst of it I felt like God told me I was going to die in my flight a few weeks before leaving. I had myself really worked up and scared, but I didn't die in a literal or figurative sense then.

    I had a moment in January where I thought God told me "treatments won't work." It took a lot of prayer, counsel from others, and my DH to help me to decide to move forward with IVF, but deep down I am scared that was the voice of God...but am hoping it was really just my fears.

    Those stories are just to say you're not alone. I do believe these can just be our fears, but I also believe God can speak to us. It's hard to discern between the two. I know that's no help tonight as you sit in this, though.

    Thinking of you, sweetie.

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  5. Over from L&F. It's often hard to know at the time the way to go, but I do think that gutt feelings are more than that. Having faith that God is guiding you to His way and that things happen for a reason is very difficult. It's not easy to figure out if we are pursuing our will or His. The one thing I do know from experience, once we do follow His way, he will protect you.

    Like you, I always knew I would never have children and I always felt extremely strong about adoption. After 2yrs, one surgery, 2 IVFs and one chemical pregnancy, we started the adoption process. After three months, I was holding my daughter in my arms.

    God has a different plan for each and everyone of us. I pray that you will find His way.

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  6. I just wanted to post and let you know that I thought of you today. I hope everything is ok and you are doing well.

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