Ever since I shared the news that I am pregnant here I have received many kind messages – people sending beautiful messages of encouragement and others calling to say “I am praying for you”. I have been overwhelmed by your love and kindness and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. The online space is so full of negativity that we sometimes imagine humanity is doomed. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There is still kindness in the world – people who are genuinely happy for you. I have experienced that in the last few weeks and I am so encouraged.
In the midst of the beautiful messages sent there has been a lot of questions too. Lots of women calling to ask what I did about my blocked tubes. Did I have surgery? When I say no they immediately ask “so how did you conceive?” I give the same answer every time “I don’t know the mechanics. Really I don’t. I don’t know if the tubes unblocked or God bypassed them and gave me the baby anyway. And I really don’t care how He did it. I’m just enjoying the miracle – because that is what this pregnancy is. There’s also a big number of people who have been constantly checking on me asking how I’m doing. Amidst the questions and well wishes there has been one constant statement. Almost everyone who calls or texts says “you must be so happy”. This statement has really caused me to think. And they are right – I really I’m happy. But not for the reason most people think. I am extremely happy that 5 years into my marriage, 2 miscarriages and 2 blocked tubes later I am pregnant. I am very happy about that. But this pregnancy is not my sole source of happiness. To be honest I was happy before I knew I was pregnant. I was. I had gotten to a place of self-love and acceptance of God’s will. I had made peace with the cards I had been dealt. And that is what I want to talk about today. What happens when there’s no rainbow after the storm? What do you do?
I was lucky to be able to answer that question way before I knew I was pregnant. Somehow I found joy even when month after month that pregnancy test showed negative. How did I get here? I of course had many days and nights of tears and battling with God. But allow me to share things I’ve learned so far.
The happy ending for a woman who has lost children or struggled with infertility is not getting a baby. It is loving and accepting who she is. It is realizing she is woman enough – kids or no kids. It is loving what else she brings to the table other than motherhood. It is realizing that she and her husband are a complete family unit– just the two of them. That is the happy ending! She may get blessed with a baby along the way like I have. Or she may take the adoption route. Or they may decide to stay without kids forever. Whatever happens, that woman – who is truly happy with who she is regardless of what she has or does not have – she already has her happy ending. The same way God has taught me that my husband is not the sole source of my happiness, that is the same way I feel about this pregnancy. I am thrilled to feel my baby’s kicks. I love it when I hear that amazing heartbeat during an ultrasound. I am extremely grateful because I have been exceedingly blessed. But this pregnancy is not my sole source of joy. I am happy because of who I am. I am happy because of what God has enabled me to do with Still A Mum. I am happy because I have amazing friends. Even before this baby, I already had my happy ending! God fixed my heart – and I can tell you that is more important than any external thing that may be added to me.
Rainbows come in different shapes and sizes. But they are still rainbows. I think about the “what if I wasn’t pregnant?” question a lot. Hubby and I would probably give IVF a shot. Or fill in those adoption papers we’ve had in the house for a while now. Or we would have gotten more cats LOL 🙂 Point is, these options would still be a rainbow after the storm. Yes they would. And for all of us our rainbow moment is not just that one thing we want. For a woman who wants kids, getting pregnant after months of trying is not the only rainbow. Bringing home a baby through adoption is a rainbow. For the person looking to get married, getting a spouse is not the only rainbow. God could make you happy in your singlehood. Or you could get a pet. Or spend your love in so many other ways. We all have storms but I want you to realize we don’t all get the same rainbow. And the rainbow you get is still a rainbow even if it doesn’t look like mine. No rainbow is less important than the other.
The journey is as important as the destination. The route is littered with small victories and they are as important as the end moment. Having lost 2 babies I know just what fears pregnancy after loss brings. I literally take one day at a time. I worry about losing this baby a lot. I get anxious often. And so I pray a lot. Even though the journey so far has been extremely hard I have no guarantees. God has not promised we will not lose this baby. He has not promised we will not struggle with raising this baby just because it took so much to get here. So we trust afresh every day. And that means we learn many lessons and have many conquering moments. And each of them is as important as the day the baby gets here. For instance, I lost my first baby at 20 weeks so when I crossed that milestone it was such a great moment for me. When I first felt the baby kick I was super excited. As Christians whenever we give testimonies it always goes like this “I didn’t have a job for a year but last week God gave me a job” and the entire church shouts amen. But is getting the job the only amen moment? No! Throughout your journey of joblessness God has given you food. And shelter. And good friends. And a supportive family. It is therefore faulty to only be happy about getting the job. Over focusing on the destination makes us miss so many beautiful moments on the road. So I dare you to say amen now even before that “big rainbow” comes. Look around. There is a lot of things to be grateful for.
I know it may sound pretentious for a pregnant woman to tell those still waiting to be grateful for what they have. Or to not peg their happiness on getting a baby. But I’m not just any pregnant woman. I have walked in the shoes of despair. I have been desperate. I have felt unloved by God. I have struggled more than you know. And then God fixed my heart. I found joy even without a baby. And so this pregnancy is a cherry on top of an already beautiful cake. And that is why I’m reminding you to find joy even when there’s no rainbow after the storm. Or the rainbow looks different from what you anticipated.
Author: Wanjiru Kihusa
I am Wanjiru Kihusa and I’m a writer and founder of Still A Mum – an organization that seeks to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Africa. I am especially passionate about women and children.
I blog to share my thoughts and experiences hoping that in the process someone will learn from my life.