Maybe you should go back and read my post from last year on December 31. Then you will understand my title.
We had battled and lost, and last year at this time, we had pretty much given up hope of expanding our family. We had convinced ourselves that we were just as excited about eating organically and playing with our dogs as we would have been about decorating a nursery. And for all practical purposes, we truly were excited about those things. When you don't have an alternative, of course you are going to go bananas about making a fancy meal on a Wednesday night and teaching your dogs new tricks.
So I had decided to be bold and specifically NOT wish for a baby in 2011. I guess it was part self-preservation and part screw-you-infertility, but whatever it was- hell if I was going to tell myself that I'd have a baby in 2011 and have that empty prediction come crashing down again.
My friend always told me that God was going to knock my socks off when it came to expanding our family. I mostly believed her, but let's face it, after all the time of being without a child, I could never quite believe her 100%. I kept watching Him knock everyone else's socks off, and meanwhile, my socks were decidedly ON.
I will ask God someday why He waited to bless us with a child until we had give up 99.9% of hope of being parents. Maybe what I wrote last year was more true than I knew:
"But I also think that if we are to die to ourselves in following Christ, that means to give up our dreams in place of what God might have for us. And with this concept, that does mean giving up hope that your dreams will come true."
I had definitely given up on my dreams of how/when we'd have children. I think my thought pattern was something like "Supposedly God has something good in store for me, so I guess I will just have to lollygag around until whatever it is that is "so great" happens. If it is really going to happen."
I don't mean to imply that we should all start praying for our intentions as if God is playing a cruel game of Opposite Day. Actually, I think with respect to women struggling with infertility, it is the success stories of women who have given up or decided to adopt and then became pregnant which are sometimes the hardest. No one wants to hear that all you need to do is stop obsessing over getting two lines on a pee stick.
It goes without saying that 2011 has been the best year of my life. (2005 is a close second for when we got married.) I never in my wildest imagination thought we would conceive naturally after all we had been through, and I certainly didn't think it would happen this year. I was confident that 2011 would be a good year, but that was more like "Oh yah, I'm sure our dogs will be obedient this year" or "Won't it be neat to go to the winery down the street for their summer Friday picnics?" or "Let's buy some extravagant fancy car just because we won't have to pay for college".
I am so thankful for all that 2011 has meant to our family. Especially the arrival of our baby girl.
I hope that if we hadn't conceived like we did, that I would still be thankful for 2011. It's all hypothetical, but I hope that I would still have relished in the things that are blessings in our lives and held those as an example that no matter the size of our family, we are still very fortunate.
2012, you are coming after quite the year. 2011 set the bar way up high, and it is going to be a hard act to follow. But I will echo what I said last year, in that I hope that in 2012, we will continue loving each other and our dogs, paying down our mortgage, reading good books, making wonderful food (now in the crockpot), and falling asleep at 9:15pm (okay maybe now by the time I get the kitchen cleaned up it is more like 9:30 or 10). We are so grateful that we have baby M to love this year, and we pray she will grow healthy and happy and strong and that we will be good parents to her. I don't know what specifically 2012 will hold, but I hope it's a year of health and happiness for our family and friends. And no more cosmic reverse psychology, okay?