Hi! I’m Sitti. Yes, I just got married. No, not pregnant yet.
I suppose life as a newlywed would be much easier if I had that sign over my head.
It seems everyone is in such a hurry for us to get pregnant. Most of our acquaintances would look at us strangely and marvel that my tummy holds nothing else yet but digested food and organs. And in today’s social media-savvy world, conceiving a few months after marriage seems to be a plaque of sorts, a hurrah to the male’s virility, bragging rights for the woman’s conceiving power. It may just be me, but I am so often left wondering: Isn’t it equally important to work on the foundations of marriage first? To adjust to living with each other, kinda sorta master that, tweak and change what needs be, before taking on responsibility for the gift of another human being? Shouldn’t my husband be my most important ministry for these first few months, and vice versa?
Joey and I would like to have four kids. At one of those helpful pre-marital counselling sessions we had with Mrs. Maribel Dionisio, a counsellor for the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM), she strongly advised us not to try for a baby yet on our first year of marriage. I’ve only known Joey for a grand total of two years and three months as of this writing; dating, engagement, and marriage all squeezed in. With Mrs. Dionisio’s years of counselling married couples, it is in her expert opinion that to have a successful marriage, couples should invest in at least three years of being together first before taking on projects, i.e., matrimony and babies. We didn’t meet her rule prior to marriage, but we can plan for the timing of our children. To invest in each other’s love bank in the first year of marriage is her advice, because having a baby would change everything.
We listened to and accept her counsel. We realise the wisdom of her words, of mapping out our lives in accordance with the projected ages of our would-be children vis a vis ours, how those would impact our retirement plans, how much we should save for our kids’ education, how old we will be when our youngest graduates from college. We identified stresses we will inevitably encounter per year of marriage: first year - marital adjustments, building and making a home, Joey running his businesses while training for a full Ironman. Second year - baby, perhaps house construction would carry over, Joey quite possibly going back to school. It is important to manage and plan out these stresses, and all the more important that we as a couple have tackled all the bases - that our marital foundations emotionally, financially, spiritually and relationally are well-covered and strong.
But for all of these plans, Joey and I both rest in the knowledge that God’s timing is the best. Sa totoo lang, anytime the Lord blesses us with a little one, sobrang okay kami. Especially in this day and age when women around my age (I’m turning 31 in two days) are having trouble conceiving. That is why we haven’t really been “safe” about it. And admittedly, while I am fully aware of the wisdom of not trying for a baby yet at this point, I still felt the pressure these first few months, such that every time I’d get my period I’d get all blue and try to suppress that nagging little voice that asks, “what’s wrong with you?”.
Well, honey, nothing’s wrong with you. Perhaps God is not done preparing you and Joey for parenthood just yet.
Faith steps in. We all have desires in our hearts, and who knows each of those big and little wishes better than the One who put them there? The God I know isn’t cruel.. He would address all of those desires one by one, all the while probably waiting for us to mature in faith. The Father I know answers all of our prayers, just not always in the manner or time that we prefer. And we are all such spoiled brats, aren’t we? Thinking we know what is best for us when really, we didn’t make ourselves.
And so, we wait. Most of us who live in this crazy urban jungle have very likely equated that word with wastage or ineffectiveness. So many hours wasted sitting out traffic, queuing in government offices, etc, etc. While there is truth in that, there is also much wisdom to be gained in waiting; much honing of one’s character especially when things don’t go as you wish.. Have you heard of the saying, “While waiting for God to open the door, praise Him in the hallway”? Indeed, while waiting for a baby, or a promotion, or new music, or a new job, or whatever it is we are praying for, the job of mastering ourselves, our emotions, what we are currently involved in, and doing the best that we could in those areas, is a very pleasing form of praise.
I write this entry as much to myself as to those who are on the same boat. May it be a source of encouragement and solace.. May what we do not have yet not rob us of the joy of enjoying what we currently are blessed with - which for me right now, is my chunky hubby, trying to be good at housekeeping, singing gigs in between trips to Home Depot, and praying that I mature in my walk with the Lord.
Happy waiting! :)