As we welcomed in 2019, my husband and I agreed upon our New Year’s Resolution: to try for a second child.
To assist us in this endeavor, my doctor prescribed me with a supplement for progesterone, a hormone that helps achieve and maintain a pregnancy. Because of my low levels, I could conceive a child, but probably not keep the child, without a supplement.
So progesterone is a wonderful thing. However, its side effects are not so wonderful: irritability and mind-numbing fatigue.
“The Prog,” my husband joked, when he discovered me snoozing at 6:15 pm, moments after tucking our son in bed. “And you thought you were tired before.” He smiled kindly at me. “We should make t-shirts. You know, the ones with the catchy sayings.”
I smiled, then returned to my pillow. “The Prog” was already wearing me out, and I’d only been taking it a few days. In order for it to work, I’d have to take it every month until I became pregnant, and then another 8 months during the pregnancy.
I reflected on this daunting prospect the next afternoon, during a walk with my son.
How long do we have to do this, Lord? Is it even going to work?
Sometimes I heard the Lord answer my prayers, but I didn’t hear Him that day.
It doesn’t matter if it works or not. I clutched my cord rosary so tight, it imprinted on my palm. This is the only way we can bring new life into the world. So I have to try.
“I will take the ring," Frodo says in The Lord of the Rings, before leaving Rivendell. "though I do not know the way.”
I will take the Prog, I promised, though I do not know the way. Though I do not know if we will have children sooner or later or at all. Or how it will make me feel, and how I will care for my family in the meantime.
The present moment pressed about me like a dim fog, with so little light to guide me.
“No matter what happens,” I said, “Jesus, I trust in You.”
Winter had passed. I was still taking “the Prog”. We were still having zero results. To make matters worse, the plumber had just discovered toxic mold behind our shower.
I knew the mold repairs would be costly. I was too exhausted by “the Prog” to feel much about it, but I knew this was bad.
So once again, I turned to God in prayer.
Is this really what you want for us, Lord?
This time, the Lord answered, consoling me with words I’d never put together on my own:
“With great hardship you will bring your children into the world. This is my plan for you, a sign of contradiction to the world.”
Excited, I told my husband later about what I’d heard. God had a plan for us, and we were on the right track!
“With great hardship?” My husband frowned. “That doesn’t sound very good.”
“No, the hardship part doesn’t sound like fun,” I agreed. Still, I knew if this was God’s plan for us, He’d bring something amazing out of it. I also knew He’d be with us every step of the way.
The hardships began immediately. The mold spores in our bathroom spread throughout the rooms upstairs. We had to evacuate the house for 3 weeks while the repairmen cleaned the upstairs rooms, gutted our shower, and sawed a gaping hole in our living room ceiling. We stayed with my in-laws, as desperate Mold-Apocalypse refugees. My in-laws were great hosts, but we longed to return to our own home.
When we finally came home in June, we continued our house repairs. We also resumed trying to have a child. No luck in June. Not in July, either. But in August, I told my husband the news: we were expecting a baby!
“When’s the due date?”
I did some calculations on my phone. “April 2020.”
“Springtime,” my husband answered cheerfully. “That should be nice.”
Thank you for reading! Join me next week to hear more of Elizabeth's story.
About the Author:
From Army public affairs to convent life to marriage and motherhood, Mary Rose Kreger’s journey has been filled with twists and turns. Wherever she’s journeyed, she’s always been writing stories. She lives in the metro Detroit area with her family, where she writes fantasy tales for teens, and blogs about her spiritual journey: before, during, and after the convent.
Mary also shares faith-based poems and fantasy quotes on her Instagram account, @faithandfantasy1.