Today I left work earlier than I anticipated and cried on the drive home.
I love my job. I feel empowered in the work I do and I love the people I work with. My tears had nothing to do with my job.
I left work because I started my period and, like the last several months, I felt overwhelmed with sadness and fear. But today, surrounded by co-workers and clients, I could feel the lump in my throat; feel the water welling in my eyes. The sadness and fear felt like they had a tighter grip on my chest than I remember. I needed to cry and to be alone, so I left.
My entire life, my period has been a thing that happens once a month that I’ve felt very neutral about. I’ve never dealt with debilitating cramps or severe symptoms otherwise, and I’m thankful for that. But over the last year, my period has become the thing that my thoughts revolve around: wondering and then waiting and then praying and then prepping and then wondering and then googling and then pep-talking and then wondering and then dreading. I dread it not because of the physical pain caused by my body, but because of the emotional pain triggered by what it means my body
can’t might not be able to do.
I’ve considered writing about this for a long time now. Much longer than I wish was true because the length of time I’ve considered writing coincides with the length of time this season has lasted. A season of hope and then disappointment and then confusion and then hopelessness and then joy and then pain and then sadness and then trust and then wonder and then embarrassment and then hope and then disappointment all over again.
Danny + I are so excited to be parents. We are expectant of the day we get to raise up disciples who share our last name. For five years now we’ve built our marriage on being a missional team and we can’t wait to grow that team and invite our children to run on mission with us. It’s all so exciting and, at the moment, so heartbreaking. I daydream about what I’ll do with our 4-year-old, but we’re not even pregnant yet. I’m not sure I’ll ever be pregnant. I still hold on to hope because whether we have kids biologically or through adoption, I’m trusting that we’re called to be parents. But, it’s the waiting– the unknown– that can be so lonely. Especially on a day like today. Especially when scrolling on Instagram means double-tapping another family’s birth announcement. Especially when girls years younger than I am happily tell me they got pregnant on “the first try.” Especially when get-togethers with friends now include toddlers wobbling around and infants sleeping in Solly Baby wraps. I’ve yet to feel bitter towards these things (I’m thankful!), but the loneliness is real. The loneliness is real in the wondering when it will be my time to carry a sleeping infant on my chest.
I’m writing this to let you know that I’m hurting, but I’m hopeful. I’m writing this because it’s cathartic for me and hitting publish feels brave. I’m writing this because maybe you’ve wondered when the Tilmeses will have a baby and you didn’t realize we’re wondering that, too. I’m writing this because I want to invite you into the messy middle and then you’ll share in our deep joy when we finally get to share that our family is growing.
With all my love and hope and heartbreak.