The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Club {Take Heart…in Growing a Family}

Take Heart Series ~ Feb 2013To start off our February Take Heart series, I’ve asked my friend Jenna Woestman to share about her struggle with infertility and how she has dealt with the discouragement that comes along with her condition. Here she tells the story of her miracle baby and how an often quoted Psalm came to life for her, helping her to see herself in a whole new way.

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This is the part of my daughter’s birth story that I didn’t tell anyone.

She was born in a hurry on the day before her due date, via emergency C-section. The all-natural birth plan I had labored over for two weeks lay folded in my hospital bag, still at home on the floor in my bedroom next to the fake bamboo plant.

I remember lying prone in the operating room, staring at a sterile blue sheet stretched to the ceiling while the doctor continued her work on me. I heard the nurses taking care of my daughter, and saw my husband staring over their shoulders.

Everything felt fuzzy. Surreal. Dreamlike.

My husband took a photo of our daughter and brought it back to me. I stared at her tiny digital face on the camera screen, heard her cries from across the room, felt the pressure of the doctor’s hands in my belly.

It was real.

My husband went back to our daughter and I looked blankly up at the ceiling, overwhelmed by emotions I hadn’t been expecting.  Tears streamed from my eyes as my husband walked away, and I remember thinking…I did it. I finally gave him a baby. He’s going to be an amazing dad.

After years of infertility, a miscarriage, and two rounds of IVF, I had expected to feel an ethereal sense of bliss after delivering my daughter. Instead, I felt more grief than joy. Grief that the pregnancy I had turned into an idol over the barren years was over. Grief that I likely wouldn’t be pregnant again.

I knew that the doctor was taking so long to finish because she was working to repair some of the causes of my infertility. But, after twenty minutes of work, she had done as much as she could do.  It was finally time for her to close me up and let me hold my baby.

I wish I could say that the moment my husband laid my daughter in my arms, something changed within me…but it didn’t. I felt a combination of joy in my daughter, desperation to keep her little as long as possible, and anger at my condition. I looked calm, but underneath I was simmering mad. I blamed God for making me this way.

One year later, as we prepared to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday, I was standing at my kitchen sink washing dishes, staring absently out at the snow covering the backyard, when, for some reason, part of Psalm 139 popped into my head, words that we so often use in celebrating the amazingness of life in utero.

For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

At that moment, the words settled on me in a whole new way. I set my dishcloth down and grabbed the countertop. For the first time since our infertility journey began, I realized those words were not only written about our baby, they were written about me, too.

It was a revelation.

God chose to make me this way.  He created my inmost being.  I, too, am fearfully and wonderfully made. And finally, I knew it full well.

I finally felt like part of The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Club. It changed my perspective, and it changed my heart.

When I watch my daughter play on the floor in the mornings, when she smears peanut butter on the couch and blows bubbles in her orange juice, as she pours her full self into every activity, I see the beauty of her heart and soul.  I can’t take my eyes off her, this little girl knit together in my womb. I marvel at how fearfully and wonderfully made she is, an intentional work of God just like the one who carried her.

{Have you walked alongside a friend dealing with infertility or have you faced it yourself? How do you feel when you read about Jenna’s aha moment with Psalm 139, how it helped her turn from blaming God to praising Him for how she was made? What other Scriptures have lifted you up in your times of anger or despair when dealing with similar issues? We’d love to hear your perspective in the comments below….}

jennawoestmanJenna lives in Indianapolis with her idiosyncratic husband Joey and precocious daughter Analie. Her top 5 things are: sweet baby girl snuggles, unusual methods and devices for making coffee, Instagram, the Kuhn Rikon garlic press, and the color green. Her bottom two are: Twitter and bananas. At her blog, The (Mis)Adventures of Jenna, she is currently posting a series of 30 goals to celebrate turning 30 in August.

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16 thoughts on “The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Club {Take Heart…in Growing a Family}

  1. Psalm 139 has been one I cling to, especially after my last two miscarriages. Such an affirmation that God makes no mistakes. There is purpose in us all and I’m honored to see how He chooses to use me to fulfill his purpose, for His glory!

    Thanks for sharing your story, Jenna.

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  3. Thank you for sharing. This was quite poignant and helped me to realize that my imperfections and insecurities don’t define me. Thank you, Jenna, for your honesty. I needed these words today.

  4. Thank you for sharing such an honest and inspiring story. One of my favorite things about God is the way that He uses the Holy Spirit to speak His word into our lives in a new tone that brings understanding and peace that surpasses all.

  5. :) Jenna… You have a beautiful gift to communicate emotions that are often difficult to put to words. Thank you for sharing your “watershed”…for sharing how God’s word truly impacted your view of Him and you. I am blessed by your testimony, dear friend…and am encouraged by how God has worked/is working/will work in you and your beautiful family’s life…and I’m also secretly hoping I’ll get to see you at a special event coming March 2 where I can finally meet Miss Ana!!!!! ;)

  6. Darcy, thanks for sharing Jenna’s story. Jenna, thank you for being so transparent. I’ve been walking the infertility and child loss path for eight years. And, although there’s still no baby we can call our own, the refining, endurance and courage I’ve experienced has made this most difficult path worth it. My favorite passage amidst this journey is James 1 … I’m embracing “let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

  7. Jenna, thank you for sharing your story. I know how difficult that is. I’ve been in the valley of infertility and child loss for eight years and also battled with the feeling of having a broken body. But in the brokenness of spirit, God is making my soul, mind and body whole. James 1 has been my guide and compass for remembering that “let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Even without a child, I am lacking in nothing.

    • That’s so true, Lindsay! You are perfect and complete. I love that. I think your husband took our Christmas pictures two years ago – we LOVE THEM. Say hi to him for me!

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