How to Find Joy in Your Last Baby When You Weren't Ready to Call it Quits

"Peace is joy at rest. Joy is peace on its feet."

Anne Lamott

My last baby turned one year old on Halloween. I thought I would feel a heavy sadness, and I thought it would be a very tearful day. I made a big breakfast, cooked

everyone's favorite cold weather meal

, and comforted my boy crying in confusion as we sang the birthday song, then Brian and I got all the kids into their costumes and we drove to a farm that was stocked up on pumpkins.

I watched my baby laugh in his daddy's arms as he looked at a bunch of playful baby goats. I kept waiting for the pain to rise up, but it just wasn't there. We went trick or treating; I nursed my baby and tucked him into my coat while I walked. All I felt was gratitude, and I think maybe there was even some joy in there.

Why am I not a wreck? Aren't I supposed to be a wreck?

That night, after I nursed him to sleep and tucked him in for bed, I planted a soft kiss on his little head and thanked God for the joy Emmett had brought to our last three-hundred and sixty-five days.

I sat on the couch with Brian and we reminisced. We started talking about how heartbroken I was after Hudson was born, and the doctor told me I could not have anymore babies. There were so many nights spent choking on sobs and feeling like my world was crushed. Obviously, God moved in a big way and healed me, then gave us one last baby, Emmett Finn.

I got to thinking...

why was I so heartbroken that time I thought I'd have no more, but not this time when I

know

 I won't?

During my final pregnancy, God had given us peace about having my tubes tied. There were issues in me that proved risky and unhealthy. It was time to let my body heal and rest for good- no more 'self-made' babies for our family.

God's peace is such an incredible thing, because the lack of it and the gain of it can give you two opposite reactions to the same news. 

It wasn't

just

 the peace of God that led to a joy-filled year with my last baby. Being human, I've had times when I knew which way the Lord's peace was leading me and I ignored it. You can, of course,

choose

 to be angry, sad, upset, and even bitter, no matter how much peace you have over a situation.

Knowing what God wants for you doesn't automatically make you happy about it. 

I wanted more kids. Brian and I both agreed we wanted a large family with five or six children, and then we talked about adopting even more! Clearly, having our fourth baby be our last wasn't the plan. I heard a lot of comments like, "you should be thankful. I know so and so and she can't have kids at all." Yes, I am extremely thankful, but I do not think ungratefulness is the root of heartache when a deep desire goes unfulfilled. Being told "you can't, you're done" against your will makes you feel inferior and powerless and deeply sad, no matter how many children you already have.

But you know what I realized? I had a choice to make. I could follow the peace and

choose joy

.

Or I could allow my

could have been

to steal the joy from my reality. 

After Hudson was born, I had no peace, and I knew my God didn't want this for me; that He was bigger than the words of that doctor. After Emmett was born,

total peace,

and then my choice to choose joy. It's the combination of both that gives you the ability to move forward and enjoy this life when it doesn't go as planned.

If you want joy in a situation, choose it. There's no secret formula or heart trick; it's a choice as clear as day.

Note: please understand that although I do not personally know the pain of infertility, I do know the pain of loss, and I can only imagine the heartache those who cannot have any babies endure. It breaks me to even think of it. This post is not at all meant for those of you who have longed for a child and have been robbed of that blessing, so please don't take it on yourselves. This is just my heart after a journey that God placed in my life and I had it on me to share. I believe God has a plan for every soul on this earth and in heaven- born and unborn- and I know His sovereign power will be made clear to you one day, sweet friend. My prayers go with you today. 

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Allie Casazza

Allie Casazza , Murrieta, CA