"If I see another balloon, I'm going to scream." This is the thought I have had lately as I walk to or from the NICU passing all the happy families bringing flowers, teddy bears, and balloons to a new mom celebrating a full-term newborn. I've actually had the evil thought of carrying a stick pin around with me to pop the balloons. I know it's horrible, but I have to confess that I have thought it. I'm happy for these people. I really am. After all, I've been there. I've had that experience too.
I know that when you are trying to conceive, all you see around you are pregnant women. It begins to seem that everyone is pregnant but you. The truth is they have always been there, you just start noticing them more when it's something you want. This is the same situation when going to the NICU. I constantly see the proud grandparents toting their balloons and teddy bears, the fatigued fathers carrying in their car seats, the proud mothers being wheeled out to their cars to take their babies home. It's like a constant movie of the things I'm not allowed.
The other day I was taking the elevator up to the NICU. I usually take the stairs, but I was in a hurry. Just as the doors were about to close, a lady was rushing in carrying nothing less than a teddy bear, flowers, and a gigantic balloon. This gigantic balloon was literally IN MY FACE as if taunting me of what I could not have. "Seriously, God?" Are you trying to make me crazy? Are you not already testing my patience enough? How much more do you think I can handle?
Then a few days later, Brenna was walking into the hospital with me. We were passing by the fertility clinic, and she was skipping along. A couple came out of the doors and looked at Brenna with a smile and what I interpreted as longing. At that moment, I thought here I am blessed three times over and this couple may just want to be pregnant for once. I was given a beautiful gift from heaven three years ago with Brenna's birth. Then, we decided to try for one more. We only asked for one, but God gave us two more - a double blessing!
God may be testing my patience, but He is also teaching me to be thankful and to count my blessings, of which I have an abundance. (Or on a side note, maybe my lesson is to take the stairs! Ha! Ha!)