Ohhhh Baby!

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  My mom knew that every year, we had to put up a Christmas tree and Christmas decorations.  I love what the season represents — the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and being thankful everyday for all that God has given me.  Christmas is not about gifts for me, but I can truly say that this year, we have been blessed with one of the most amazing gifts ever, a sweet little bundle of joy growing inside of me!  We had our first sonogram on December 1st, and the baby was spinning, kicking its little legs and waving those hands the entire time.  I thought something was wrong, but the technician assured me the baby was okay, just a little active.

 

When I got married, my husband and I agreed that we would begin a family after our first year of marriage.  On our anniversary, we knew that it was time to start a family as planned.  I got pregnant on our first attempt.  Within a week of trying, a home pregnancy test confirmed that I would be a mom.  We are so excited, and we thank God for this precious little baby that we love so much, which leads me to my next point.

Right now, I have a lot to say. I’m really saying it out of love and for those of you who are guilty of doing this, I want you to be extra sensitive the next time you are tempted to interrogate a couple without children.  If you read my prior article, “God’s Timing,” you know that I was not a 20-year-old when I got married.   As a result, people always asked, “When are you getting married? You’re not getting any younger. You know you have less eggs now that you’re older.”  Yes, they actually estimated that I had very few eggs left and some of you reading this know what I’m talking about.  Well, if I decided to make my own decision to get married, I could have been married in my early 20’s.  However, I could not rush God and force Him to bring along a husband, and when I thought the right guy had come along, I never begged him to marry me. I never wanted my marriage to be based on an ultimatum or because I was in a hurry to get to the altar.   I just accepted the fact that God is God all by Himself and He didn’t need my help in finding a mate for me.  I came to grips with the fact that I might be 30 or older when my mate came along.

Well, ladies, when you get married, the comments from “friends” and family will not end there.  Once you get married, the next question is, “So, when are you having children?”  I don’t think that is an inconsiderate question at all.   I have asked my newly married friends and family that question before, but when they gave me an answer, whatever that answer might have been, “We’re going to wait for a few years,” “I don’t know yet,” “We’re not in a hurry,” I did not question them again.  If you ask someone when they plan to have children or if they are planning to have children, take their answer at face value and cease questioning.  I say this for several reasons.

During the holidays, my husband and I visited friends and family, and there was one particular visit that really disturbed me.  I truly love the person who made the comments, but I know that this happened to me for a reason.  I need to share this with everyone so that we can be more sensitive to couples around us who have no children.  While sitting with family members, my husband and I were asked when we were planning to have children.  I answered, “Well, we want to enjoy our first year together and when we feel the time is right, we will start a family.”  I felt this answer was sufficient enough to halt all following questions.  However, instead of taking my answer as final and leaving us alone, we were told, “You have been married for a year.  You all need to have children soon.   You’re not getting any younger.  It might take years to have a child.  That’s why you need to get started now.”  The disturbing comments went on for about 30 minutes.  This relative even began telling us about a family member who struggled for numerous years before having a child.  At the time these comments were being made, I was almost 12 weeks pregnant, but think about this —- what if I had not been pregnant at the time these comments were being made?  What if I had not been merely waiting to share the news with my family?

What if my husband and I had been trying and we had not been successful?  What if we had been told that we could not have children and we decided to deal with this secretly?  What if …?  These comments were enough to take the energy out of any husband and wife who knew of their secret struggle to have children.  Even though I got pregnant the first time we tried, I began to think to myself, who are people to dictate when I should have children?  Who are people to ask, “Are you trying?  How long have you been trying?”  If a couple has been trying for weeks, months, or years, that is their business, and not yours.  The next time you ask someone when they are having children, take their answer and leave it at that.  Do not go on and on about how old they are and the fact that there is a possibility it might be difficult for them to have children.  Who wants to sit and endure that?  There are many women in their 20’s who have a difficult time getting pregnant.  I spoke to a young lady on my doctor’s staff who tried to get pregnant for 3 years before she was successful.  She was in her 20’s.  There are also women in their 20’s who have really difficult pregnancies.  So, don’t tell me that I have to be a 20-year-old to start a family.

When I finally walked out of the house and my husband and I were on our way, I said, “I don’t receive any of that, in Jesus’ name.”  What God has blessed, no man can curse, and I refuse to allow someone to tell me that it might take years for me to conceive.  I will not allow anyone to feed negativity into my life and I hope you will not allow people to speak negativity into your life.

I watched The Help this weekend with some friends, and one of the characters had a miscarriage.  She buried her baby in a box in the yard and planted a rose bush so that her husband would think it was just another rosebush in the yard.  When the cameras zoomed out, you could see two previous rose bushes she had planted and the scene showed her planting her third bush and burying her third child.  What if this woman had gone home for the holidays and was drilled about why she hadn’t gotten pregnant?  How would that make her feel knowing that she had miscarried three times in silence?  How would that make any woman feel?  This is why we have to be so sensitive when we make comments that could possibly hurt someone else.

If you are not married, tell your relatives sitting around the Christmas tree this year that you will get married when God sends the right mate, and if they don’t like the fact that you are not married, they need to keep it to themselves.  Maybe you need to ask them how their marriage is going.

To all my single ladies who are believing God for the right mate, and to all my married ladies who are taking your time starting a family or who may be struggling secretly, stand up for yourselves this holiday season.  Don’t be afraid to go home and tell everyone that your life belongs to you and you will live it as you see fit.  When they tell you that your egg count is decreasing (the dumbest comment ever), just remind them that the eggs you have left will be just as fertile.  Stand up for yourself, and Merry Christmas!

Shayla Jay

Shayla Jay

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44 Comments

  1. TK

    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thank you!

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Clapping my hands, and commending you for speaking your mind. This is a very private moment in your life. Don’t let any one force you to upload pictures on facebook. I encourage you to take this time, bond with your husband and baby, reading, talking and singing to he/she. I love both of you and I can not wait to meet this precious new bundle of joy. God Bless!

        Reply
        • shaylajay

          Thank you so much, and by now, I think people know I am a “do it my way and on my own time” kinda’ girl. So, don’t worry. I’m not easily persuaded by others. 😉

          Reply
      • Robin

        Shayla, so very well said. I so enjoy reading your blogs and love the messages contained within them. Having said that, I definitely will be more mindful and/or sensitive commenting on things of this nature. Congratulations again and again to you and Mathis, I am so excited for you.

        Reply
        • shaylajay

          Thank you! And I enjoy writing these blogs, especially when I feel that I am helping someone.

          Reply
          • Kathern Barber

            Hi, Shayla!

            Congratulations!!! I am truly happy for you. As you know I have borne my share of insensitive comments over the years. I thank you for speaking up for women all over the world. This was truly a blessing for me and liberated my soul.

            I have been following your blog since your first entry. Your mom has admonished me to reply on many occasions but I stay so busy.

            Keep up the good work and take care of yourself.

          • shaylajay

            I am so happy this article helped you, and prayerfully it will prevent future insensitive comments and help people to remain mindful of the things they say, and yes, my mom told me you have been following my blog since I began writing. Thanks for your support!

  2. Joanne

    Congratulations on your pregnancy and thanks for your comments. Your voice is needed because “well meaning” folks are not aware of their insensitivity, but you reminded us all. Thanks.

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      I didn’t want to hurt anyone by writing the article, but I felt the need to address the issue because it has been going on for too long. I just think that people need to step back and realize what they are saying before they speak.

      Reply
  3. Shari

    Awesome post and congrats!!! I always hear the marriage and baby question when I am in small cities vs larger cities. Drives me nuts!!! My answers get worse every year. LOL. God’s Timing!!! You are going to be GREAT MOM!!

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Awwww, Shari, thank you! I pray everyday that I can be half the mom that my mom is.

      Reply
  4. Tonya Strozier

    Congrats!!!

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thanks Tonya!

      Reply
  5. Kimberlynn

    We are so excited for you two! Congratulations Congratulations Congratulations

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thank you Kim! Just keep us in your prayers!

      Reply
      • Rome

        Congrats to the both of you ShaylaJay!!! I know those questions lol.

        Reply
        • shaylajay

          Thanks Rome!!

          Reply
  6. A friend

    Well said Shayla. And if I could add a post script it would be the insensitive and insistent people who ALWAYS ask when is baby # 2 coming along. And that our child cant be an only and telling my husband to put my birth control in the microwave and on and on and on. People have no idea why people dont have a second child and I find it soooooo presumptous, especially when they ask over and over and over!!!!

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      You know, I thought about that! I thought, “I bet people will start taunting us about a second baby once we have the first.” People will be people. We just have to learn to let them know (in a nice, professional way) that we would prefer not to discuss that and ask that they respect our decision not to discuss the subject. Some people will never get it, so just be ready for that.

      Reply
  7. Gail Holland

    Congratulations!!!

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thank you Gail!

      Reply
  8. TIffini

    Congratulations! Also, well said.

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thank you Tiffini!

      Reply
  9. Pamela Wilkins

    Awesome Shayla! Congratulations!!!

    I totally understand this as well. Kurt and I have been married 7 years and no children (not due to us not wanting any), All the questioning gets tiring. Thank God for our salvation because we could have fallen prey to all the negativity. Great post.

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thanks Pam!

      Reply
  10. Asha

    Congratulations! As someone who has struggled with miscarriage and infertillity in the past, I remember how disheartening some comments were. Continue to use your voice, people are listening.

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thank you so much for sharing. People don’t understand that this is so real and that one comment can send you into a whirlwind. I have had so many women call, text, inbox me or comment on this post about their struggles, and until more people see how devastating their actions and words can be, this will never stop. No woman or man should ever have to suffer silently.

      Reply
  11. Prentice

    Congrats to you and Mathis! God Bless!!! – Prentice, Karla, PJ, and Christian

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thanks Prentice and Karla!

      Reply
  12. Mom

    Shayla, our little “Strong Tower,” that’s what you have been since God blessed us with you. Congratulations to you and Mathis! You have been so determined in your wait on the Lord for everything that God promised you. You are the most disciplined person I know. When you were two years old, I took you to preschool(you were the only two-year-old there, and you have always been tiny). You jumped out of the car and ran toward the building, half way there you turned around, looked at me and pointed toward the car and said, “Go”! That’s when I realized that you were going to meet this world “head on.” In high school, you dedicated your life to the Lord and became my Prayer Partner. Through high school, undergraduate school, and law school, you relied on your faith, even though things were hard sometimes and many times you were alone because you refused to compromise your beliefs. You stood on Jeremiah 29:11, ” I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
    You have prayed and kept the faith and now we are so thankful for our son-in-law and grandchild. To God be the Glory. We are sooooooooooooooooooooo happy!

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thanks mom. Whenever I speak to youth, I always tell them there is nothing wrong with being different because it pays off in the end. It is my prayer that more people will stand on that belief.

      Reply
  13. Sheree

    I love this and agree 100% . Congratulations to you both 🙂

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thank you, Sheree!

      Reply
  14. Chayla

    Congratulations! Thanks for the insight and words encouragement and empowerment. May your family continue to be blessed.

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thank you, Chayla!

      Reply
  15. AngelaClark

    Awww, ok so first I wanna say CONGRATS to my homegirl:) Funny I was just saying to myself today wait I have NOT gotten a facebook feed telling me that Shayla has posted a new blog and I came to your page and I see this! WOW!!!! You are gonna make a awesome mommie! I don’t really personally know Matt but I will say yall are gonna make great parents! I wanna get a little deeper on what you wrote but check your facebook inbox for that in a sec..Once again CONGRATS!! u ROCK girly:)

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thank you so much Angie!!!!

      Reply
  16. Bran

    Oh my! Wow! that’s awesome….congrats on your pregnancy. What a bundle of joy it is, especially during this season. I guess I can’t ask you to join me in the Black Girls Run Marathon in New Orleans March 4, “Rock and Roll Marathon”. But I will take pictures. Happy Holidays to you and your newly expanded family.

    Smooches

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      No, I won’t be running any marathons for a while. I have actually stopped running altogether, but I will be ready to hit the pavement again this summer, and thanks for your well wishes!

      Reply
  17. Denise Williams

    Great article Shayla, I love the fact that you acknowledged that you would not receive any of the negativity in Jesus’s name. Most of all Congratulations, I am so excited to hear that my sweet little cousin will be having a baby. aww, I hope that it is a beautiful little girl like her Mommy but most of all I pray that it will be Healthy. Twins would be great. Love you.

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      Thanks, Denise! No twins please! 🙂

      Reply
  18. Jacquita

    Well said. It happens to me all the time and it makes me very uncomfortable.

    Reply
    • shaylajay

      It made me uncomfortable also. Too many women have to sit through ridicule from family and friends. Maybe this article will help those who are the ones that make us feel uncomfortable and show them that they are not helping, only hurting.

      Reply

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