By Victoria Utman
Four years ago, I learned that a quickening is the feeling an expecting mother has when their child moves beneath their breast- a stretch felt through the very muscle, sinew, and core of the woman as her baby develops inside of her.
It’s a beautiful, active word and was brought up in a writing workshop I attended. Around this time, my husband and I had just begun our first serious conversations about beginning a family together and I instantly fell in love with the concept.
“Quick” meaning alive or lively; the emotional made physical in our wonderful, woman bodies. We create something beautiful, something Godly by transforming the most basic structural organism into something new, growing life like magic. At twenty, all I wanted was to experience this process.
We are young and were younger still when we began trying; where people might have seen folly, I thank God for our youth. After two years of negative pregnancy tests, we began doctoring. I felt betrayed by my body, as a stranger prodded my insides, left me alone in that sterile white room, then returned for blood samples.
It was a cold winter day; the roads were covered in snow when I hit the ditch on my way to yet another doctor’s appointment. Alone on the frozen prairie, I had to call the hospital and explain I wouldn’t be able to make it. For some reason, that phone call was representative of all my hopes and dreams of motherhood. It was cancelled.
Grief held my heart for a long time afterward. I hurt so deeply, hated myself so fiercely, and thought that was the end of things. I had drawn a line in the snow that frosty morning and left behind the possibility of further doctor’s appointments and fertility treatments, for my own mental health but that left me hollow.
Here, I should mention that rationally I know a woman’s worth isn’t found in her uterus. I hold beloved many women who do not have children, for one reason or another, and they are not diminished in my eyes or heart by this; but at the time, after desiring a child for so long, it felt to me like a robbery. I didn’t understand my body or my future anymore.
It was another writing retreat that breathed new possibilities back into my soul. A writing friend of mine recently adopted a young girl. Somehow, this friend and I found us sitting on my bed at 1:00 in the morning, talking about the adoption process. She laid herself bare to me, sharing her own pains, anxieties, and hopes so that it could plant a seed in my heart.
It felt like a secret for a long time, as my husband and I discussed this new possibility. We poked and prodded the concept for almost an entire year, just between the two of us, but the more we reflected, the more it felt like a Calling.
Now, we’re in the middle of it. Paperwork, training, home inspections, and so much waiting have become part of our parenting story. The truth is that we still feel the gentle pull of mourning attached to what we’re missing biologically; especially as friends and family around us continue to bless the world with their own newborns, but a shift in my perspective has helped us navigate that too.
The build-up, the waiting, this is our quickening and that word is still beautiful to me.
About the Author
Victoria Utman is the little girl with big dreams and stars in her eyes, who will never stop talking about all the things she loves. She is passionate about hospitality, justice, storytelling, and people; and she is constantly learning to lean into the peace that passes understanding. Victoria lives on an acreage in Treaty 4 territory with her husband, Tyler, and their dogs and horses. She currently works as a school counsellor and moonlights as a writer in her spare time (check out her writer page HERE). With enthusiasm, Victoria is excited to be a part of the Sister Triangle Team!