Her heart was in the right place, I’m sure of it. Had she known my journey or understood how her simple words would affect me, I’m not sure she would have even mentioned it.
Once again, a woman with good intentions reminded me how I should feel about being pregnant.
I’ll start by saying that the following story is mine. You see, I am a firm believer that every woman, every pregnancy is different. I do not, nor will I ever claim to be an expert. I also wholeheartedly know that some of my journey may offend some women. Those are not my intentions with sharing this. My intentions at this point are to be obedient.
Roughly 3 months ago I felt the need to share my story knowing that someone out there may have a similar journey one day and need to know that she is okay and not alone. I have waited until now because I have often feared hurting anyone with my story.
I am thankful for a friend who experienced similar feelings during her first pregnancy. She has often provided words and comfort she wishes someone would have shared with her at that time. I am hoping my story will do the same for someone else.
Back in July, my husband and I spent some time dreaming about the year to come. We had recently moved and his job was going to look much different although he would be in a similar position. We dreamed about returning to Disney World over spring break and Tanzania in the summer. We dreamed about the weekend get-away trips we could take or the other traveling we could do throughout this next year. A year from now, we thought, we would reevaluate our family situation and decide if we were ready to try to start a little family of our own. After all, we are still newlyweds & love being married.
Less than a week later, I became sick during my internship. It was a weird feeling, all that nausea and vomiting. I decided to go home and rest for the afternoon because working in a hospital was not a good decision for someone who could not stop vomiting. The next day, I felt even worse. I retraced my steps…what had I eaten? Is the flu going around right now? This is not normal. Almost as a joke, I took a pregnancy test.
I could not believe my eyes. My sobs did not allow for the precious silent tears that I usually begin with. Two lines. That could not be right. This has to be incorrect. My husband’s sentiments were similar…how could this be? Something’s not right. I prayed this was a false positive.
My doctor was able to see me the next day and confirmed our worst fear…we had become the 0.7% the labels warn you about. I was pregnant. The nurse had been incredibly excited to share the news and slowly backed out of the room when she saw our reactions. Sitting in the doctor’s office, more sobs ensued as my husband sat in silence.
The weeks to follow were filled with more tears. My heart began to harden with feelings of bitterness followed by guilt and shame. I am a married woman, I should want to be pregnant, right? I should be thankful my body is able to carry a child. I should think of this as a complete miracle and be grateful for it. Because none of those statements were true, I began to feel guilty.
As we began telling people our news, the shame began to fester. “Congratulations! Are you so excited?” Each time that question was asked, I had to make the conscious choice to either lie or receive shameful looks because I was not jumping for joy about this pregnancy.
Let’s not even talk about how incredibly sick I was…all.the.time. The first 20 weeks of my pregnancy were filled with all-day nausea & vomiting. It never ended. It was gross. I felt gross. My body was experiencing changes I would have never imagined. The first feelings of baby moving inside me made me want to vomit. To me, the ultrasounds were more disgusting than precious…cue more feelings of guilt and shame.
I did make a promise that I would do my best to never publicly complain about how I was feeling. After all, I did understand that there are women who would do anything to have this all-day sickness if it meant they could be pregnant. I also decided not to post consistent pictures of my pregnancy on social media, knowing they could stir up unwanted feelings in women, some of them my good friends, who would like to be pregnant right now.
You see, pregnancy is such a touchy subject. If I’m happy about my pregnancy, someone could be offended. If I’m not happy about my pregnancy, someone could be offended. If I complain about my pregnancy, I am a terrible person because I should be thankful I am pregnant.
Can we all take a moment to agree that every woman is different and every pregnancy is different?
Throughout the last 7 months, my heart has shattered three specific times as I was informed of dear friends who had lost babies. One night in particular as I read the words she wrote “no heartbeat,” my heart could not handle the pain. I told God I would do anything in that moment if it meant she could have her baby back. Why should I be pregnant and not her? She and her husband will be amazing parents…and they want to be parents right now. Why her?
And in turn, two weeks later when we announced our pregnancy, she sent a message right away telling how excited and full of joy she was for us. How could that be? How could she be so joyful about my pregnancy when hers had just ended? My heart was not ready for that. How could she love me that well? (I mean, I know her heart and she has one of the most loving hearts on the planet…but still).
I have never taken for granted the fact that my body has the ability to carry a child. I have never stopped being thankful for that, and I also have walked through the darkest of emotions. The Lord has taken me by the hand and reminded me that His ways are higher than mine. I have had to surrender guilt, shame, and bitterness, none of which has been easy. It was sometimes a constant battle in my mind and my heart. I have lost friendships because I am pregnant. I have wrestled with the Lord on some incredibly tough heart-issues, all the while knowing He is shaping me for His purposes.
Will I love this baby girl? I already do more than I can express. Has this journey been easy? Heck no!
I had finally come to the point where I was okay with being pregnant. The feelings of shame and guilt and bitterness had subsided. I was walking in freedom…until I received the message from the well-intended woman reminding me how I should feel and that I should be careful what I say because you never know who is watching/listening. All those ugly feelings flooded back and consumed my mind and heart for days. I couldn’t shake it.
Then, as He always does, God reminded me who I am and that He will never leave me or forsake me. He has provided incredible friends and an amazing husband who have all supported me nonstop throughout this journey.
“Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse, is just like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else might have it better.”
Now we are roughly 6 weeks until due date & I could not be more excited to meet our little girl. Since July, God has turned my mourning into JOY. He provided an amazing friend to trade hilarious pregnancy stories …some of which I will share in a future blog that’s a little more light-hearted. 🙂
Until then, know that no matter where you are on your journey, it’s yours. YOU ARE OKAY, and God will walk you through every step of the way.