Monday, June 14, 2010

I really am not sure of what to say. Rather, how to say it.

I have a lot going on in my head and it’s pretty jumbled.

Bear with me.

I appreciate the comments I get—though the content of this blog is for my children to have long after I am gone, admittedly the comments are for me and I enjoy reading them and hearing validation and support and different perspectives and ways of looking at things.

I’m sorry that some of the last post’s comments got a little heady, but I think that’s indicative of just how emotional mothers are about their feelings and their children and again, I appreciate passion and emotion.

I also just can’t say how heartwarming it is when adults realize that issues of our hearts and spirits often fuel us with strong feeling behind sentiments, and those sentiments may not always be taken the way they are meant—especially in light of them being in a written forum—and are able to extend grace to one another. Thank you, Anne and thank you Tessa—I read your stories and love your hearts and your love for your children and just can’t tell you how glad I am that you both are so cognizant of how fragile all of our hearts are.

I do want to clarify a few things—mostly because I don’t want it out in blog land or anywhere else that I don’t have sympathy for the plight of the pregnant woman anymore because my perspective has changed since Matthew died.

Don’t get me wrong, it HAS changed…. but there are some things I still maintain and did before he died.

Honestly—I’m the first to admit pregnancy is hard. I did with Matthew and have with this baby. But my reasons for pregnancy being hard were NOT because I was unhappy with what it was doing to my body (I didn’t have stretch marks, admittedly, but my skin was and still is a NIGHTMARE---I always joke about how Matthew stole my good skin—and I was glad to give it!)…My complaints during pregnancy were because of pretty intense physical discomfort—whether my back was killing me (since I am not even 5 feet tall and didn’t weigh 100 pounds and I added 50 pounds to my frame) or I couldn’t walk (because I was so swollen) or couldn’t breathe (not a lot of room for his very long body in my very short torso)…I often told John that it was hard to grow a human.

And it is.

But NEVER did I have the nerve to complain about how Matthew was cramping my style or how his growth was making me less attractive…. I have always wanted to be a mother and spent well over 10 years attempting to be so. I had gone through all sorts of physical and emotional hell and I was just too grateful I was going to be a mother to worry about stretch marks or parties or bikinis or not being able to exercise…. and though it hurt when Matthew took that big old foot and gave me a swift kick (which he did often) I NEVER, EVER wanted him to stop kicking!!!!!

I’d worked too hard and waited too long.

So when other women who have worked hard and gone through the trials that come with infertility finally get their miracles (remember, I said it was especially IVF boards that had those complaints that bothered me!) but still moan about superficial stuff—I don’t get it.

And still don’t.

And frankly, don’t have a lot of sympathy.

Because honestly, pregnancy involves risks—whether it’s stretch marks or an empty nursery at the end of a full-term.

And if you are not willing to take what comes with pregnancy, then don’t get pregnant.

I realize there are lots of situations where pregnancy is unplanned, and in those situations, I imagine that there are some facts one has to face that probably are not easy—the realizations of sacrifices to be made for the best interest of the baby and for those who do, LORD KNOWS, I applaud those decisions. I am alive only because my mother was pro-life.

But... I can’t lie and say that I still think that many of those superficial whines and complaints ARE due to ignorance—but ignorant is the word nonetheless:

ig·no·rant (ignə rənt)


    1. Having little knowledge, education, or experience; uneducated; inexperienced
    2. Lacking knowledge (in a particular area or matter)
  1. Caused by or showing lack of knowledge or education
  2. Unaware (of)

I was ignorant. I had no idea of what vasa previa was. I was unaware of the possibility that in today’s world, perfectly normal and healthy babies die at the end of normal pregnancies for horrors that most doctors claim they only read about in medical books.

I don’t believe the use of the word ignorant was inappropriate.

And I’m sorry if anyone got the impression that I think you can’t love your children as much as I love my child if you: A) have never lost a child and/or B) complain about pregnancy.

It was certainly not my intent and I'm not sure what it was that I said that may have led to that, and I don’t want anyone having that impression. I’m a teacher—I’ve been able to see parents’ love for children in some of the most amazing and magnificent ways. Trust me—I know a mother’s love has no parameters or requirements to be deep and unconditional and abiding.

My main purpose for my last post was that I obviously needed a little break from the computer because lots of things were bothering me and I was finding it hard not to be judgmental. It is important the child who reads this knows his or her mother is human.

But I’ll be honest—I was judgmental before Matthew was born and died. Every time we went to Dr. Sweeney’s office, John and I just could NOT GET OVER how some of these people were at a High-Risk OB and yet REEKED of smoke…or talked about joints in the elevator up to his office…

It wasn’t Matthew dying that makes me aggravated with those scenarios or complaints about hating being pregnant or stretch marks…it’s how long it took me to become a mother…how long I desperately tried to get to where these women were and were just taking it all for granted. Matthew dying at the finish line just adds salt to that wound.

And I also can’t stand the add-on of “moan, moan, moan, moan, moan…. but it will all be worth it….” because as I said…he was worth it regardless.

A child is worth it whether they come home or not.

I know that perspective in ANY situation often changes drastically through experience—the executive who’s never pitied the poor because they ought to get a job—until the executive loses his job and realizes that it’s not always that cut and dry...

The colleague who complains about the amount of time another colleague is out of work due to that colleague’s parental illness…. until that colleague’s own parent dies and sees how gripping a situation it is.

And so on….

I’ve often said it’s a good thing that for the most part, we are able to sympathize but not necessarily empathize because what a crushing world we’d live in if we all knew exactly what we all felt like—our hearts would be so heavy and there’d be few who would be able to encourage and give hope to others.

I know the old saying,”Be careful what you wish for” is popular because we often can’t really know what to expect in a lot of different situations until we are actually in them.

Even with this pregnancy—so desperately wanted and yet so filled with trepidation—yes, I’d give anything to have the blissful ignorance I enjoyed while pregnant with Matthew.

But I’d never have said I hated being pregnant or was mad at Matthew for kicking me or complained about not being able to party because I was pregnant.

And it still aggravates me that others do.

I just don’t tell them. I write it here.

My guess is they're not reading anyway...


  1. I totally get your feelings! My sister and best friend are both pregnant with unplanned pregnancies. They are both fretting about finances and the unexpectedness that comes along with an unplanned baby.

    Its so hard to hear them complain. Especially about medical bills! MJ's medical bills are over $1 Million! Yes, he is my million dollar baby. We will be paying for him for quite awhile!

    It's so hard to listen to them, and the whole time I do, I simply think, how wonderful would it be to have that ignorant bliss? And then at the same time, I pity them, because they are so ignorant.

    ((HUGS Lori)) The emotions you are going through must a huge roller coaster! I will pray that they get easier, although I don't think they will until you have your precious baby in your arms, healthy and whole.

  2. I think the issue for me is not so much pregnant woman moaning about their pregnancy symptoms, but rather them not considering who they are moaning to or in front of. I just love my friends who have the wisdom to not exclude me from pregnancy talk, but do save their 'pregnancy moan sessions' for when I'm not around.

  3. Lori, as always, I am so thankful for you and your blog. Though we share some experiences, I am also ignorant to your experience of losing Matthew...and I learn so much through you. I'm all about awareness, so I hope you will continue sharing your heart here. Hugs to you.

  4. I never got that in your last post you were meaning that mothers who have not suffered the loss of a child could never fully appreciate their children. I didn't think you meant that at all. I felt that you were specifically talking about those who DO NOT appreciate their children and are showing that to you by their specific complaints.

    I think lots of mothers who have never suffered a loss of a child can definitely appreciate their children. I was always fully aware of how precious my children are and was fully aware that I could lose any one of them. My biggest fear before losing Lilly was just that, losing a child. Now of course the fear is of it happening again.

    Our best friend who we consider family lost his 3 year old daughter in a car accident 5 years ago. We also lost our friend Bonnie at age 21 in that car accident. My best friend and SIL both suffered m/c so I was ACUTELY aware of how precious my children are and how I feared losing any one of them.

    That being said, knowing that and FEELING that are TWO very different things. One of my friends seems to get offended when I say "she will never understand" ITS a GOOD thing, you don't WANT to understand this feeling. Its so painful and its really unbearable at times. So be grateful you don't understand.

    They say ignorance is bliss, and though I was FULLY aware that parents can outlive their children, I was ignorant to the FULL extent of the emotions this brought on. I have felt LOTS of pain and LOTS of LOSS in this world and nothing compares with the loss of my child.

    Our hearts are tender, and we are sensitive to those who we feel do not appreciate their blessings. We are in no way talking about EVERYONE just those specific ones that really do not count their blessings. There are LOTS of mothers who would die for their children, I was one before and after losing Lilly. But it is different, very unimaginable. But I now know cause the blinders are off since having lost Lilly.

    And because our blinders are off we are acutely aware of what can go wrong because it HAS happened to us.

    I take your posts as they are, how you are feeling. You are definitely entitled to how you feel and I do not think anyone should take it personally as you are needing to feel what you feel and vent so that you can heal.

    I apologize for the length of my comment.

    love and prayers

  5. I can't say I know how it feels for you, because I know nothing of the pain of losing a child (or trying desperately to have a child.) But I have watched my older sister for over ten years try so hard to become a mommy and fail, while it is so easy for so many others, myself included. I myself have never lost a child. I've been extremely blessed by having two healthy children. (I so believe that you were blessed with your sweet Matthew. Even if he didn't come home he will always be your beautiful child.)
    Even when my first daughter was a "surprise" (I refuse to call her an "accident") I could not take one second of her for granted because I know how badly so many women want what I had. Even throwing up daily for over 7 months I was so lucky. Just for her to be there growing in my tummy.
    Almost two years ago two lovely people I know had a beautiful seemingly healthy baby boy. The day after he was born they discovered he had a severe heart defect. When he was two months old he passed away. A few months later my cousin and his girlfriend found out they were having a girl.. I heard him say that he was disappointed that she wasn't a boy! I could not believe what came out of his mouth! He knew the pain that one of his dear friends had just went through. I know he loves his daughter with all his heart now that she's here but it still bothers me when people take something so precious for granted. There are so so many people that would take a baby, any baby as long as it was healthy no matter what sex, no matter how much pain it took to get them here.
    Sorry I'm rambling away :) I just wanted you to know that I'm on your side. I can't stand to hear someone whine and complain about something as insignificant as stretch marks when they are so lucky just to be in that moment with their baby growing inside, or just so lucky to be able to conceive in the first place!

  6. Praying for strength and peace, and now adding praying for grace and compassion for all. (Why do you think I named my blog what I did? :)

    Everyone faces something, and for every something, it seems there's an "in-group." I think so:

    Love you.

  7. Thank you so much for this post and all your others. You are so good at expressing exactly how you feel. I don't think I can ever be that good with words.
    As a teacher myself, I know what you mean about seeing parents who don't fully appreciate their children. I was a middle school teacher, and there were many times when I wondered whether or not parents were involved in their children's lives at all. It is so frustrating to see that level of neglect.
    Your pain is so real and so raw, and please don't feel like I, or anyone else, is offended. What you said is true. Pregnant moms have a tendency to whine sometimes. There's a difference between being uncomfortable and when a woman seriously feels put out by what pregnancy does to your life and body.
    Having a child is always a risk. Not just during pregnancy, but afterward too. I worry everyday for the health and well being of my kids. Everyday is a risk I take when I put them in a car or take them to school, let them play at someone's house, etc.. We put our hearts outside of our bodies when we have children....not just during pregnancy, but for forever. Everyday with them is a blessing.

  8. Lori
    I would like to say I think I get it. I am covered in stretch marks from my first pregnancy and I consider that to me the greatest gift ever to look at my stomach and the art work it left from carrying my son. I can not believe he is almost 5 and it was so long ago.
    My body tells a story from my my pregnancies and I consider them gifts, badges of honor if you will.

    I too do not understand women who complain either. I too had a rough time getting pregnant the first time, it took a few years. So when I did boy, could I not wait to wear the pregnancy like a badge of honor.
    I get it, and there is nothing wrong with what you are saying. This blog is all yours to say what you want!! Go for it, you do not have to make room for the mommies who do not get it.
    Just this Mommy here and what she is doing for her 2 children.


  9. AMEN!!!!!!!!! I do not need to say another word, you are 100% right!!!

  10. Hi,

    I hope this makes sense.

    It must be so unbearably hard to hear people complain after the years of trying not to mention loosing your son. I had fairly minor IF issues and it was hard for me. I think of you often and think about how I felt with just one year of waiting and wanting and I just can't imagine 10 years. I am so happy you are pregnant now. This is your place to vent and say what you feel - no explanations necessary!


  11. Unrelated to your post, but I fixed my Given Me a Thorn blog so you should be able to view now. Thanks for letting me know it wasn't working. {hug}

  12. I have always thought it funny for a person to read a paticular blog and write mean and hurtful comments. If you don't like it, don't read it!

  13. Perfectly said! Of course Matthew was worth it! I often say- even with my pregnancy with Jillian (Dr's said was the worst amount of physically ill, close-to-death they had ever seen a woman there) I would STILL go through it. Even if, like your sweet Matthew, she hadn't made it, I would have Still done it. To have that time with her moving and growing inside me, even with all the pain added in ... I would have willingly done it. Because she is worth it. I never read that you were being judgemental, only that you were being vulnerable. My husband gets embarrassed sometimes when I make angry eyes at the smoking pregnant woman, etc. Every painful nudge or jab on the bladder was amazing, because my children where in there! And now, thanks to you, I researched Vasa Previa and feel blessed to know a bit more about what the body can do. Not because I'm morbid, but because it's important to be aware and to know that this is something real. So real. And Matthew was real, and even though numbers may show him as part of a small statistic of Vasa Previa, he is SO much more, and that makes me feel incredibly happy that he has parents like you guys to remember him and share him. How awesome (not that it would be your choice to share him in this way, through death) that God has opened your heart to share your precious son with so many people. That SO many people know about Matthew, think about him everyday and pray for all of you. That's just amazing to me. I don't "know" you, but I adore you and the way you love your children.

  14. Love you Lori! You are always so transparent and that is what makes you REAL.

    People often forget that blogs are our "own personal space", our daily diaries to divulge our inner most feelings and thoughts. One should never have to appologise for being honest and expressing how they feel.

    Keep Writing

    Keep Healing

    And, I WILL keep reading!

    Much love and many, tomorrow and always.


    ps you are spot on with this post!

  15. Just some thoughts of my own here. I blog for me, not anyone else. It is therapy for me to be able to put my thoughts and feelings into words. Through blogging, I have found an entire community of women with whom I share a common thread. Maybe a few common threads. Our fabrics are different, but there are commonalities. All of our emotions are unique to us. That is not a bad thing. We are for the most part able to find comfort in each other's words. These blogs are our little slice of the world wide web. They are ours to write what might be on our hearts or minds at the moment. These blogs do not depend on public opinion to keep them going. So if we do not like what we read it is simple, don't read. If one might feel led to offer encouragment by way of a comment, we really do find comfort in those. If you can't encourage and only mean to vent your frusteration at the writter's words please do us the courtesy of keeping those comments to your blog.
    Lori, hang in there! God has a special plan for your life. Sending hugs your way and prayers up to Him.

  16. Don't worry what other people think, Lori. Just write what you are feeling. You can't please everyone with what you do and say. There will always be those out there that disagree or misconstrue your words. I didn't get anything out of your last post that would make me think you had no sympathy for pregnant women. None at all!

    I don't remember complaining much with Kyndra when I was pregnant with her and once we found out Carleigh would live I made sure I didn't. And even now I am aware of how lucky I am and not to take things for granted. I'd rather experience everything bad and have a baby then to never have those things and not have my children.