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 (ig′nə rənt)
- Having little knowledge, education, or experience; uneducated; inexperienced
- Lacking knowledge (in a particular area or matter)
- Caused by or showing lack of knowledge or education
- 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...