Well, here I am about to start month five of pregnancy, and I haven’t really blogged much about it. Mostly that’s because I don’t really know what to say. The range of emotions I have experienced since we discovered we were expecting has been overwhelming to say the least.
Not many people will understand what it is like to be pregnant after a baby dies; especially when the baby was expected to be healthy and perfect. Not many people understand that finding out the baby’s gender takes a back burner to finding out if there are any obvious or notable problems. Further, not many people understand that even if we are told that the baby looks great, healthy, and perfect, that we will not accept that as fact until we hear our baby cry for the first time and until that baby is placed into our hungry and aching arms.
I have been feeling light movement for a couple of weeks now, but last night I felt the strongest and longest movement yet. It brought tears to my eyes as placed my hand on my baby and celebrated the fact that I have a child growing and developing inside me. In the past, I have counted down every month, week, and day of pregnancy; anxiously awaiting the baby’s arrival and even privately hoping that the baby would arrive early. Now, I am just going to enjoy the closeness that only I have with this child. I will never forget what it was like to feel Jack’s kicks, flips, and hiccups. Had I known then that he would never move after birth, I might have enjoyed it a little more, and would have rushed his arrival a little less.
When I was thirty-three weeks pregnant with Jack, I wrote the following entry in my journal:
“I hate being pregnant. I NEVER WANT TO BE PREGNANT AGAIN. EVER. I hate it. There are upsides. The baby, of course. Feeling him move around is magical. Knowing that he is the end result is wonderful. How could I say that all this pain is not worth it when I will soon be holding my beautiful little child? How can I hate pregnancy so much when the end result is so great? I don’t know. I just know that I don’t ever want to be pregnant again.”
It is embarrassing to share how selfish and blindsighted I was. My goodness I was so immature and naïve!! It is obvious that I was far from earning any title of “great mom”, because we know that the greatest moms are self-sacrificing and selfless.
I DO NOT feel the same way. I don’t care about any amount of physical pains or discomfort. I don’t care about morning sickness or back pains. I don’t care about bedrest or weight gain. The amount of pain I would be willing to suffer: if only Jack would have been healthy and: if only I could have raised him in this life, far exceeds what I actually went through when I was pregnant with him. I am not even sure I could put a limit on the pain I would willingly endure for him. And, I can honestly say, that even if the end result would be the same: I would do it all over again for him.
I recall vividly the way I felt while undergoing my c-section for Jack. They had me spread my arms out wide and then they strapped my arms down. I remember likening it unto be hung on a cross, and then thinking in my mind: “I am being sacrificed for my child”. The tears flowed, but I was glad to do it. I didn’t know it then, but I was being taught a huge lesson about sacrifice and its role in motherhood.
Not a day has passed when I haven’t thought about the “unknown” and the possibility that this child may be born imperfect. While there certainly was no evidence that Jack’s condition was genetic, there also was no truly validating confirmation otherwise. I will worry about whether or not this baby is fine until I hear that first cry. The cry I so desperately wanted Jack to give.
All that being said, however, each day I remind myself to have faith. I can’t wait to be enormously pregnant. I can’t wait for swift kicks and little hiccups. I can’t wait for labor. I can’t wait to nurse. I can’t wait for 4am feedings, hourly diaper changes, tiny gurgles, and the scent of baby powder. Onesies, booties, rattles, burp clothes, receiving blankets…screaming, giggling, kicking, sighing…everything. There is not one thing about having a newborn that I am not looking forward to.
I look back at the woman who I was when I was pregnant with Jack, and I feel so ashamed. I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned and how far I have come as a mother, daughter, wife, and child of my Heavenly Father. I know that I have a long way to go. I continue to put my trust in the Lord and know that He will give me experiences that will shape me into the woman who I need to become in order to return to His presence and be with my little boy again.
I never thought I would say this but…
even with as emotional as this ride has been…
and even knowing how emotional and trying it will continue to become…
and although the future of our family and our newest little one is unknown…
and even though we haven’t even scratched the surface of the back pain or weight gain or many other physical discomforts…
even with all that I can still say:
I LOVE being pregnant.