Shamefully Honest. And Growth.

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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.

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9 responses »

  1. First of all….you should write. Like, write a book or something because you are such a great writer. Second of all, you are so honest! It’s refreshing. I am so excited for you guys 🙂 xo

  2. Thank you for this reminder. I needed it and I didn’t even know it until after I read this. Thank you thank you.

  3. Bawling. You know I can relate to so much of this. We have different paths but I understand where you are coming from.

    We can’t be ashamed of our griefs and struggles though. They build us into who we are. It was horrible and hard. There is nothing wrong with that. That you are different this time around is a testament to God’s power, not anything bad about yourself.

    Can’t wait until you are holding that baby, too.

    BTW, are you finding out the gender??

  4. I love you for so many reasons…but you totally made me cry just now – thanks a lot. 🙂 I miss feeling my babies move. I miss feeling the closeness of our battle for life. I haven’t been able to express my feelings about pregnancy since Evan was born. I hope I can figure things out for myself like you have done. You are an amazing mother, wife, daughter and friend. I pray for you often. May the Lord continue to mold us into the women and Mothers He wants us to be. Love your guts…

  5. I am so happy that you’re able to feel the growth of a baby in you, and I can only imagine the difference Baby Jack has made in your life, but you express it so well, that I feel I can understand, though I know I can’t truly understand.

    You’re wonderful Elizabeth.

  6. Oh Elizabeth, this is so perfect and touched my heart more than you know. Pregnancy does put us moms through the wringer, and I don’t think you have anything to feel ashamed of. You are human after all, although I do wonder if you are part angel! I haven’t felt your pain I haven’t come close to walking in your shoes, but your experience with Jack is always on my mind. I pray for you every night, I pray so much for this baby to fill your arms and give you the cries you want so badly. I completely understand not being able to trust that everything is “OK” until you hold this little miracle and see for yourself, what you went through is unbelievable. I feel the same way and I haven’t had such a difficult experience.
    I love how you have come to realize how special your time was with Jack, while he was inside you. What a special experience for you to hold on to and remind all of us of how blessed we are to be the life givers of these little spirits. Thank you thank you thank you and may God bless you every step of the rest of your pregnancy and beyond.

  7. I love the way you bare your testimony in almost every post with honesty and humility. You don’t share your beliefs to put yourself on a pedestal, but to share how your truly feel. I wish I could borrow some of that!

  8. you are so great with words I can just feel your excitement, pain, sorrow, joys, and feelings whenever you blog. I love you and I am so excited to hear that you are prego again!

  9. So Elisa Simmons told me that you blog was worth perusing… because you are such a good writer. I had NO IDEA! I’m so glad I took a gander here. You’re inspiring, to say the least!

    Can I just say that YOU are an AMAZING mother. Look at the children God has entrusted you with thus far… and you have another on the way! You are an example to all of us. I appreciate your candid honesty and for sharing it so uprightly! Thank you. Pregnancy and childbirth are not easy, but they are part of the sacred experiences that help mold us physically, emotionally, and spiritually to becoming mothers….. and that is an everlasting process I’m sure!

    I’m so happy and excited for you to be having a little boy…again! Jack’s little buddy, and sure to be Megan’s best friend! Oh the adventures that await the Johansons! 🙂

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