Since I have a March challenge to live up to, I'd better wrap up my pregnancy posts quickly now.  Before starting this post, you can read through the series in order, here.

From the very beginning, I told you I had been dreadfully sick.  Not your average pregnancy morning sickness sick, but constant, never stopping, nausea and vomiting kind of sick with lots of weakness thrown in for good measure.  It looked like the flu.  It felt like the flu.  It must be the flu, right?

Wrong.  It was just this baby who thinks he or she needs to be in charge of my entire life. 

With the question of life or death out of the way -- HOORAY! -- I began to realize, I'm going to have a baby.  I'm GOING to have a baby.

Oh my goodness.  A baby?

Confession:  I've never been a fan of the first six months of life.

I know many ladies who drool over babies and want to hold every baby in their vicinity.  That's not me.  Don't get me wrong; I love children.  I just enjoy them more when they can interact with me and wipe their own bottoms, that's all.  Maybe it's a laziness thing.  Maybe it's a selfishness thing.  Call it what you will, but that's the truth about me.  I am not a baby person.

I can hear you gasping from over here.  Maybe you could pipe down?  You know, for appearances sake?  Sheesh, this blogging-from-the-heart thing can really be a downer.

I spent the first two months vomiting and thinking I was going to die from the flu.  I spent the next three months vomiting and thinking I was going to die from the baby.  The funny thing is, I had two very intense and opposite feelings going on at the same time.  The first part of me was so thankful that my baby was going to live (barring any unforeseen circumstances), and the second part of me was reluctant and resentful that in nine months I would no longer be able to sleep through the night, or eat a warm supper, or wear any clothing without spit up stains on them. 

Can you say attitude adjustment?  Because I needed one.  Badly.

This is not something that you hear people share with each other everyday.  "By the way, that baby that I was so afraid was going to die.  I'm afraid it's going to be born."  The irony did not escape my notice.  What is wrong with me?  I wondered.  "Am I really that selfish?"  And what scared me even more was the resentment building inside me.  "Will I even be able to like this baby when it's born?"  I really wanted to like my child. 

You all probably think I'm a terrible monster right now.  But I know someone, somewhere, is feeling this way, too.  And I want you to know: someone besides you has been there.  I've been there.

Jeremy's excitement over this baby grew daily.  He loved to talk to my tummy and feel the baby even though the movements were not strong enough to be felt on the outside yet.  He asked about it all the time, and I felt so guilty that I didn't want the child...and mad at Jeremy that HIS life was not going to change so dramatically in nine months.  HE would still be able to leave the house at his normal time and do his normal work and come home and SLEEP at night if he wanted to.  *I* was the only one who'd need to sacrifice for this baby. 

I pulled anger around me like a comfort-blanket and snapped at everyone in my house.  I hated the way I felt, and I hated the way I was acting, but I couldn't seem to stop myself.  I wondered if it was only hormones causing this?  Or maybe the constant sickness?  I'd heard of pregnancy-related depression and wondered, could this be that?  Should I talk to a doctor about this?  I cried out to God, asking Him for help to get rid of this feeling.  I hinted to a couple friends that I wasn't looking forward to "afterwards," and they commiserated, agreeing with me those first baby months are no picnic.  But I didn't tell anyone the extent of my feelings.  I felt too guilty over them, and many of my friends want a baby so badly that I felt my sharing would be more a slap in the face to them than anything else.

I've hidden intense feelings from Jeremy before, and that only got me deeper into trouble.  A small voice of reason kept reminding me of those days.  Sure I was talking to God honestly about my feelings, but He gave me Jeremy for a purpose -- and not just a baby making purpose, either.  "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work.  If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up!"  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)  God had given me Jeremy.  I needed to tell him.

But would he understand?

He didn't.  Not really.  He told me not to worry so much about those feelings; it was probably wacked out hormones.  He told me I had been so sick that I wasn't able to really think straight.  And that was absolutely accurate.  I'd been vomiting so much that I was passing out from time to time.  The doctor had put me on anti-nausea medication, but it wasn't stopping the nausea.  A friend had given me essential oils, but they only helped sometimes.  I wasn't sleeping at night because lying down seemed to make the nausea worse.  Standing definitely made it worse.  Sitting helped slightly, so I sat in one place all day long and tried hard not to move.  I truly was exhausted and unable to think straight, and in the meantime I had to transport Liberty and Mercy to and from school, feed them, clothe them, bathe them.  (Well, Jeremy stepped in and began feeding, clothing and bathing the kids, but I still had to get them to and from school, and I still felt the need to be present and active in their lives.)  I was still working every morning at a company thirty minutes from my house.  I still babysat my little friend T every afternoon.  None of these things were optional.  Jeremy's words confirmed what I had been wondering anyway.  It's probably just hormones.  It's probably just exhaustion speaking. 

Credit To:
But it felt so real and powerful and enslaving.

I tentatively shared a little of this with a friend, more as a confession than anything else, and she hugged me immediately and whole-heartedly.  She groaned with me and told me that when she discovered she was pregnant for the third time while her two-year-old and one-year-old ran in circles around her exhausted body, she cried.  She, too, kept those feelings to herself and faked excitement for her husband's sake.  She, too, felt guilty and wondered if she would be able to love her baby.  After months of reluctant pregnancy and dreading her future, she finally said something to her sister-in-law who had five kids of her own.  Her sister-in-law hugged her and told her she was normal.  Her sister-in-law had also felt this way with her fifth child.  My friend assured me that at some point in time, I would love this baby. 

Her story made me feel slightly better, but I reminded myself that her situation was different than mine.  She and her sister-in-law had legitimate reasons to dread a new baby.  They both had small kids at home, and adding a new one would be difficult to keep up with physically.  Their reasons for dreading the new arrival were more noble than mine, I told myself.  They were thinking of their small children and the impact on them.  I was thinking only of the life of ease I had planned out for myself, and the starting over that a new baby would require.  My children were old enough to take care of themselves for the most part.  My children were gone all day at school for the most part.  A new baby would only inconvenience my fun, not put a drastic strain on my family.  I felt extremely selfish.

I mentioned this carefully to another friend of mine, and she stood with me 100%.  It turns out, she had felt the same way when she was pregnant with her now 18 month old.  At the time, she had one child who had grown out of baby-hood and an "easy" life.  Her concerns also stemmed from not wanting to put in the work to raise another child, rather than any real problems that would come of having another at this point.  Her husband also dismissed her feelings as "just hormones."  Seriously?  It would be nice if men had hormones.  I'd love to use that line on them.  (And that is not bitterness talking, I promise.)  The truth is, hormones or not, those feelings are REAL.  They are not dismissible.  My friend also wondered if she would ever be able to feel anything but resentment for her baby when he was born, and she assured me that when the time came she was able to love him with all her heart.  More than that, she told me I was normal.  I wasn't some hideous monster for feeling this way.  There wasn't something wrong with me.  That conversation helped too, but it didn't take the feelings or the guilt over the feelings away.

I continued bringing my feelings consistently and earnestly to God multiple times a day.  I knew HE understood why they were there and what was causing them, and I knew He wouldn't reject me for the horribleness in my heart if those feelings were wholly selfish. 

Months passed.

At my twenty-week appointment, I had another ultrasound.  My tech friend who had cried with me joyfully over the non-threatening fibroid at week eight covered me once again with a paper sheet and spread gel over my abdomen.  I watched curiously as she took pictures from every angle imaginable examining all organs and taking measurements.  I kept waiting for the news.  Is it a boy or a girl?  But she kept quiet.

Finally, I could wait no longer.  "So..." I casually inquired, "can you tell if it's a boy or a girl?"  Although I'd be fine with either sex, I really wanted a boy.  We've never had one of those.

"Oh!  I thought you wanted to be surprised," she responded.

"NO!  I want to know!"

She flipped the wand to a new section of my tummy and pressed in.  The screen showed unrecognizable lines and blurs.  "She's a girl!"  She announced happily.  "Definitely a girl."

And out of nowhere it hit me.  Pure happiness!  No reluctance anywhere!

I wanted to push that wand away and wrap my arms around my gel-covered belly.  I wanted to skip the belly altogether and hold my precious girl in my arms.  I wanted to have this baby now.  Four more months suddenly seemed way too long to wait before I could hold my baby.  I could picture snuggling with her in the rocking chair at home the way I had snuggled with Liberty and Mercy.  I could picture gazing into her little face and talking that quiet mommy-talk that has only happened to me when I've held my little babies close. 

I couldn't stop smiling.  "God," I breathed, "look what You just did for me!"  And I sat and marveled over the long-desired joy that had come to vibrant life while a flimsy paper sheet stuck to my gooey skin.

To Be Continued...
1 Response
  1. Beth Says: precious girl! I honestly felt the very same way when I was pregnant with my fifth! I had 4 kids at home, 2 boys and 2 girls, ages 13 to 3...I was going to go back to college, have my OWN life, etc....when miracles of all miracles, I was pregnant with another one! (I won't go into details, but it was pretty miraculous...) But I didn't feel like it at the time! One day I was on a ladder and I almost fell...another miracle happened and I didn't fall. It was at that time that I realized I could have lost this precious life that I had not yet come to appreciate! She is now 15 and my precious daughter/friend/companion/angel!! You will love your little one so much!! I know, you already do! (I already did, too, but I was being so selfish and self consumed that I didn't realize what this baby meant to me!!) I've been thinking of names for her...Grace is my favorite!

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