I don’t want a creative title here. This is exactly what I want to write about this morning. Baby boy is kicking me quite a bit after our half cup of coffee and we’re both feeling a little ramped up I suppose (you’re drinking coffee?! bring it, judgement train, bring. it.). With a lighter schedule this Thursday morning, thanks to the nasty flu outbreak for my home visits, I have a little stretch of time and have had some things settling on my brain for a wee bit.
So, let’s plow on, shall we?
I have heard your complaints, your asides, your sighs these last 8 years. Yes, motherhood is hard. I have heard you.
I recently met with a friend of mine who is in her early thirties, dating, no kids yet, all that stuff. We were talking about a mutual friend/acquaintance and my friend (the non-mom) said “but I’m sure I don’t get it, I know…I know…I’m not a mom.” I said “yeah, I know you’re not, but you’re not stupid and could empathize your way into understanding why…” the details here are rather insignificant. I recount this conversation to say (and defend) the same stuff I’ve been irritated by for a number of years.
Just because God has not given me (or my friend) a biological child doesn’t make me less of a woman who is unable to “get” or understand other women.
Now…do I know what it’s like to wake up hourly to check on a newborn, or try to soothe said newborn back to sleep for a number of nights in a row? nope! I sure don’t. Will I learn what it is like in a matter of a few short months from now?
Gracious me, I hope so.
I suppose this is where the breakdown starts to occur for me. I have wanted those midnight feedings, fevers, tears, tired days, dirty diapers, diaper rashes, sore female areas, random leaking, did I mention lack of sleep? for far longer than I’ve been concerned about the toll that it will inevitably take on my body.
How are you feeling? has been asked of me numerous times over these last 6 1/2 months. It’s a beautiful question that I (mostly) always answer with “fine!”
Have I felt great every day of my pregnancy? No, not even a little bit. It’s still pretty hard to go to work most days, my back pain is ridiculous, the shortness of breath makes me feel far older than I would like, heartburn stinks…
but do I care? No, not even a little bit.
Then the labor stories come out. I just saw a work friend yesterday that just had her baby and she just gave me the “I’m not even going to tell you how awful it was because I don’t want to scare you talk…” I’ve heard this one a lot.
But the thing is…I’m not scared. Not for my sake at least. I do fear things for my tiny passenger, for sure. Is labor going to be hard and awful? Yeah, sure.
But you guys? I’m going to get to have a baby!!! so whatever else comes with it or what it means for me or any of that stuff is completely fine and all part of the deal, right?
Here are the things that I still struggle with in this pregnancy…
- that I’ll wake up one morning and this all won’t be real anymore
After you’ve had annual “I’m pregnant” dreams that seem far more real than real life, you know how it feels to realize that you’re still not.
After you’ve had to check on that later-than-expected monthly visitor over 10 or so times to just find out you’re a little “off” that month.
After you’ve sat through many a women’s conference, conversation, etc extolling the role of a mother without mentioning the infertile or the single ladies (who are fabulous) for the 17th time.
After you’ve talked with your “mom friends” who say careless things like “you wouldn’t get it”
After you’ve seen how your infertility affects everyone around you although they will never talk about that pain because they’re not as selfish as you are about it…husbands, friends, parents, siblings.
After you’ve heard “no” from the Lord when pleading for this for month after month. (and that “no” has given you a strength you never knew you had…)
After you’ve said good-bye to your first-born who you only ever saw on a screen…
The only thing I fear is that he won’t be here. I know the Lord would sustain us even through that, but I promise you…
the sleep training, the breast or bottle debate, the co-sleeping, the midwife vs. dr., the hospital vs. homebirth
I could absolutely care less.
I’m pregnant, in real life, for real.
How am I feeling?
Just fine, thanks.