I think this is what I get for trying to post something quickly. I appreciate your comments on yesterday’s post and through them I realized how incomplete the thought was I wrote about. I realized it was when I wrote it, but hoped maybe it could stand on its own still just to get me pressing “publish” again. But I guess this way works too, as it speeds up my follow-up post :)
I can’t find the right word to describe my feelings yesterday, but I settled on guilt. Really, I doubt that’s the right word and I know its far more complicated, so I’ll try to delve into it here. Please preemptively forgive my rambling. And if you do read, please try to stick through to the end, I promise I don’t gush the whole time.
All I knew in those first few weeks was I was using words like surreal, unbelievable, and shocked to describe what it was like to find out about this pregnancy. While I still look down and feel a tiny kick and wonder, how did this amazing thing happen?, I felt like I had been the poorest person in the world and just won the largest lottery pool ever, with no strings attached. As stupid as that sounds, that’s literally no exaggeration. Sure, I was worried about miscarriage, but it was like all I could do was stand there with my hands shaking in front of my face and my eyes bugged out, just shocked for a good, oh, until just a few weeks ago when I realized this baby is sticking around so we should probably start planning things. But this huge burden that has been dragging me down for these years? Completely lifted. My life would change forever by this abstract baby growing in my belly (abstract in the sense that it was still 9 months away and unknown to the outside world).
It already changed everything. Literally, everything.
This was not like I got a new job, this was a new life, a new purpose, a new everything. Our financial situation hasn’t been an issue, but my mood? Instantaneously better. My husband is shocked at who I am now and how, despite my fears that HCG make me crazy, I really think it was just not conceiving with HCG. As in, not conceiving was making me crazy. He says I’m more calm than ever. Our disagreements have dramatically reduced and its like we’re joyful newlyweds again, all the time.
I wish I could lie to those of you still waiting and say, Oh, its not really that great. Its overrated and you’re just being impatient. It won’t really fix everything. But I’d be lying through my teeth*. Even despite these moments of worry, this is better than I ever thought it could be. I know, this is probably not what you want to hear, but it just hammered home how not conceiving is such suffering precisely because it is such an absence of an innate good. While not every pregnancy is an ideal situation, every child is still a miracle. And that is was every woman and couple struggling to conceieve knows with every fiber of her being and that’s precisely why it hurts so much to get passed over. I don’t need to tell you this.
What I am surprised about is how much just that thought makes me crumble when I think about those still waiting. How something so seemingly simple and unearned can literally change my whole outlook on life. How big of an impact it had on all aspects of my life…but that I did nothing to deserve and was never in the position to choose this. There have literally been nights when my husband has come home to find me bawling on the couch just thinking about women that can never have children, never have this joy I feel just at the potential and the life growing inside my womb. Not in a pity way but in a profound, this would be horrible to miss out on way. An everyone who desires this should have this way. Now that I’ve felt this joy, that pain feels so, so much deeper. What’s more is I feel that all pregnant women know this in their hearts but its so powerful and sad that they literally cannot think about it without loosing it. I’ve had pregnant women tell me that before “Oh, I just can’t even think about sad things or I’ll start crying.” Maybe its the ability to feel the world’s pain more precisely, since you start to care for someone else so deeply, but it is so real. [And it makes all those women who don't sympathize with women who don't conceieve seem like such a foreign thing...it makes me conclude they are the people who just don't think deeply about things.] And I remember how I was there, I was just there, just moments before this. The emotions so perfectly juxtaposed made it an even more emotional time. Suffering alongside for so long and it was like I just got plucked out of the abyss for absolutely no earthly reason to experience such a glorious thing. But that others weren’t. The fact that others may never get this literally breaks my heart. And I know from being there that there is so little I can do to help them, that although I can try to help them carry a little bit of their cross, it ultimately rests on their shoulders. It’s heartbreaking.
We talk of an island but in my mind its more like an arcade game in Toy Story, where the claw chooses the little toys out of the game machine. One little guy at random. “The claw has choosen. Farewell my friends, I go onto a better place.”
I think those tears look like guilt. Those tears in Mass when I hear that song and those tears that my husband has unfortunately not escaped, despite this miracle pregnancy. Maybe they seem like guilt, in the “Why me and not them?” way or “Why did I behave so poorly”. But I think its different than that. Maybe more like, how did I possibly make it through that? How could it really be that this was the only thing that could have had this result, that could have brought this incredible joy that was so pointedly missing?** I realize how profound this life event is, this pregnancy. That it was the answer to many prayers, only a few of which were my own. And I know now with a real sense of urgency how important those prayers are that come from others and how I feel so indebted to remember that always and pay it forward. I’m almost positive it was those that lifted me up and helped me go on and dare I say, followed this baby into fruition.
I was concerned to write this for fear of only adding to your pain. But please know I have committed to praying by name for every couple trying to conceive that I know, in person and through the internet ever since this last week in August. Prayers for peace and comfort and God’s presence and most of all, a child to love and raise in faith. If you’ve left a comment or even if you haven’t and I just read your blog, I pray for you.
*(except for financial situations…no matter how longed for babies will not fix that…)
**While we did not adopt and I can’t be certain, I imagine the feelings after adoption are very, very similar although still different. They are like two possible solutions that have the ability to wipe away all the pain of longing for a child, but I’ll leave that to someone who has been there.
***If you’d ever like to email me your real name, sometimes I feel funny asking God to pray for “FMTP” or “misfit”…just saying. I’m sure He knows you anyway :)