Lately I have been struggling with feelings of guilt. Many days it is like I am wearing this heavy cloak of guilt that is keeping me from truly enjoying the blessings that God has so graciously bestowed upon us. I am hoping that maybe by getting some of it out I will be able to let go of some of the guilt and more fully embrace the blessings of each day.
I feel my baby girl (still feels weird to say) moving and dancing within me and I wonder what on earth I did to deserve to be blessed like this. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that God has once again chosen to trust me with one of his children. I have had the privilege to be the mommy to not one but five of his precious ones, and believe me it is not a job I take lightly. I know that there are many women out there that may never get the opportunity to experience the miracle of being pregnant. I often find myself wondering why God continues to bless us. We surely don't deserve it. I can't help but feel guilty that we get to experience all of this a fifth time while some struggle and yearn for children and that prayer is never answered.
I vividly remember what it was like to have my body and heart reeling from the loss of my baby only to be surrounded by happy pregnant moms, they were EVERYWHERE. Not that I wasn't happy for each of them, but it brought up a tinge of sadness and jealousy, I remember feeling guilty for feeling that way, and now I feel guilty that I am the pregnant one while other moms are still reeling from their own loss or anticipating one. I have said a thousand times that the incredible joy that comes with being pregnant again does not in any way change the sorrow I hold in my heart from losing Isaac and Asher, but I know that when you are on the outside looking in, you can't see the paradox and how difficult it is.
I am now 26 weeks along and as you know, my body tends to act more as a convection oven rather than a conventional one. Each of the boys were a few weeks early. This little one may be the one to keep us waiting or she may arrive early just as her brothers did, either way it is getting more and more difficult not to look ahead. Somewhere between 10 and 14 weeks from now we will get to meet this new little blessing and we pray that we are able to bring her home. Along with that prayer comes a little panic. No project in this house gets done quickly. I am the type who agonizes over just the right paint color for WEEKS before being able to actually take the step and the other details are no easier.
Monday night, while I was working, Howard cleared out the nursery that once was Benjamin's and began removing the wall paper border and preparing the walls for a fresh coat of paint. When I heard the commotion I knew just what he was doing. I would be lying if I said my heart did not sink when I realized that he was clearing out the "baby boy" to make room for the "baby girl". I have just repeatedly stacked things in that empty room and kept the door shut. I have been putting off the inevitable. Not because I am not excited that we have reason to prepare that room again, but because I vividly remember coming home after having Isaac.
We had no idea anything was wrong with Isaac until the day he was born. I had experienced 37 weeks of a healthy uneventful pregnancy when the bottom dropped out. Our home was prepared for our new son and coming home without him to a home that was fully prepared for him was the closest thing I can imagine to Hell on earth.
There has been comfort in having all boys thus far. We have had all of the boy stuff we could need and that has allowed for preparing at the last moment. We waited quite a while before preparing a room for Benjamin, knowing that we had all of the necessities. With Asher, we knew the reality was very likely that he would not come home with us, but we knew if God granted us the miracle we so desperately prayed for, that all of those necessities were just downstairs and could be brought up in a moment.
This time, I feel God calling me to once again step out of my comfort zone. The girl thing, while exciting has stretched me our side of that zone to say the least. He has really been doing a "new thing" in every sense of the word in our lives. I know that in all honesty this baby could come home, sleep in a cleaned out drawer and have a happy life even if the house is not "prepared" for her, but my body is in that "nesting" mode and I feel the need to clear everything out and make room for her.
I need to get up each morning and remind myself of the NEW thing God is doing in my life. Not to leave my grief behind necessarily but to pick it up and carry it along with me without fear, embracing the joy of today. More than anything I wish for the blissful ignorance of my first pregnancy, where mommies get pregnant and babies live. My reality is different now. In some ways I do miss that "ignorance" and in some ways I am equally thankful for my new perspective, knowing that each DAY is a gift, and that we are not ever promised a tomorrow. I have been holding back, trying to protect my heart. I have given birth to four sweet boys and had to say good bye to TWO of them much too soon. They have taught me so much about life and love. I am so thankful for them and the gifts they have given to me.
The thing is that I know all too well that sometimes babies die, I also know that walking the road of loss once does not exempt you from walking it again. Sometimes we pray harder than we have ever prayed only to find that our prayers were not within God's will. It hurts. I am wounded, still walking with a limp. Still trying to figure out how to live a life balancing grief and joy. I surely don't have this figured out. I want to embrace the idea of bringing a healthy baby home and getting to raise her, and yet my reality keeps reminding me that sometimes that is not what happens. I feel guilty for not embracing the idea that she will come home and for guarding my heart, and yet guilty if I forget the lessons I have learned and don't just embrace today no matter what tomorrow brings.
Thoughts of Hope
4 hours ago