Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Baby Doesn't Change Everything

Added note: this post was also written during the very sick days. It is a tad embarrassing, but it is a very honest portrayal and intimate look inside my heart. And the human heart, is rarely a pretty place.

We have all heard the saying, "A baby changes everything." Faith Hill wrote a Christmas song with this title. Side note - I could barely bring myself to listen to the words this past Christmas. It was just too painful. When you get pregnant, everyone tells you your life is about to change forever, in every way. And yes, a baby, a pregnancy, even just desire for a baby does change so much. But not everything changes.

So many times in life, we are so focused on looking ahead at what we want in life, from others, from God, etc... We think that when we get to that certain "happy place" we have been dreaming of e.g. best friends, marriage, dream job, awesome vacation, fun car, dream home, perfect little family, we will finally realize all we were meant to be, feel, and experience.

I recently saw on twitter that one of the many "Real Housewives of someplace or other" said something to the effect of "The grass is not always greener on the other side. Water the grass you have." So incredibly, if surprisingly, true. A good, and probably much more Christ centered follow-up comes from Jackie Kendall, in her book Lady in Waiting, “If Jesus wants you married (or, as I have added, to be a parent, have the perfect job, car, home etc...), He will orchestrate the encounter. You have nothing to fear except getting in His way and trying to ‘write the script’ rather than following His.”  

I will admit that in the last months leading up to conceiving our little miracle, I struggled to find joy in my day to day life, circumstances, and encounters. I have an amazingly wonderful family, the most fun and supportive husband a girl could ask for, a house over my head, a comfy bed, plenty of food, a paid off car, a pay check that comes in every two weeks without fail, good insurance, enough clothes and accessories to feel cute most of the time, and last but certainly not least - my relationship with, and therefore salvation from my Heavenly Father. It was the thing I hated most about our infertility. Yes, even more then the fact that we couldn't conceive. I despised that I had to fight for joy, despite my abundance of blessings. I got to the point I didn't feel worthy of pregnancy! If I couldn't find joy in my blessed life, what right did I have to have baby - something that is surely to be one of the most stressing, taxing, and exhausting experiences in life. If I couldn't be faithful with what I had already been given, why should I be given more? I knew I was not where I needed to be in my heart. Where thanksgiving and joy should have been, bitterness, critical thoughts, and cynicism had taken up a home. 

Then I got pregnant. I think all I just described was a huge part of why I felt so emotionally stunted during those first few days: I didn't feel worthy. I emailed news of our pregnancy to one of my favorite bloggers, Amy, who has been trying to conceive for years. I didn't want her to find out randomly on some social media outlet. Her amazing attitude and utter dependence on Jesus in her struggle has been a constant source of encouragement, as well as a challenge. To make matters worse, she had just undergone what would prove to be an unsuccessful fertility treatment, at nearly the same time we conceived. I told Amy how guilty I felt for being given such a gift, when so many others seemed so much more ready, and in such better places spiritually and emotionally. Part of her response really helped give me the freedom to take yet another step into joy. "What a blessing - and don't you DARE not enjoy it or feel unworthy. We are all unworthy!" 

However, I am ashamed to admit even though I did finally give myself permission to feel joy and thanksgiving, I was still disgustingly jealous. Sure, I had a baby growing inside my womb, a quiet and constant reminder of my Heavenly Father's unfailing love for me, but it had come way later then I wanted. I wanted to have a nearly 1 year old learning to run around the house by this point. To be thinking about baby #2. Beginning our adoption plans/timeline. Making friends with other young moms. You get the picture. I would get jealous when I would hear young mom's make plans for play dates or day time get-togethers, or see them out in public doing things with their kids. Pictures on facebook of my friend's babies growing up were hard to watch some days. I was still really nervous something was going to happen to the baby, and we would have to pick up the broken pieces of our hopes and dreams, and start all over again... if I could.

I was disgusted with myself, to say the least. I have plenty of sinful faults in my life, however, I have never been a jealous person. It is horrible! This "jealousy journey" has been such a great lesson though - just like the infertility. I prayed earnestly for this jealousy to be taken out of my heart. Of course, it didn't happen overnight. It is definitely a process. I decided to choose joy. Every morning, before I get out of bed, I rub my abdomen, smile, and thank Jesus for our miracle gift, and ask that I be a good steward of the gift for that day. Every time I feel that awful little green monster (jealousy)creep back into my heart or mind, my hand goes to my rapidly expanding tummy, and I utter/breathe prayers of praise and thanksgiving. If these awful thoughts are ignited by someone I know or love (by no fault of their own), I choose to pray for them and their little ones - that the hand on God remain on them, guide them, and protect them.

Am I 100% cured of this "disease"? No. But I am submitting to the treatment, and the prognosis is very good.:) For, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." And, I choose joy!


  1. I still struggle with that at times. My adorable nephew who I love more than anything is 18months old...and if we wouldn't have had problems TTC, we would have an 18 month old by now. I catch myself thinking about that all the time when he's around. *sigh* Working on being grateful for what God has given us...

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  3. Don't feel ashamed of your feelings. That's just what they are. They can be perfectly founded or a little on the illogical side. It doesn't make you any less of a Christian. HE understands. You may not know the reason He waited so long to give you your blessing, but eventually you will. 6 years ago in July I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I was devastated, heartbroken, mad! I can still remember the news that was on the day I walked in my front door after I was told my baby had died. (A man used his baby as a shield as he was being shot at.) I can't remember what happened to the baby, but I do remember thinking, "God, he has a kid and he doesn't care one bit about him/her. I would love my baby like nobody has ever done and you just took mine away. Why? What did I do wrong?" In my head, I knew He wasn't punishing me, but my heart was breaking. I was jealous of friends when they found out they were pregnant. I thought I was being punished for choices I had made. I couldn't see it then, but I understand now why God wanted my baby with him. I was in a horrible marriage. I won't go into details, but we never should've gotten married. Even though I know this and I know it was for the best, I still long for that baby. That ache was dulled when I had my daughter, but I still wonder what he/she would've been like. When I found out I was expecting my daughter, I wasn't married. We married soon after we found out, but I just knew God was going to take her away from me because I had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. I was a nervous wreck the entire pregnancy. The day she arrived healthy(8lb 8oz) was the best day of my life & my heart healed a little more. Our circumstances may be totally different, but I wanted you to know that I appreciate your honesty in this post.

  4. I am a new follower!!

    Congrats on your BFP!!! You have been blessed with a miracle, embrace it, be excited!!

    Great post! I wish more people were considerate!