You know when some things just start to get under your skin?
Lately, I am surrounded by pregnant people, or news of pregnant people-- and no, that's not what gets under my skin :). As I toss and turn with alternate bouts of grief, worry, and hopeful expectation for the future, I'm so fortunate that I am not wrecked and aching with jealousy... though I would be lying if I didn't admit that there is a strong longing that gets stirred up when I think about pregnancy. I know that the Lord has His eye on me. I'm trusting Him for another shot at this baby thing.
No, the thing that gets under my skin is the complaining. I mean, hardcore, "I hate being pregnant, this is so awful, get it out of me" at-three-months-along pregnant complaining.
How about this one: "I hate being pregnant and all of the crap that comes with it. Dear God, this is way worse than I anticipated."
People, as the saying goes, don't know what they've got til it's gone.
Granted, I had a pretty good pregnancy. I was tired like crazy and nauseated the entire first trimester, but it really was an uneventful pregnancy as far as discomfort goes.
Or maybe it was uncomfortable but I was just too blissed out to really complain.
Or maybe I just felt so fortunate to be pregnant...
The nurses at my doctor/midwife's office could tell you that this is the truth. They counselled me through worrying, but I was always happy. Happy to be carrying this baby. Happy that he was healthy. Happy that I was healthy. Happy to be gestating. Happy to be getting ready to be a mother. Happy to get the chance. Surprised and happy. Maybe I didn't feel great all the time, but what's new? It's uncomfortable. You're making a person. That takes time and energy. It's inconvenient.
But that baby in there... sigh. Happiness.
I know what you're thinking: Hindsight and all. But no-- you can read my blogs from the pregnancy. I was honestly not complaining. I was the recipient of the unexpected favor of the Lord and was not about to jinx it by murmuring and complaining.
Remember what happened to the murmurers and complainers of the Old Testament? In the words of Keith Green, "the ground opened up and had some of them for lunch" (Numbers 11:1; 16; 26).
Here's my point: far be it from me to tell you what to do, but consider the countless women who are grieving about pregnancy in some way. Perhaps they cannot get pregnant. Perhaps they cannot stay pregnant. Perhaps they are beyond baby-making years and never had the opportunity to try. Perhaps, like me and many of my friends in this community, they made babies and never had the chance to nurse or raise them. Count yourself blessed with every kick to the liver. Count yourself blessed and praise God for every ache-- you are working toward a gift that does not have measure.
I think of it now, almost every time I visit the restroom at my school. I remember that I felt like I lived in that restroom last school year. And I remember laughing as I practically ran the final steps more than once... and for the millionth time, I scratch my head and look at the sky and ask, "Why?" I didn't complain. I loved being pregnant. I was so stinking grateful. Why my son? Why did this pregnancy end so sadly? I didn't complain, Father-- I didn't whine. I was good. Why?
I know somehow that it's not about that. I still wonder, though.
I don't resent my pregnant friends, and I don't begrudge them the right to complain-- honestly, if there is a list of legitimate times in life when you have plenty to complain about, I'm sure pregnancy is at the top of it. I just... I guess that aching thing in me wants to shake them and make them know how lucky they are. To make them feel the emptiness, for just a second, that they could be feeling... see if they would trade it for their current back pain and sleep loss.
But honestly, I'm sure these pregnant women do know it-- they wouldn't trade the pregnancy for anything and they love those unborn boogers who are bouncing away on their bladders, and it's harmless, really-- but for those of us who are longing to receive such abuse again...
it's really hard to sympathize with you.
In many ways, it's like hearing a rich man whine about how heavy his wallet is.
I would love to carry such a burden.
Really. I would.