Today, I went to a baby shower... I know... insert: stupid, stupid, stupid. What did I expect? I knew that there was going to be tons of baby stuff (which doesn't bother me), numerous pregnant women (who again, don't bother me) and babies (LOVE THEM! LOVE TO HOLD THEM!) What could go wrong? I had prepared myself for the typical baby shower things- even given my situation, these things don't bother me. I'm not upset with every pregnant woman I see or sad when I see a little baby that's not mine! I'm not grieving like that. Again, what could go wrong?!
My dear friend is due in October. She's going to be an amazing mom. She's kindhearted, fun-loving, tender, spontaneous, gentle, patient...(need I say more?) She's built to be a mama. Her child will be loved deeply, cuddled constantly, challenged regularly and exposed to millions of exciting adventures with his bike-riding, ice cream loving, rhubarb eating, children's book crazed mama! It was a beautiful shower with absolutely lovely women. We ate, played games (one of which i won on celebrity baby names... What!? I'm a name person!!!!) opened gifts and finished off the afternoon with key lime pie- my FAVORITE! I even got to hold the most beautiful little two week old baby. What a doll! We cuddled and I fed him- I just couldn't get enough of the little one!
What I didn't anticipate or prepare myself for were all the questions. Well-meaning, kind people asking me if we wanted kids, when we were going to have kids, do you have any kids? I even hesitated... do I say, "well, we are in the process of losing our first... or "no, no kids yet..." The looks on their faces would have made me cry (not a good idea at a happy baby shower). It was just hard and I had to hesitate and plan my words. I said, "none, yet... but soon, hopefully". No one there knew my situation except my friend (whose shower it was). The last thing I wanted to be was the crazy friend crying in the corner. I wanted to celebrate the new life inside her! I wanted to be there! I had makeup on and everything!!!
So, I held it together. By the time I left, I had a headache from holding it together but I didn't lose it. However, on my way out the door, a girl there announced to her friends that she was expecting. I knew she was already, I had guessed a week or so ago. She is due a week before I would have been. But, this is what got me, she pulled out her ultrasound pictures to show her friends and I could see from where I was standing what our baby should have looked like. It was all I could do to breathe on my way out the door. I lost it a bit in the car on the way home and now I just feel like I've been run over by a heavy truck. I hurt all over- but my spirit hurts the most.
I have no doubts that we'll have kids, none. My faith in God is not threatened or lessened when I have a sad day. I am not angry. I am just really jealous right now. I don't know how else to say that. I just am sad that I couldn't celebrate with my friends over beautiful baby-shaped ultrasound pictures. I'm so frustrated that I'm breaking out now and my hair is awful- flat and wierd and just ugly!!!!! (how come no one told me that would happen?) I'm sick of feeling sick- I didn't have morning sickness until I started to lose the baby, now I'm nauseous every evening. I'm disappointed that when we do get pregnant again, it won't be the first time everyone gets to hear that we're expecting- I've already told them in the cute celebratory way I always dreamed of (little personalized onesies to my parents and Abe). I'm grieving that the reality of that first exciting baby is lost.
I know that I am not alone. I know that aside from all the tokens of comfort that surround me from our loved ones, I have the greatest gift of all: the everlasting love of God. I also know that when we do add to our family, God's increased our cheering section exponentially. You've joined us on this journey for such a time as this. I know that you will cheer and yell, laugh and holler, maybe even cry a little when we share good news with you in the future. It seems like such a long way off but I have hope. God will provide- even for me in all my imperfections. I don't always make the best decisions (like going to a baby shower a week after finding out our baby's no longer alive) but I make them with the best of those I love in mind. I knew that my friend would be blessed today by women who love her and are excited for her. I wanted to be there to celebrate with her and celebrate we did!!! I knew she would be happy to see me. I just should have expected the tears that inevitably fell down my cheeks on the drive home.... so maybe instead of calling this post stupid, stupid, stupid... I should give myself grace and call it: a worthy try at normalcy.
At the risk of being repetitive, remember, we're okay. We SO DEEPLY appreciate your messages, kind words, prayers, cards, notes, etc. I look at them off and on and they bring smiles to my face and warm my heart. Thank you for thinking of us at a time like this. Please remember that our loss is so common- that someone next to you could be going through the same thing, or have lost a child at any stage, or have struggled for years with infertility. I wonder how many times I've innocently asked semi-strangers, do you have kids? Are you going to have kids? When are you going to have kids? I pray that I have not unwittingly caused them pain. I hope now that I will learn to think before I ask that simple question. Maybe it's not my business, maybe they're hurting like I am right now, then again, maybe not... I guess I'd just rather err on the side of saying too little, than too much. Or, truly, I'd rather be the type of person that someone could feel comfortable opening up to, and then in the middle of a baby shower, cry to and feel the love of God surround them with my human arms.
Pressed but not crushed,
Sarah and Abe
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. (Ps 145.18-19)
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
(Ps 32: 7)
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