This baby I’m growing inside of me still has 6+ weeks to go, and I feel like he’s running out of room. Every move he’s made today has been painful. And as we started closing in on my toddler’s bedtime, I wondered how many more times my tired body could bend over and pick her up tonight.
I picked her up one last time and carried her to her room where we began our bedtime routine. Every night, I stand next to her crib holding her on the front of my body, her head resting on my shoulder. I sway from side to side, sing Jesus Loves Me, and pray over her. But tonight…I didn’t have it in me. The weight of her ever-growing body was too much for my ever-growing belly to hold. I started to put her down in her crib, and she cried. She knew I was breaking routine. She wasn’t ready yet. What she didn’t know is how much her mama was hurting.
I pulled her back close to me and fought through the pain. To be honest, I didn’t want to hold her anymore. It was killing my stomach to hold her there. But she needed me. But me? I was uncomfortable and exhausted and just wanted to take off my Mama hat for the night.
And that’s when it hit me. Just like it does every single time. Like a ton of bricks being thrown at my gut, my mind is flooded with your faces, your words, and even your silence. There’s something I’ve been wanting to say to you for a long time, and I just haven’t known how to say it. But here is my best attempt at what my heart wants to say to your heart. You.
To the Woman who is waiting,
Every time I catch myself wanting to complain about motherhood, I think of you. I really do. Maybe it’s because you are my sister, and it hits close to home. Maybe it’s because ever since I got married and the idea of motherhood became more real to me, I started seeing you everywhere. Maybe it’s because ever since I had a baby of my own, I can’t imagine how you must feel waiting so eagerly to experience it for yourself. Or maybe it’s because you are some of my closest friends and I can practically hear your pain through your silence.
I hear people complain about how pregnancy is an inconvenience. I read Facebook statuses of expecting mothers complaining about the awful symptoms they’re facing. Heartburn, back pain, swelling, clothes that no longer fit. They just want it all to end. I hear the mom telling her story of how she found out she was pregnant with number three, four, or five and cried because she didn’t want anymore kids. This baby was a surprise, or even an “accident.” (But we all know that isn’t true.) I see the trendy shirts being sold online flaunting motherhood and all of it’s glory. I get it. Pregnancy is hard. It’s tempting to complain. It’s part of our human (selfish) nature. I’m guilty myself.
But I also see you.
The woman who would give anything to “suffer” through those symptoms. The woman who would gladly take the “unwanted” baby and love her with all she has. The woman who dreams of the day she can proudly wear that Mom shirt. The woman whose heart is stung once again every time she finds out yet another friend is expecting. The woman who has been told her body is “broken.” The woman who has experienced both the joy of finding out she is growing a human being inside of her and the unexplainable heartache of finding out that precious life is gone.
Sister, my heart hurts for you. I really, really mean that.
On behalf of moms all over the world, can I apologize?
I’m sorry for complaining to you about losing sleep at night because of the baby without considering that you yourself are losing sleep at night wishing you had a baby to tend to at 2am.
I’m sorry for the insensitive comments I’ve made like, “You wouldn’t understand. You’re not a mom.” or “Be glad you don’t have kids yet.” Because the truth that I’m not recognizing is that you want nothing more than to be a mommy.
I’m sorry for asking, “When are you going to have a baby already?” without even realizing what a struggle you’re facing and how painful it is to hear that question over and over and over.
Infertility and miscarriages are two things I will never understand. Both break my heart into pieces. It’s simply not fair that babies are born every single day to mothers who are too selfish to love and care for them, yet millions of deserving women around the world would give up everything they have to just have a baby to call their own, a human life to nurture, a child to raise.
I wish I had the answers for you. I wish I had the power to change your circumstance. I wish there was more I could do for you. But the reality is…I don’t. And there’s not. I won’t sit here and pretend I can explain why you’re facing what you’re facing. I won’t take up more of your time saying things you’ve already heard many times before. While they’re meaningful and true, I know you sometimes get tired of hearing things like, “Trust God’s timing.” and “Have faith, keep praying.” and “Believe God for healing.” You already know to do those things, but doesn’t everyone get that they’re much easier said than done?
I would guess that every once in a while, you just want someone to say, “I’m sorry.” So that’s what I want to say to you today.
Sister, I’m sorry. I see you, and I’m sorry.
Not only do I see you, but God sees you too.
You are seen.
You are heard.
You are understood.
By the God who knit you together and created you perfectly.