I have been pondering how to put this into words.
This is SUCH a sensitive subject.
But I also believe in vulnerability, transparency, and being REAL with how life is, and the agency EACH person has to choose how they react and how they feel…. in essence, how they create their life.
This first trimester has been harder than the previous 4 I have had.
Not because of sickness. I have been sicker.
Not because of fatigue. That’s always been there.
Not because of my 4 other children, being children.
But because of my choice to be active in social media sharing a voice of truth, vulnerability, and learning to overcome struggle and take full responsibility for ALL your choices and stages in life. And then being willing to receive the criticism, hater messages, and victim messages, comments, and notes that are a by-product of speaking truth and being real with people.
To have been through an early miscarriage and to have been through infertility for YEARS, and to have have two close sisters lose infants in utero, and a few experience miscarriage, and to have had MANY friends experience struggle with infertility and miscarriage, I am no stranger to these sensitive issues.
I really DO know the pain and have seen and felt great loss.
And to get pregnant with slim chances, when at first I was really only “trying” out of duty to God… not even a real personal desire…. was EATING ME UP.
Why should I have this experience when so many others would be better?
Why am I worthy to have this child when so many others do not?
Why is this SO HARD for me? Why can’t I stop complaining and just be grateful? Why does my body struggle with pregnancy so BAD? Why do some women have 2 kids and never got sick and here I am on my 5th and every pregnancy was a struggle in some shape or form? Why? WHY? WHY!!?!?!?!?
The guilt I felt over many issues was taking its toll.
And I KNOW that I am not the only woman to have her thoughts run wild like this. Woman were MADE to have many thoughts, so that we could have children and be able to nurture them through all the stages of learning and growing. We HAVE to be able to juggle our thoughts and our days. Its a God given GIFT.
At the end of this trimester, I have learned some KEY things.
#1. This is all for MY GOOD. Not my friend. Not my sister. Not my neighbor. Not my mother. Not my mother in law. Not my sister-in-law. For my life, and my purpose and my goals and my dreams, this baby is for ME. This experience isn’t FOR anyone else, and it is not ABOUT anyone else. The guilt I feel to act or feel a certain way was for not for me. It was about outside sources.
#2. My body is going to do what it is going to do- so seize the moments! I cannot CHOOSE when it will be sick or well or energetic or fatigued. I have tried my hardest to find a good food and sleep balance, and it just didn’t happen yet. My wellness and fatigue is all over the freaking place! I can’t plan much. So— I have learned how to seize the moment REALLY WELL. When I feel my brain is clear, and my body feels like getting up….. I go ALL OUT. I clean something, do 2 days worth of work (cuz who knows what tomorrow will bring), and go out and do something fun and memory making with my family. Lately its been 1 day on, 1 day off. One day I can do just about anything with a little nap in there somewhere- and then the next day I am puking and my brain doesn’t function past survival. I am SO grateful I began this journey with a ship-shape body. SO SO grateful. My weight gain is ok, and my blood pressure and blood sugars are on point. I know this would be harder if those things were out of whack!
#3. Ask for help, and just be grateful that there are other awesome humans who aren’t pregnant and sick. 🙂 I HATE asking for help. It is like pulling teeth. And yet—- I’m learning that they usually need it as much as I do. Almost everyone that has helped me has told me in one way or another that they were grateful for the opportunity. I don’t analyze it or put words in their mouths (like I would have done in the past) and take it for truth and move on.
#4. Forgiveness for ME and letting GOD into the story. When I DO complain, and when it IS hard, and when my house is a wreck and my toddler has worn the same outfit for 3 days (and nights) and there is nothing but toast and sliced apples for dinner, I bless and release. My kids are learning to be patient. My kids are learning to serve. My kids are learning to be self sufficient. My husband is the bomb and has never been critical. He trusts that what I get done, is truly my best. And I can expect no more of myself. Self grace, and understanding that God is not going to feel sad about my house or apples or 3 day long outfits- He is going to feel sad if I feel sad, and He is going to bless me with thoughts and ideas and people and places that will fill mine and my families needs and edify me *IF* I let Him.
This is the biggest lesson of ALL that I get to RE-Learn.
You see…. for a long time God was this distant presence in my life. This being out there somewhere.
This Father from long ago that had created me, and my family, and was there if I prayed to Him.
That was it.
I am learning in the most profound way, that He is orchestrating people and places and opportunities FOR ME right now, that I don’t even know about! He is aware of my needs. He is aware that I am struggling. He is aware of my GOALS. He is aware of my hungry husband. He is aware of my rag tag kids. He is aware of my laundry. He is aware of my SOUL and what I NEED. If I will allow HIM to do His part, I can be edified and lifted and feel JOY daily. So many times I think *I* am the orchestrator for all the things that happen in my life. This is NOT what I mean, when I constantly am saying #createyourlife. No—- I react to things that happen in my life. Life is just going to go on, goals will come and go. People will come and go. But I CAN CHOOSE what I let in, and what I let out. I CAN CHOOSE how I feel and how I react and what I say. Creating your life, is CHOOSING “that good part.” Charity is that GOOD PART. Charity for ME. Not just charity for others. GOD has charity for ME. And I need to too.
I have gone on a tangent with this, I know.
But its like a light bulb went on in my brain today.
When I choose to have Charity for ME, I love me even when I am feeling sad. I love me, even when I complain that this pregnancy is hard. I love ME even when my goals are slow going. I love me, even when I make mistakes. God has already prepared a PLAN for me to say sorry, to repent, and be made whole. My Savior, Jesus Christ, has already carried this cross for me!
See how struggle is a gift? 😀
When we struggle, and step back to see what we LEARN, to gather the data from our short comings, we LEARN so much! We can see our lives literally taking shape! We can see – in the aftermath- the lessons and gifts we are attaining by going through harder times. By CHANGING.
I am So grateful for this gift. And I don’t feel bad anymore when I express the TRUTH—- that this pregnancy is HARD FOR ME. It is a STRUGGLE. I don’t ENJOY IT. God never said we had to ENJOY it. He just said we COULD DO IT! 🙂 And promised blessings and more JOY as we endure to the end. Sometimes I think, “pregnancy and motherhood aren’t for me.” And you know what? They do not come naturally to me. It IS a constant struggle. But I keep moving forward, with the faith that I WAS built for this and I do feel God’s hand in my life through it all. THAT is worth every moment!
So give yourself some self grace. ALLOW God to work His plan, and do YOUR PART. Remember the important things, and be excited you have them. STOP comparing to others or trying to please them. Live unapologetically with Charity.