100 Days: Jealousy and Guilt

This is part of my series 100 Days: Waiting for a Rainbow. 

 

Before this pregnancy, I had many days where I would sadly look away from happily expectant mothers or large families with rambunctious toddlers and happy babies. I’m not ashamed to admit I was jealous; it’s a simple fact. I felt there was this very special club from which I’d been excluded. While I tried to not let this jealously affect how I interacted with those around me, I’m certain there were times it must have shown clearly on my face the hurt and anger I felt at being left out.

While I still have moments of jealousy when I see large families or happy moms with no hint of fear or sadness about their pregnancies, by and large I’ve come to a place of acceptance. My life is exactly as God has ordained it to be, and there is only harm in wishing I had someone else’s life.

I am, however, particularly sensitive to the fact that my ever expanding belly, my huffing and puffing, my sore back and my hopeful eyes ogling all the baby goods must stir strong emotions of jealousy and resentment for some women. After all, I know the pain of wishing for a child and having none.

I was recently at a garage sale where the funds for the items sold were to help a family in our church raise money for an adoption. As I stood there with a miniature penguin sweatsuit and a shirt with a firetruck driving around the middle of it, I felt this deep pang of guilt. I asked how the adoption process was going, and whether they were hoping to adopt domestically or internationally. At one point this sweet young woman blurted out, with a touch of sadness in her voice,  “I need a baby!”

I felt so guilty for the little thumps I was feeling just below my bellybutton, for my penguin waddle and the hope I had of knowing (God willing) when this baby will be a part of our lives. I knew exactly what she meant. I know the feeling so intimately. The feeling that the house is too quiet, my arms are too empty, the future too dull. But I can’t imagine the pain of  being unable to have a child of my own, and the pain of waiting years in hope that maybe… just maybe… this time…

Having a baby is no easy task. Having a rainbow baby is far more difficult. But the path of fertility treatments, surrogates and adoption is perhaps the most difficult of all.

So as I waddle through my day, hopefully aware of Squishy thumping my insides, I can’t help but notice the hurt or angry eyes. At the grocery. On the street. Sitting in church. I know these dear, aching hearts are dodging my Facebook posts, avoiding my eyes, and feeling guilty about it. And for a moment, I can’t help wishing I could suck my tummy in, or hide in a giant sweatshirt, and spare them the pain I know they feel.

Instead, I whisper a prayer of gratitude. I thank God for this precious little Squishy, for the hope of the future. And I ask that these walking wounded around me would be comforted. That, in God’s time, their arms would be filled and their hearts soothed.

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