Oh, where do I even begin on this post? I’ve been putting it off for some time now, but feel like God is really tugging at my heart to share. This certainly isn’t going to be easy for me, so please just remember I’m a real person with real feelings; I would never expect you to agree with me or support my feelings but I do hope that you respect my feelings and my family enough to be kind!
I know we’ve all felt that emotion before. I’m rounding out my 28th week of pregnancy as I’m writing this, and it’s taken me exactly 4 weeks to work through my feelings of disappointment, give it to God and ultimately find JOY in current situations. I do feel like so many feelings/emotions are heightened during these months of pregnancy. I mean, the HORMONES, but I do know that I would have felt the same feelings (maybe not to the same extent) had I not been pregnant.
If you know me at all, you know that I am a PLANNER. A planner to the max. Type A. Perfectionist. I’ve had to let quite a bit of this go and become more flexible in my latter years of life due to…well…KIDS, but I’m still a planner. I also LOVE surprises but no one (rarely) can actually surprise me. In fact, I think I’ve had one or two true surprises in my whole life because I always figure it out before the surprise happens. I am intuitive and definitely can tell when something fishy is going on.
Anyway, THIS PREGNANCY was supposed to be my one true surprise in my life. I planned to be surprised. I planned and waited to find out what the gender was going to be because it was truly the ONE surprise that I could have in my life. Not only is this the one surprise, but this was my last chance to get it. As soon as we found out we were pregnant, I told my husband I wanted to do a surprise gender baby and find out at birth. I wanted a stress-free pregnancy where we didn’t argue about names, if it was a girl/boy, I didn’t want to worry about planning the perfect nursery or answering to anyone about gender, names, etc (if I had a dollar for every time someone asked, “Oh, are yall trying for a boy? Do you hope it’s a boy?”….I’d be rich.) Also, after losing a baby through miscarriage a couple of years ago, I felt like this was a special way to celebrate this pregnancy differently.
I just wanted to enjoy my last pregnancy and have my one true surprise in life. My husband, on the other hand, was very hesitant to not find out the gender. We made an agreement that we wouldn’t find out and that we would be surprised….until week 12 came along and the blood work came back with the gender. I was still having the longing feeling of wanting that biggest surprise of my life and share in that special moment of the baby coming out and him announcing to me what it is! I dreamed of the moment. He, however, didn’t have those feelings. In fact, his feelings were the complete opposite. He felt that he was going to be wishing for one gender or the other the entire time and either have disappointment or regret when the baby was here. I started to feel guilty and selfish that I was keeping him from knowing that, since it was MY decision after all. I felt like I owed it to him to let HIM and HIM ALONE know the gender and then I could still get my surprise and easy-stress-free-pregnancy. I thought if anyone could do this and him know while I not knowing; it would be us.
We went through the next few weeks of pregnancy fairly seamlessly. It had really shaped up to be the easiest pregnancy yet! I wondered about the baby so often and prayed for her/him constantly. I practiced a LOT of will power not to find out at the sonograms that I had seeing the little face. You’re always wondering what’s in there and what she/he will look like, but I wanted the surprise more than I wanted to give in to knowing. After all, I wanted a BABY not a certain gender. I wanted a healthy baby no matter if it was a boy or a girl. I wanted everyone else to want that too.
Here is where the major disappointment set in.
We didn’t do it. We weren’t able to make it to the delivery to get my surprise! I was devastated, to say the least. I had focused so much on that moment of finding out what I had been carrying for all of these months that I lost sight of what truly mattered; that the baby is healthy. That my husband cared enough to really want to know and bond with what is growing inside of me. My surprise was ruined and I felt like I had something taken away from me that no one could give me back. I felt violated. I felt betrayed. I was completely broken.
I don’t really want to get into the details of how I found out what we were having, because it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t how any mom wants to be told what they’ve been carrying for months. Not only did I not get my surprise that I had been longing for, but I didn’t get to share in that special moment with just my husband or my family. It was more than overwhelming to deal with, being 24 weeks pregnant. But again, in my feelings of disappointment…in the back of my mind I just wanted to get over it and find my joy. I wanted to get passed the fantasy that I had in my head, truly let it go and truly enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. I wanted to….but getting over hurt is easier said than done.
Many tears were shed. Many, many tears and feelings shared. It was hard. I had so many feelings to work through; the most of them all being disappointment. For the next few weeks, I felt like I was lying. Lying to myself that I deserved to have that surprise and trusted that it would go according to plan. Lying to my family when I told them that so many people knew before they did. Lying to all of you…because we weren’t supposed to find out. I had PLANNED it. Through it all, even the disappointment and the less than ideal circumstances, God kept telling me HE is in control. HE is my joy. HE is my comfort. HE had my best interests at the fore-front even when it didn’t seem that way.
Finding my JOY
Throughout all of the emotions that I went through, I knew that I had to get over it. I knew that I should be so thankful for a HEALTHY baby and it’s not the end of the world that I found out in a way that wasn’t planned. I knew that it was time to give it to God and let it go. I can finally say all of these things without crying and without having to say I’m still processing what just happened. It’s taken me a good 4 weeks to be able to talk about it and find my JOY again.
This may sound like something small and silly to some of you, and that’s okay; but to me it was a big deal. It was a big part of my pregnancy that changed in a split second. While knowing that there could be SO many things that could have gone WAY worse than this, I felt guilty for even feeling bad about the circumstances. I felt guilty for being heartbroken about what happened because there are so many women that get worse news given to them about their babies. I felt guilty for even having ill feelings. But to be honest, I did. I felt terrible and broken. And to be even more honest, that’s okay. It’s okay to FEEL what you feel. It’s okay to process when something goes wrong because GOD CARES if you care. Not only does he care, but He wants to take all of your cares and burdens and take them away for you. He kept telling me to lay them at His feet, and it took me weeks to be obedient and do that. It took me weeks to realize that I was trying to carry all of these feelings alone and it was making me miserable.
Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
JOY is something that I’ve never taken for granted. I’ve always prayed away negative feelings and felt like I didn’t ever let them eat me alive like I did this. Looking back to those first few days, I wish I would have processed it and given it to God more quickly, but I learned through it all. Life is all about learning through whatever circumstances that are thrown your way. No matter how BIG or LITTLE each of the circumstances are; God is right there with you just waiting for you to lay your burdens and worries at his feet. No worry is too small. No burden is too big for Him to handle. I can share that confidently knowing that while this wasn’t a life-changing circumstance, He STILL delivered me from feeling held captive by hurt. NO worry is too small.
Although I didn’t find out and get to share in that special reveal, I do have JOY that the baby is healthy. I do have joy that I AM pregnant and carrying this baby. I am SO thankful for this sweet little thing and I cannot wait to meet the final puzzle piece to complete our little family!
We haven’t decided whether we plan to share the news of the baby’s gender publicly before birth yet, but I will keep you all updated on what we decide. I’m still just trying to process and enjoy these last few weeks of being pregnant and also soaking in the last few weeks with just my big girls.
Life doesn’t always go as planned. Plans don’t always play out as anticipated. Disappointment is real, but God’s JOY is greater than it all.
“No matter what you go through in life, no matter how many disappointments you suffer, your value in God’s eyes always remains the same. You will always be the apple of His eye. He will never give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself.” -Joel Osteen
I shared this today, not because I felt like I owed it to all of you to tell you what has happened, but because God laid it on my heart. I know that while this space is a small piece of my life, God uses it. He uses it in ways that sometimes I don’t even know or realize until months later. I know that if just one person is touched, reached, encouraged, changed, challenged or saved by grace through something that I’ve shared; my job is worth it. Thank you for sharing in our lives, sharing in triumphs and praying with me through hard days. I am truly thankful that I am able to share and while it’s tough to be vulnerable and write the hard stuff, it’s those times that seems to bless us the most.