Monday, September 10, 2012

Forgiving Myself

One of the most precious gifts that Samuel has given me is perspective.  I've experienced what it's like to have a child with special needs.  I know what it's like to lose a pregnancy and to feel betrayed by my own body.  I've watched and waited, hoped and prayed.  I've cried like never before.  I know to appreciate the little things and to REJOICE in the big things.  I've felt angry, hurt, frustrated, scared, thankful, and excited....simultaneously.  And I've had some tough conversations with God.

After all of that, I'm still gaining perspective.  That's the great thing about life isn't it?  Each new experience we have brings us one step closer to understanding someone else...or ourselves.

This new little sweet pea of ours is already teaching me things.  Over the last couple of months, I've become familiar with every pregnancy symptom imaginable.  And, as strange as it sounds, I'm really grateful for that.  After fifteen months of researching the possibility of another pregnancy, and half that time trying, I've had a very very small glimpse of how heartbreaking it is to have to be patient for something that comes so easily to others.  Precious, precious insight.

But perhaps the most cherished insight I've gained through this pregnancy is about myself.

I'll never be able to explain the guilt I've felt over Samuel's early birth.  I've replayed the days leading up to his delivery a thousand times in my head.  "I wish I had paid attention to my body."  "I wish I had gone into the emergency room sooner."  "How did I not KNOW?!?"  It's been so easy to beat myself up.

But I've been given some treasured gifts recently....heartburn, round ligament pain, an expanding uterus, morning sickness, etc.  What I had forgotten so quickly after Samuel's birth is that pregnancy isn't always comfortable, and as a first time mom, it was SO easy to dismiss those contractions as just another pregnancy pain.

And that my friends, is a pretty big revelation to me.  It means that after two years, I'm finally forgiving myself.

So bring on the heartburn, the nausea, the big belly, and the swollen ankles!!!!  You won't find another pregnant woman happier about it!


  1. So good to hear you say this!!! Love and prayers honey...and by the way, you looked beautiful Sunday!!

  2. oh. my. gosh!!!! I think I missed the announcement post (ha - these days, my mind is elsewhere so please ignore me if the congratulations are redundant)!! I'm so very genuinely excited for you and your family!!! very very VERY best wishes for the longest, most boring and insanely mundane pregnancy ever!!!!! may every single days bring many smiles and precious moments. you can do this.

  3. That guilt thing is soooo hard to deal with. I think I'm slowly letting it go. Sorry you are so uncomfortable but glad to hear you have gained new perspective for the uncomfortable state of pregnancy. It makes me crazy to read all the comments about people being miserably pregnant on Facebook when I want to just say, "It could be a lot worse - you have no idea." Congrats again and I hope sweet pea eases up on you soon.

  4. A family member just gave birth to a premie 24 weeks, and mentioned she wanted to start a blog. I found your 9 minute youtube video and then this site, which I have spent the morning reading. Thank you for sharing so deeply your story and your faith. It has been a real encouragement and education. It helped me learn things and not disturb the immediate family with questions. And it showed me much of the future for prayer. Thank you for your faithfulness. Congratulations on the sweet pea.

  5. I think it is easier to "forgive" myself the further out things get. I didn't have a premie but my daughter was born (just over a year ago) with congenital heart defects that put her into heart failure and she had open heart surgery five months ago today. Many many many doctors and nurses have all made a point of saying "nothing you did caused this." They know the guilt we put on ourselves ;) And yet, when people find out that things didn't go quite right, whether it be an earlier birth or a defect, so many ask "what did you do?" Not everyone but enough to be utterly discouraging and draining as you deal with your own internal "what ifs" and the automatic assumption that it must have somehow been your fault.

    For me, time gives confidence :) When people ask me what I did to cause my daughter's condition, I can honestly say "ABSOLUTELY NOTHING." Sometimes these things happen and what we do or do not do isn't going to affect it. I thank God for her every moment of the day and we push through everything thrown at us and we ignore the people who want to cast blame ;)