Dear Pregnant Mama,
I saw you at church the other week. You sat with your belly blossoming in all its third-trimester glory and I couldn’t help but sneak peeks at you. You may have wondered if there was something on your shirt, some snot residue left over from your toddler with the nose cold. But it wasn’t you I was staring at, it was me.
I miscarried a baby last December. Eleven weeks along, I was fully expecting to be in your shoes this time of year. I didn’t expect to be sitting here, aching hearted and empty-wombed. Looking at you, I see my hopes and dreams. I see everything that I cannot yet have but so desperately wish for. And as painful as it is for me to admit, it still hurts to look at you.
It’s not that I’m not happy for you. I am so thrilled to see that little life stretching and growing from week to week. I loved your Facebook announcement, and the mid-pregnancy, black and white ultrasound photos. I liked your gender-reveal photos with red hearts and smiley faces and commented on how excited I am for you – because I genuinely am. Knowing that each and every pregnancy is a miracle, I will pray for health and strength. I will watch with awe as the weekly belly bump photos spread across your Instagram page. I will not unfollow you. I want to share this with you. My grief does not prevent me from feeling happy for you, but I cannot deny that these pictures trigger brief moments of pain.
So if you see me glance your way with tears in my eyes, it’s not you. It’s me. I try hard to fight past my envy and grief to see you: a beautiful, glowing mama who’s had her own trials and tribulations. I know that you’ve experienced loss of your own, or that perhaps one day you will. I know that your pregnancy hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows and that you’re fighting your own fears and insecurity. I want to hear about this; I want to stand beside you throughout the beautiful adventure that you’re on.
I’m on a beautiful adventure of my own – just one with an entirely different sort of view. This road called motherhood is no easy walk, and four consecutive losses have worn me down. This is the grief I am currently battling – this quest for peace amidst pain. It’s difficult, but I am making a conscious, daily decision to prayerfully seek joy through the grief.
So if you see the sorrow etched across my face when you mention your due date or your recent pregnancy woes, please know that it’s not you. I too am learning to find contentment in this season of waiting. I am impatient and eager to move forward, but do not want to miss the moments and treasures that this journey currently holds. There is such great joy to be found when the feelings of longing mix with the steady reassurance that today is held in the hands of God.
For now, you will wait for your sweet babe, and I will wait for answers; and instead of looking for fulfillment in tomorrow, together, we can seek peace in today.
Much love to you, from,
A Grieving Mama