The first time I found out I was pregnant I was terrified. I didn’t feel like I was at all ready to be somebody’s mother. The second time I found out I was pregnant, I was just as terrified, but this time it was because I now had a baby already and I was nervous to bring another into this world.
But then, after sharing our news with our loved ones, I began to realize just how lucky we are. These pregnancies both came easy for us. We didn’t have to chart fertility cycles or go on intensive treatments. We didn’t have to pray fervently to be blessed with babies. We just were. Like my mom used to joke, I just sneeze and I’m pregnant! Ha. Not to say we didn’t want these babies or pray for them, but it hasn’t been a big ordeal. And lately more and more I’m realizing how painstaking of a process it is for so many.
One person in particular came out recently and told me that she has been trying for years- years– for a baby. She has prayed and hoped and dreamed of this baby, and yet, nothing. She told me she has just begun to look into fertility treatments, but she’s scared. She’s scared of the needles and the hormones and the schedules, but mostly, she’s scared of the resentment that can come from it all; resentment toward her husband, resentment toward her own body, resentment even toward that possible baby.
And as much as I can never say I know how she feels, I can feel empathy. I can feel compassion. And thus, when I found out I was pregnant again, I was at once nervous, excited and overcome with guilt: guilt because this came so easily for us. Guilt because it doesn’t come easily for many- including those I love so dearly. And as I’m celebrating this new life growing inside of me, I’m also walking the fine line of making sure not to over-celebrate. I don’t ever want to hurt anyone. I don’t ever want to come off as boasting or prideful or insensitive.
So how do I get over this guilt that I’m feeling? I accept that this is a miracle bestowed upon me. I thank my lucky stars for this new life every day. And I remember that even though it is hard for some, it doesn’t make it impossible for them to be happy for me. In fact, when I carefully told this particular friend of mine that I was pregnant, after being so nervous to do so, I was greeted with genuine excitement. She really was happy for me! Regardless of her own pain, she celebrated in my joy. And that meant more to me than I could ever put into words.
So maybe the key is to celebrate together in our joy, and commiserate with one another in our pain. And the only thing I can do is to be the best mother I can to the children I am blessed with, and to never take this role for granted.