Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guilty

Dreaming of better days
{Photo Credit }
I’m the oldest daughter in a Polish Catholic family and a mom. Guilt is something I know and feel deeply. Daily. Guilt has been manifesting itself in new ways after the ups and downs of this year. At times it is like a weird form of survivor guilt. Not that I survived and my baby didn’t, but that I even had the chance to loose a baby when others don’t even get that far along. (Right now my husband is rolling his eyes thinking, “woman you are looking for ways to make yourself depressed and crazy”)

I’m serious though. As a mother and women it’s a thought I had, have. Usually in the moments when I am trying to pull myself together, make myself remember how blessed I am.

I know that many, many, many people struggle with infertility. This has never been one of my problems. When I was first pregnant with JSH the hardest phone call I had to make was to a good friend. She is an amazing individual and wants with her whole heart to be a mother.Telling her for the third time I was pregnant was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I was in tears. She of course was as amazing and loving as ever. It didn’t change my feelings of guilt. I don’t know why God has blessed me with babies and not her, it’s not my place to question His decisions. I pray nightly that she will become a mother.

When I lost my son I was filled with guilt. I was (and sometimes still feel) sure it was my fault. Something I did. How could it not be?

That lead to other feelings of guilt.

I had two healthy happy children, was I being selfish wanting more? Should we even try for more when so many others, that we knew are struggling. Should we try if we don’t know why our son died, what if it happened again?

I’m am pregnant again. Sometimes I feel as if I am drowning in a hormonal bath of guilt.

I almost feel what I can best describe as survivor guilt, pregnant guilt. Guilty for being the one that is pregnant.

Why me?
Why not her?
Why do I deserve this?
Why doesn’t she?

Guilt is just one more emotion that has made this a more difficult journey. I was both scared and guilty for again being pregnant that I did the unthinkable. I told almost no one personally, including my good friend. After we told our immediate family, I sent a text to my roommates from college and than I just pretended everyone else in the world knew. I posted it on facebook, with a pic like it was no big deal, a normal pregnancy like everyone else. That need to feel normal, like everyone else has plagued me since my miscarriage. As common as they are you, if you are public about them, you are no local normal. Throughout  those early months I was drowning in so many emotions of guilt, fear, worry, I couldn’t take calling and talking to everyone. I put my emotionality stability and needs in front of everyone else's.

I know people were hurt and friendship suffered, its something else I feel guilty about. At the time it seemed like it was necessary to protect my self.

I can’t take that back. Just like I can’t make my friend a mother or not feel guilty that I am. It’s just one more thorn in the crown of guilt that I wear. One more question to ponder and thing to pray for; Peace and understanding. For her and for me.

5 comments:

Hyacynth said...

I sometimes feel this way, too -- why me? Why do I get two kids who are healthy and cute and stuff? And a house? And food on the table? What makes me so special -- and then I have to acknowledge, this is NOT actually all about me. All of my life and what happens in it-- the blessings, the trials -- is bearing testament to His power and bringing Him glory.
For me, when I was smacked with this reality by my mentor, it actually made me feel better because it made me more normal -- like it wasn't actually me who was receiving these blessings because I was so {fill in the blank} but I was in this situation, whatever it was because HE is so big, so powerful.
I wonder if that totally makes sense? I hope it does because I could have written a scarily similar post ... so I completely empathise.

Brooke said...

As someone who hid each and every pregnant friend/new mom on Facebook and in my reader, after my loss, I completely understand where you're coming from. Now that I am pregnant, I know at least one woman has done away with me. It's a terrible feeling of guilt, because we've been there. The simple fact that you're aware of just how lucky you are, makes all the difference.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

This is such a powerful post; I'm really glad you just tweeted about it.

I have never shared your experience of losing a child and I cannot imagine how that must feel. But the Catholic guilt thing? And the feeling guilty that I have two beautiful boys and am pregnant with a third when I see so much suffering in the world, including among friends struggling to get pregnant at all? Those things I do know.

I think about my tendencies toward guilt a lot. And, when I'm feeling gentle with myself, I realize that the people I know who feel guilty like this are some of the best people I know: the most caring, the most sensitive, the most giving. In that way, guilt feels a little bit like another form of love. (Hope that makes sense.)

Wishing you good health and much happiness on your journey.

suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} said...

my heart breaks for women with empty arms because of infertility or miscarriage, and i do wonder why them and not me? and i don't have any answers.

but i do believe that guilt is not of God. if we do something wrong and guilt leads us to repentance, that is one thing, but God wants to free us from all burdens of guilt--especially the weight you are describing that doesn't even have anything do to with sin.

i am encouraged by these verses: "let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." (hebrews 10:22-23)

we don't earn or deserve God's grace and blessings, like hyacyth said, and we don't need to feel guilty. easier said than done, i know. praying for God's grace and peace to encourage your heart today:)

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

As someone who has suffered through infertility, I can tell you I've had the similar feelings and questions. Not really guilt, but wondering why her and not me. I won't lie, it is very difficult to be happy for others who are pregnant while you are struggling. I was still happy, even if I was feeling broken inside. But I never once wished that the other woman wasn't pregnant.

I don't know why I went through infertility, yet I often blamed myself. I don't know why, once we had a treatment course, I became pregnant easily. Yes, even I feel guilty that I became pregnant after only two tries with treatment, whiles others struggle for years and some never have their dreams realized.

I wish I had the answers. I don't. We can only trust that there is a reason and that one day we will find out.

Just enjoy the rest of your pregnancy the best that you can. You are blessed, there is no reason that you shouldn't be. Can't wait to see your preggo pics!

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