The words, they hit my heart like a freight truck and they rip it wide open each and every time. I’ve heard it said to others in front of me as well as directly to me. In front of others, I smile and laugh, because really the world would very much agree with those words, even if they didn’t have the struggles I have had and am having to bring life into this world. Children are perceived as a burden to be limited to one, two at the most. Alone, however, they are a wound too deep, too raw to ignore and laugh at. It is no laughing matter.
As a teenage girl, my only dream was to bring forth life into this world and my heart saw many beautiful little souls calling me, ‘Mama’. Nothing else mattered to me, not fame, not success, not a career, not money, for, when I am at the end of my days those things aren’t going to keep me company, nor are those things going to make this world a brighter, more beautiful place. I have battled fertility issues to get to where I am today, fighting every day to bring another child into this world.
Fertility issues and hyperemesis already eat away at my confidence as a woman. Pregnancy and bringing forth life into this world are two of the most natural parts of womanhood, or so we assume, and yet so many of us suffer from the feeling that our bodies are somehow inadequate, a failure in many ways. We cannot get pregnant, or, if we do, we are literally fighting daily for our life and that of our unborn child as we hit complication after complication. It isn’t helped by those around us falling pregnant seemingly easily, or breezing through text book pregnancies with multiple children. There must be something wrong with me, we think. Why is my body no good at nurturing life?
“We are never having any more.” The words they sting. They rub tons of salt onto that gaping hole of inadequacy and confirm all my fears and beliefs that I am no good. I am no good at this thing called motherhood. I am no good at the very thing that sets me apart from a man; my ability to grow and nurture another life. If even my husband has no confidence in me to go through this again, then I am clearly no good.
I can fully understand why he feels that having more is not a good idea. I battle daily to care for my daughter, to care for myself and give the best to my unborn child. I fight sickness and SVT and SPD. I have legs that are on fire caused by some unknown burning, itching rash. He had to witness me haemorrhaging after the birth of our first child, and see me collapse twice and have swarms of medical professionals rush into the room, and be ill and bedridden for most of her first six months. No, it isn’t easy for me to bear children, and I am very blessed to have carried three, and hopefully soon to deliver a second into this world. Maybe we won’t be blessed with another, and that is fine, I am truly beyond happy with two. But to have someone take away my choice, without giving a second thought to how I feel, as they can’t cope with me being so ill is such a blow to who I am as a woman; to my confidence; to my dreams. I have already sacrificed so much to get to where I am; please don’t take my dreams as well.
I cannot change my husband’s mind. I cannot make him understand how it feels to be me and why it is so important to me. I cannot guarantee him that I will be any different or any more capable of carrying another child problem free even if he were to consider it. All I can do is pray. Pray for healing, not just physically, but emotionally. Pray for affirmation of who I am. Pray for understanding. Pray for grace to get through each and every day I have left of this pregnancy. Pray for a miracle.