Thank you, friends.
Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for not telling me to try lemons, or ginger, or Unisom. Thank you for not minimizing my frustration or telling me to get over it. And thank you for the words of wisdom and encouragement. I really appreciate it.
I'm still feeling pretty sick, but mentally I'm a little better.
We go to a little church that only has about 100 people. One of the things I LOVE about a little church is that you can really know your Pastor. A Pastor's job as shepherd is far more important to me than his job as preacher. And my pastor is one of the most gifted shepherds I know. I was there yesterday and poked my head in his office. He asked how I was and the tears just started coming. He immediately had me sit down and we talked. I love that I don't have to make an appointment, or go through 3 secretaries to be able to talk to him.
I'm going to share what he told me so I can re-read it when I need it, but also so that other women who are going through this can take to heart what he said and consider them in terms of their own pregnancies. These things really encouraged me and challenged me. I thought they were constructive and insightful. In retrospect, they're all pretty obvious things, but I really needed to hear them yesterday. I was just so deep in frustration and pain that I couldn't really think clearly.
1. I am Matthew's only mommy. Everyone else can help with the dishes, my job, the chores, whatever, but I am the only one who can be his mommy, and carry him at this point. If that's the ONLY job I can do right now, that's enough. This was particularly helpful for me as I struggle with feeling pretty useless right now.
2. God knew all of this would happen, and He still chose me to be mom to Matthew. So while I think there could be a better situation out there for Matthew with a mommy who is not so sick and can give better care to him in-utero, there isn't. God knew this is exactly what both I and Matthew would get, and put us together anyway.
3. I have the luxury of worrying about the kind of food I'm eating. Many other people don't. Additionally, many other babies are born to moms with addiction problems, eating disorders, other health problems, etc. So while my situation is not "ideal" for him, it's far better than the situation afforded to many other children.
4. Matthew already has what matters: parents who love the Lord, who love each other, and who love him, and a multitude of friends and family who already love him. Everything else is secondary. On the flipside, there are babies whose mommies have 100% healthy pregnancies, but who don't have those things. Matthew is already blessed with the things that matter.
5. Just as I can't go back and change the past, I can't focus on the future, either. A few of you also pointed out that I can't really be thinking about the future babies while I'm so exhausted and hormonal and sick. God gives me enough grace to get through today. Tomorrow will have its own measure of grace and when it comes time to make those decisions, He will provide what we need.
6. Most of the things I was sharing are rooted in either guilt or fear, the two things that most frequently and strongly take hold in my heart. So I already struggle with those things, even when I'm feeling well. So I need to recognize that propensity and how much stronger it is when I'm feeling weak. Additionally, those two things both have strong physiological effects, so struggling with them could very likely be contributing to the severity of how I'm feeling. Undoubtedly a lot of it is purely physical, but the psychological element can't be helping. He encouraged me to pray specifically about fear, rather than about the physical illness.
So anyway, those, in addition to the things you all shared with me, are what I'm noodling on. I really appreciate how gentle and constructive you each were. You've really blessed me, and continue to do so with your prayers.
Love to you all...