Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Right to Complain

Normally, I keep things rather light-hearted around here, but today is a bit more serious and spoken from my heart. I hope you take the time to read and consider. 

When Stephen and I reached the point of noticing that it was taking a while for us to get pregnant and then finding out there were underlying fertility problems, my outlook and attitude towards others who shared their pregnancy and motherhood stories on social media changed.

The same posts that I used to laugh at I was suddenly rolling my eyes at and becoming frustrated by. Didn’t these “friends” realize how lucky and blessed they were? They’re complaining about not getting a full night’s sleep because of their perfectly healthy baby being wide awake all night. I would give ANYTHING to have a healthy baby keep me up at night. They’re complaining about clothes not fitting because they’re body is changing with their growing pregnancy. I would give ANYTHING to not fit into my clothes if it meant the baby inside me was growing and maturing.

 
The truth is….everybody has the right to complain. The even harder truth is….most people don’t realize that they’re complaints might be someone else’s daily prayer.

This all became even more harder for me after we finally became pregnant and then lost our first baby. I swore I would never be that mom that posted or talked about complaints or hardships. Our “journey” had given me the reason to be all the more thankful than I would’ve been when we did finally become pregnant and had a baby.

And I like to think that I am more thankful now. I refrain from posting anything negative about this pregnancy, and I pretty much only complain to Stephen about any discomforts I’ve had along the way. I am thankful that for the last 23+ weeks, this has been a relatively easy experience and truly there’s not been much to complain about. However, I think it’s the mindset you create for yourself. I set out saying, this is a blessing and answered prayer, I’m choosing to be thankful over miserable..whatever discomfort or inconvenience that comes up, it’s a sign that things are going well, the babies are growing and it’s only temporary.

 

I am in a private Facebook group for “moms of multiples fall 2016” (or something like that). EVERY. DAY. ALL. DAY. I read posts about how so many of them are already miserable and their daily complaints and worries. I’ll read some of the posts to Stephen every night and while I do feel bad that these women aren’t fully enjoying this special time, I can’t help but to say a prayer of thanksgiving that I’m not enduring some of the struggles they are dealing with. It’s been fascinating to meet women who are at the same point in their pregnancy as I am, but yet to see our bodies are handling this experience totally differently. I’m by NO means saying these women aren’t grateful, but it makes me wonder how much the “mind over matter” mindset that I insisted on has made the difference.

Yes, there are days I do NOT want to get out of bed. There are days this Summer that I have been miserably hot. There are afternoons when I get home from work, and do not want to move a muscle the rest of the afternoon and night. The heartburn…..heaven help, but it is just downright the spawn of satan sometimes. I haven’t slept through the night in oh….15 weeks or something.

 

But you know what, it’s all temporary. And honestly, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t feel like my complaints are anything too eventful. Mind over matter. My truth is, there are friends that are still struggling to become pregnant. There are friends who are grieving the loss of their infant child. While I might be miserable with heartburn for the weekend, my heart could be breaking over losing our babies. I can deal with the heartburn.

One of my friends that I’ve grown close to the in past several months because of shared experiences through our losses, shared with me over the weekend that a lady told her about her son moving away to college, and KNOWING that my friend and her husband’s daughter died a few weeks after a premature birth, she then proceeded to tell my friend, “You  know, there’s more than one way to lose a child.” I won’t elaborate much, because this is her story to tell, and hopefully she’ll write about it on her blog at some point. BUT…it’s people like this that prove my point…some people just don’t realize how their complaints are others desires. While this lady could talk to her son every day on the phone or drive a couple hours to visit him or him come home on the weekends, my friend will never hold her little girl again. And you might disagree and that’s ok, but in my opinion this lady did not “lose” her child and to compare her empty nest syndrome to my friend who had to bury her tiny baby…it’s just NO comparison.

 

All of that being said, everyone has the right to complain, and everyone certainly has the right to post whatever they want to on social media. Pregnancy is hard. Motherhood is hard. We all handle it differently, but maybe it’s time we handle it a bit better with a more thankful heart. Your kids might be the wildest yahoos you’ve ever seen, but they’re here and they’re yours. Love on them…be thankful for them. Express that thankfulness openly as easy as it is to express the frustrations. Remember that your words might just be hurtful to someone else who’s only wishing to have the opportunity to be in your shoes.

We lost our first baby a year ago last week. The day went by seemingly normal as most days do. Even though I’m carrying two healthy little girls right now, there will always be an emptiness left in my heart that our first child filled. The child that made us parents and changed our lives forever. I am thankful for our babies every day, and am not taking one single kick, jolt and punch for granted. My heart yearned to feel these movements for so long, and that time has finally come. Every day is a blessing. Every day is a reason to be thankful.

If you lost sleep last night because your little one woke you up crying, or hungry, or for having a bad dream….today’s the day to be thankful for the opportunity you had to comfort and love your child last night…not the time to complain about having to get up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep. Today’s the day to pray for the women who are crying themselves to sleep because they don’t have the little one in the next room like you do.
 

We’re all in this together. I’ve seen first-hand the power of prayer on multiple occasions. We all need each other’s prayers now more than ever. God’s plan for you will knock your socks off, if you just give Him the time He needs. (also being said from first-hand experience) Be thankful for God’s blessings in your life…the big ones and the small ones. Our world doesn’t need any more complaints…it needs thankful hearts…and many of them!


6 comments:

  1. Wow.. I am in tears! I couldn't agree with you more! My "babies" are 11 and 8 and I am so thankful for them! Yes, they have days were they make me want to pull my hair out, but I would walk through fire for them!

    I have ALWAYS said they most dangerous place in the world to be is between a momma and her baby!!

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  2. Yes Yes Yes! Everyone has different struggles and the right to complain, but we should all be a little more sensitive to the feelings of others who may wish they were in our place.

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  3. What a beautiful post! I had to hold back the tears. We have been married close to 2 years now and although we have done nothing to prevent pregnancy, we still aren't pregnant. I am not yet calling our situation infertility because I am choosing to remain positive and our doctors have given us other options to hopefully mend this. But as time keeps passing and I see the announcements, the complaints of friends with babies, my heart aches. And you wrote those aches perfectly! I will be thankful starting now, thankful that whatever journey we are on now is teaching us patience. Once we do have our blessing it will remind me how much we waited and prayed and be thankful. I will also implement the "mind over matter" mentality over all the symptoms and hope that makes it better :)

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  4. I have 2 friends who would give anything to have a baby and yet they can't seem to get it to go the way they'd like. I keep my complaints to a minimum and share them more with my friends that are already Moms, you know, the ones that have been there.

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  5. Over the past 4-5 years, I have learned how to be more grateful for even the simple things in life that we all tend to take for granted...a lovely, comfortable home...a loving family...and yes, my son. You see, I am on the other side of parenting(an empty-nester). I really dislike that name, because it feels so lonely to hear it. I remember nights when my son was little and he would keep me up all night and I would remind myself that one day I will miss even those times. Sure enough, I would do anything to have him small again and spend all night, up with him. He's grown and out on his own now and those days are long gone. Thanks for sharing from your heart! Blessings!
    Ann @ Christ in the Clouds - http://christintheclouds.blogspot.com/

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  6. Such a good reminder to count our blessings. I think social media has it's issues because you don't want to paint a picture perfect life - but at the same time, maybe the complaints and negative posts could be reserved for those closest to you, who can help or provide wisdom in the midst of hard times.

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