Monday, November 26, 2012
The Elephant in the Room
Last week, via the Catholic Sistas website I announced my pregnancy. The title of the article was "No Greater Love Than This". You can click the link if you'd like to read it. At the same time I sent an email to many family and friends telling them that I am pregnant and why we have decided that even despite the risks to the baby and myself, we feel that we must go on with this pregnancy. I also linked it to my Facebook page and to our church Facebook page. I wanted as many people to be praying for us as possible. I had many sweet people tell me that they are indeed keeping us in prayer and will continue to do so. I had many people also not say a word... people that I truly believed would at least tell us they were praying for us.
We are constantly being told that our family is amazing. We are told that people just can't imagine how we do it and have children who are so well behaved, polite, kind, and giving. With that thought in mind I wonder why more people who know our family intimately, especially family and very close friends, have not congratulated us or even told us that they are keeping us in thought and prayer. It hurts my feelings. I'm not expecting people to understand our beliefs on going ahead with the pregnancy, especially in light of the danger involved, but once that decision is made a simple, "we're praying for you" can go a long way to help us feel not so alone.
On my way home from church yesterday it was all I could do not to break down and cry. Normally after Mass we have lots of people who say hello to us as we are leaving. Yesterday we had two people acknowledge us. Is it just that people don't know what to say? I was just looking for a smile and a "hi" but got eyes turned from me or stares and then nothing said to me. I get that there are going to be people not happy for us. I understand that people are worried about my health and about the baby. I know they worry about me leaving 10 children without a mother. Surely they know, especially those who received my email stating the fact, that *I* am worried about those things! It's not that we are just throwing caution to the wind, we're not! We are doing everything in our power to keep both our baby and myself safe. We are worried far more than anyone can imagine. The people who don't know what to say to us because they are concerned about me... I wish I could shout at them, "Imagine what WE are going through!" But I don't. I sit quietly and hurt alone.
It doesn't matter to me if you agree with our decision or not. It's our decision and we've chosen life. I would never choose any other direction to go in so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. People who know me know that this is the only decision we could make. I don't regret for a moment that decision. I wish I knew what it would take to get people to acknowledge this elephant in the room. I feel like I did when I lost William. No one wanted to address that either. It was right at Christmas, everyone was busy with their own families, and no one knew how to talk to me about another loss, this time so traumatic, and an event that would change my life forever. I am in a similar situation where what is happening in our life is equally as life-changing and equally as important to us.
I don't know where to go from here. This cross is so heavy and hard to bear. I have a tremendous support system through online friends but what about the support here? I feel so very alone. I have no idea why God gives us the crosses that He does. I'm trying to bear it with hope, trust, and joy but sometimes that's so hard to do. I don't want people to fawn over me. I don't want to be bombarded with questions. I don't want people to think I'm a saint. All I want is to know that if I need help that it will be there. I need to know that if I ask for prayers that there are faithful people praying for us. I need to know that if the worst should happen that my community will rally around my family and help them through the worst pain they will have experienced so far. I don't feel hopeful that this will happen, not if people can't even acknowledge that I am pregnant and that I have asked for their prayers and help.
The elephant in the room is huge but unfortunately it's something that people are choosing to ignore. My hope is that after they've taken time to process all of this that they will indeed address me about this pregnancy, if only to say I have their prayers. That will be enough for me. That will help make this cross a little lighter to carry.