Before the adoption of my children filled my home and my heart, and before the Lord’s revelation in my life, I used to wonder what I would look like if I were pregnant. Here is another excerpt from my memoir in a chapter where I talk about the deep longing that existed when walking around with the feeling of emptiness. I cannot believe I am admitting this, but…deep breath…here it is:
I secretly envied my pregnant friends. I wanted what they had. The joy, excitement, and love they shared with their spouses throughout their pregnancies were clearly obvious and I was jealous of it. It felt really childish for me to think “why can’t I be like that?” Or, “why does she get to have more children when I cannot even have one?” It was almost shameful for me to think that way, or at least I felt ashamed of having those thoughts about them. I love my friends and I love their children and I know it is wrong for us to covet what others have, but I honestly did.
Just once I wanted to know what it would feel like to carry a baby in my body, or hold a baby and believe that he or she was mine. Every so often, I dreamed about being pregnant. I do not know what made me feel worse – the dream itself or waking up. Often, I stuck a ball under my shirt, stood in front of the mirror, and just stared at myself. I surveyed the shape from every angle. This was the closest I would ever come to seeing my “pregnant” belly. I always thought I would have made a cute mom-to-be.
It is a mistake to assume that women who cannot have biological children never wonder what their pregnancies would feel like. Most of us, although sympathetic to those going through it, would give anything to know what morning sickness was like, or to have the moment when a slight kick is felt from the inside. We would give nearly anything to have an ultrasound done that reveals the life growing inside of us.
Most of us have dreamed about pregnancy. Most of us have had visions of ourselves pregnant. Many of us still do.
I never, ever told anyone close to me that I used to stand in front of the mirror daydreaming of being pregnant. It was embarrassing and I felt as though I should not have even considered it. But, why not? Why not wonder what it would feel like to be pregnant? This is not wrong, silly, or senseless. It makes perfect sense to me.
If your path to pregnancy is jagged right now and you find yourself hiding away in front of a mirror staring at your belly, it is okay. Do not be embarrassed. Do not feel as though you should not be doing this. Give yourself a break and daydream all you need to. I get it, and my guess is that nearly every one else who is struggling with infertility or barrenness gets it to.
May His vision of you fill your life with love, peace, and understanding.