Today we’re going public with the news: I am 14 weeks pregnant with our second child. With such exciting information, you’d think I would be bursting to make the announcement, right? Well, not really. I actually have mixed feelings about letting everyone in on this new development in our family. It’s not because we’ve had any health challenges (thankfully). In fact, my first trimester felt much better this time around. The reason I find it hard to announce my pregnancy? I am acutely aware that my news may surface pain for someone hearing it.
I’m not expecting anyone to tell me so, because who responds to pregnancy news with, “Um, that hurt”? But behind the words of congratulations, I am pretty sure there will be some unspoken heartache, if even a little.
I know because in this process of growing our family, we spent a combined 17 months in the stress-filled limbo of “trying to conceive.” And every time I found out another friend of mine was expecting, I wondered, “When is it going to be us?” As if I was waiting in some great cosmic lottery for my turn to have a child.
I know because sometime during the many months of trying to conceive this child, I counted 13 friends who’d gotten pregnant. Thirteen. Oh, I was happy for them. But to be honest, it also stung.
I know because several couples very dear to me are currently facing infertility or miscarriage. Some of them have been trying for years. They’ve told me how hard it is when it seems like everyone’s getting a baby except for them.
I am aware, too, of friends who deeply desire to be a parent someday but find themselves single at this time. To them, it sometimes feels like everyone is moving on with their lives and they’re just getting passed over.
Of course, not everyone in these situations will have the same feelings in response to our news. But I suspect there will be at least some.
To these dear ones, I want to say: I, too, grapple with the mystery of life and death. It is so beyond our control. I cannot explain why I have this blessing of carrying a new life when our roles could easily be reversed. And even though I am pregnant now, I want you to know that I am still waiting with you. I’m still hoping with you. And I’m still praying for you.
I think I’m extra wary about announcing my pregnancy via social media because I can’t have the one-on-one conversations that I want to with these friends. I suppose that’s why I’m blogging about this. I hope that my words might be some comfort to someone out there.
I know I’m not responsible for another person’s response but the reality remains that our lives impact each other. Part of being human is holding both joy and sorrow as they are interwoven in our experiences. So today, as I share my joy, I am also mindful of the sorrow that is perhaps not far from here. And I am grateful for the grace that carries us all.