I'm not sure how familiar you are with the feeling of sharing wonderful news with your nearest and dearest, and getting incredibly negative, judgemental feedback. But I can attest that it's a lot like getting a physical slap in the face. It's shattering. The sting of it doesn't heal or go away. It's a permanent sensation left on your heart.
When I excitedly shared with a loved one that I was pregnant with Corbin, the response I got was, "Are you kidding me?! What the hell are you going to do with another kid?! " (Insert exasperated, indignant scoff).... "Well, maybe it'll be a girl and you can quit." That's never left me. It hurt in the deepest way. Then, when I shared with that same person that we were thrilled to be expecting Cuinn (following an emotional miscarriage), the response was more measured, but the "excitement" and support was very fake, very superficial. I knew without a doubt we were being judged and that behind our backs, the words and sentiment were entirely the opposite of what was said in front of us.
Again, those things stick. It's a scum that nothing properly cleans and clears away. And for me, it created a fear of rejection, of judgement. This was one of the most important people in my world, and if they had this kind of response, what would my friends and acquaintances say?
For nearly 5 months I've cowered, and wrestled with those past rejections and judgements. My entire life is different now, in many ways. That relationship that was so damaging is contained within carefully constructed walls and boundaries. But still, somehow, I was scared. I felt so utterly blessed, on the one hand. But on the other, I couldn't bring myself to feel confident enough to praise God's plan for my life because although He'd given us a precious gift, I was the one who had to struggle with the people in my life who couldn't care less about my emotions or happiness. I was the one who would get the looks, the nasty questions, the insensitive remarks, the scoffs and blatant lies in the form of support. The fear robbed me of the ability to express the excitement that was on my heart. I felt like I had to contain it until I was strong enough to share the news...or just too big to hide it, and then I had to hope the rejection wouldn't kill me.
I refrained from telling that one person for over 4 months, but told a few other nearest and dearest. The first person I told, I fully thought I would have support from. Instead, she said, "(Gasp) Oh no!!!" She then began to cover it up and tried to muster a better response, and show more support. But the damage was done. You can't undo that.
I can't say I've come full circle. I've prayed and prayed about my reactions. I've asked God's forgiveness for my lack of outward enthusiasm, and praised Him privately for the blessing, for His will and His plans being everything mine could never be. I care less than I used to what people will say and how we'll be perceived. But I'm still a little scared. I'm THRILLED, and incredibly blessed, and insanely thankful!! ...But yes, still a little nervous.
So please, measure your words carefully. If you can't be supportive, don't say anything. If your reaction can't be loving, it can be kept to yourself. If you can't share in the joy of our news and blessing, please just silently excuse yourself. I want to be surrounded by people who can be happy for us, who can support and encourage us. I want to be surrounded by people who recognize the blessing in God's plan and timing, and embrace it with us.
That said, the other caveat to this is that this will be the last time we share this kind of news. It's the end of this chapter in our lives. Never again, will we get to experience the firsts that come with this kind of blessing...first ultrasound, first time hearing a heartbeat, first time seeing a precious face, then later first smiles, first steps, first words...that is coming to an end for us. That's both gut wrenching and bittersweet. I can't describe the emotion that comes with knowing this is the last of the firsts. It's painful and lonely. There is a hole where possibility used to be. There is a finality that leaves more questions than answers.
So friends and loved ones, I'm sensitive. I'm a little nervous. But I'm blessed. Exponentially!! .....Yes, folks.....
*** I'M PREGNANT!!! ***
Truly, we are THRILLED to share that we are expecting our last baby at the end of January/beginning of February!!
It's a GIRL!!!!!!