Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Lesson I Want To Remember

For me, being a mom has consistently placed me in a lonely, misunderstood spot... repeatedly, over and over again.
  • Induction/C-section: Leading to some very unexpectedly deep, long lasting, emotional hurts in me.
    • (Almost) No one gets it
  • Breastfeeding almost doesn’t happen due to 10 day milk production delay.
    • (Almost) No one gets it 
  • Breastfeeding (after finally getting established) has to take a week off because baby has liver issues 
    • (Almost) No one gets it 
  • Second Pregnancy scares me past what I think I am able to bare, due to fears of both how birth will go, but also how that will effect my heart and faith
    • (Almost) No one gets it
  • Food Allergies, Pet Allergies, Environmental Allergies all strong enough to cause sever issues for my children 
    • (Almost) No one gets it
  • Third Pregnancy feels like it’s physically trying to kill me for at least 41 weeks 
    • (Almost) No one gets it

When I say "almost no one gets it.” What I mean is: in my life, when these things unfolded, the people that I was already acquainted with, generally have no idea how to respond to these things. For a few of these situations I was able to find someone I knew very little beforehand, to connect with in a distant way to help with the basics. For a few of these I was able to find people in paid expertise positions to help. For one situation I was able to find a group that could relate to me (ICAN when hoping to VBAC.) And in a lucky-for-me case, I had a friend who could relate. But as a whole, just talking to people I generally interact with, I was/am an oddity. 

And out of the options I had found to help -- none of them were easy (besides when the friend already knew.) None of those options provided me with a true, deep feeling of security because I knew the place I was finding understanding wasn’t really inside my “regular life.”

     In “regular life” I often get well intentioned advice that cannot possibly be well informed. This can often feels like judgement against my abilities, or if not that, it just makes me feel extra alone because it’s so far off the mark, that I really truly feel am in this by myself.
     And in "internet life” I can get beat up by strangers who hurl words without concern for anything but how the words make them feel. That’s the hardest part about the internet. You can be using it for a great reason, minding your own business, and get hit in the face with something that hurts your heart out of no where because people are so busy typing up random things out of context, and off the subject, and without first hand experience of something outside their experience.

Why on earth am I writing this right now?
Because I want to remember a life skill I have been taught through these experiences. I have it at the forefront of my mind right now because of this terribly hard pregnancy.

I’m writing this to me, for the times I forget.
Because I want this lesson to count and to last.

When someone is going through something hard, you will likely not have been where they have been. 

So you will likely have no idea what they need.
And they might need some specific things which you are not in the position to provide.

But do you know what you can provide?

Listening ears and eyes.

Questions that allow them to feel safe to expound.

No advice. No cures. No solutions.

A simple connection.

Allowing them to open and share.

So they aren’t alone.

You might not be where they are, but you can be with them.


  1. Love this! This difficult pregnancy has taught me some similar lessons. I am MUCH more aware of people who suffer. I pray I never forget for a moment what this has been like, so that I can be there for others. Just be there for them. Luckily I had a friend who did that for me. And because of her I have grown and seen past my own suffering. So thankful for that.

    1. I might need to borrow your friend. ;) My perspective most everything (minus the one smart thing I’ve figured out above) is feeling the opposite of grown. I’m hoping eventually I’ll get it worked out inside here.
      Be sure to let me know when your little one gets here. I forget when your baby is due…I was thinking soonish?

  2. It's been a couple of years since I visited your blog. I was full-time caregiving for 4 yrs to my mom who had a rare brain progressive brain disease. (1 person in 10 has a rare disease; think how many in your own church, etc!) She passed May 26th. I'm not coping very well with her passing--I'm a 50+yr old orphan now. Sucks.

    Your feelings of "almost no one gets it" resonates inside me--feeling lost and alone albeit from completely different life experiences.

    Somehow I came across some info on "resilience/strengthening the human spirit". There are 3 main components mentioned: "I HAVE" "I CAN" and 'I AM". For example:

    I HAVE people around me I trust and who love me no matter what.
    I AM respectful of myself and others.
    I CAN talk to others about things that frighten or bother me. (though I'm struggling with this)

    For me, there is comfort in that. I hope that you are able to find some comfort as well--D

    1. I’m so, so sorry about your mom. My heart hurts for you.
      Thank you for sharing that idea -- I have, I can, I am. I do find that strengthening. I’m going to think on that as I move towards labor this time, with what feels like so little strength left -- I think it will help. I appreciate you opening up that way to me.


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