*This post was first written in July 2016, when my daughter was 11 weeks old.

photo credit: Abigail Williamson

I’m excited to start a new chapter in writing of life post-birth of  [my now 11 weeks old*] Sarah Anne.

But first…

Let me get this post out of the way first, because, to be honest; I feel a sense of “survivor’s guilt” only, in this case, it is “successful pregnancy guilt.” For years I had a shared identity among the childless and eventually among those who experienced pregnancy losses, and now suddenly I am another mom among parents. I experienced a similar guilt when, at age 36, I transitioned from being among the single to being among the married. In both instances, there has been an identity shift, leaving behind a perceived sense of “I want” to join the “I have” and the shift in group identity that goes along with it.

A Holy Mystery

It is only a Holy Mystery as to why I was finally allowed a successful pregnancy. God doesn’t deem one person more “deserving” than another; it is simply a combination of healthy choices, a bit of luck (if such a thing exists), God’s plan for my life in this season, and His plan & purpose for Sarah Anne. I do not know what joys and challenges my husband and I will face in our future with our daughter, but apparently, the combination of our genetics paired with the mix of successes and failures we will make as parents are the required ingredients for who Sarah Anne is meant to be in this life. Maybe it isn’t about “me” at all, maybe it is strictly about her, and her purpose in this world. In fact, maybe it goes even deeper to be primarily about the purpose of someone a few generations down from me! Or, I suppose most likely, it is 100% about my husband and me, 100% about Sarah Anne, and 100% about someone a few generations down.

Regardless of that Holy Mystery of “why” – I don’t take for granted one ounce of finally getting through a pregnancy successfully. I am deeply, deeply grateful.

To those who desperately want children, and/or who have had pregnancy losses, I know the longing hurts.

I still see you; I am very aware. When we meet, I hope I bring hope to your heart, but if I only represent pain and you need to keep your distance, I understand. If you know my weaknesses and weigh them in your heart next to your strengths and are confused, angry, and feel the weight of injustice; you are entirely within your right. I do not minimize, downplay, forget, or overlook what you experience. I continue to cry with you and to hold before God the things I don’t understand.

So, with my “survivors guilt” explained, in my next post, I’ll tell you what “didn’t hurt and may have helped” me get and sustain this pregnancy. Truthfully, it likely didn’t have a thing to do with my own actions, but at least some of the choices I made gave me something to “do” to feel a little less powerless. I’d love to share those choices with you here.

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