This morning I went to have some bloodwork done. Because of our recent struggles with trying to give sweet CK a sibling, they usually have me come to a different office. It's an obvious attempt to keep those of us who are having trouble away from the sea of pregnant bellies rolling in and out of the main building.
Anyway, because the doctor and nurse I've been working with were pulled today for something unexpected, I had to go to the main office for my blood draw. I put on a brave face and plunked down in the same room where I had waited nervously for that life-changing ultrasound back in December.
Within minutes, there were three pregnant bellies at my eye level. Very pregnant bellies. Bellies that were probably due around the same time I would have been due at the end of this month. One of which belonged to a girl who looked to be no older than 17 and who was obviously accompanied by her mom.
Being human, I immediately passed judgment. And felt resentful. Why did she get to have a growing, beautiful pregnant belly? She was a teenager, for Pete's sake! And probably not even married! What is so wrong with me that my body all of a sudden won't cooperate in the ways a woman's body should?!
It's hard for me to admit these thoughts that were running through my head, and harder still to admit the emotions I was feeling. Because they are - ugly. So ugly. They make me feel ugly. Because really, who am I to judge?!
And that's exactly what finally hit me in that waiting room this morning. Who am I to judge? I have NO clue what her story is... and at a second glance, I realized she had a beautiful smile, the kind that lights up a room. And eyes that were glowing with what was unmistakable excitement about becoming a mom. And then I saw it - a wedding ring on her finger.
Maybe she was 17. Maybe she was a lot older. Maybe her mom was accompanying her to the doctor because her husband had to work. Maybe she'd only gotten married once she found out she was pregnant. Maybe she'd been married for awhile and had been trying to get pregnant for years.
The point is, who am I to judge? What gives me the right to have such negative opinions and thoughts about someone whose life is a mystery to me?
Jealousy is my least favorite emotion. I hate it. I'd like to wrap it up and burn it and watch it evaporate into the air and never let it creep into my heart again. It is such a soul-eating, all-consuming emotion. It makes me FEEL ugly on the inside.
As the old adage reminds us, we don't know a person until we've walked a mile in their shoes. I know many, many people who have struggled to become pregnant, and we all agree that it is so hard to see and hear about pregnant people when you're on this tough road. But being on this side of it, I also know how hard it is to FEEL judged. I know I am so lucky to have my sweet CK, and from an outsider's perspective, it may look like we have it all. In fact, at a quick glance you'd never know what T and I are really going through right now. Not that it's something I'm ready to broadcast to the world, but it's given me a new perspective lately - given me an appreciation for what I do have, and enough sense to realize that it is not my place to judge anyone. And while I'm human, and susceptible to feelings of jealousy and resentment, it is up to me to handle those emotions so that the ugliness doesn't suck the beauty out of the life I've been given. Because if I focus too hard on the ugly, this beautiful life will pass me by and I won't even realize it.
To the girl in the waiting room with the beautiful smile and the I-can't-wait-to-be-a-mom eyes, I am so sorry for the judgment I passed, for the negative thoughts I let find their way into my mind. You are obviously so deserving of the miracle you're about meet, and you just wait... It is the most amazing, all-consuming love, like you've never even imagined. I know that God placed you in that moment in my life on purpose, and while you have no clue how your presence in the waiting room has affected me... thank you for forcing me to focus on the beautiful.