Have you ever watched Call the Midwife? Specifically, the Christmas Special, the first one, that comes between Seasons One and Two in 2012.
But there is one scene, where the girl- a young girl, maybe fourteen or a bit older or younger- is holding her baby while her parents, a vicar and his wife, stand in the background. And all she’s saying is “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” over and over. Her mother comments, “It’s a little late for that.”
But her father says, “She isn’t saying it to us.”
Nothing that could have stopped me from bursting into tears.
Because I’ve been that girl. I can remember hours and hours of sobbing, curled around my pregnant belly, whispering “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” to my unborn son. I regularly cried myself to sleep during my pregnancy.
There are many things about my pregnancy that were easy; my nausea cleared up around my thirteenth week, I had very little discomfort other than one major issue when I was seven weeks from my due date, but it wasn’t related to my pregnancy. I traveled to Massachusetts alone several times without a thought. During my pregnancy, I felt physically powerful.
Emotionally, I was half a step away from shattering.
Emotionally, my pregnancy was hard. It was hard to tell my boyfriend that I was pregnant; it was hard to face his parents across the table, a pastor and his wife, people I respected. It was hard because I felt like I was hiding my pregnancy and so I felt like I hid myself.
For much of my pregnancy, I felt very conflicted. I didn’t feel like I should make any announcements on Facebook. I waited as long as I could to tell people, because I was afraid of their reactions, afraid of seeing the disappointment because I was pregnant and unmarried and still living at home. My shower was late in my pregnancy; I was due in October and I think the shower was in September. I didn’t take pictures of my growing and changing body every month, even though I wanted to. There was a great deal that I didn’t do, because I didn’t feel like I deserved to have my pregnancy celebrated.
Even now, with my son born and growing, happily married to his father, I still have moments when I see posts and pictures on Facebook about other women who are pregnant and I feel cheated. This horrible feeling rises up in my chest and I start to cry. I’m crying even as I type this.
Because my son is a joy; he should have been celebrated from the moment I found out about him, not washed in salty tears. Everyone should have been told the happy, wonderful news right away, not found out because I could no longer hide my baby belly. My son is a miracle and deserves to have every moment of his life celebrated, before he was born and after it.
This internal conflict that I still wage in my heart is the biggest reason that I want to run a photography business; every woman deserves to feel beautiful, special and pampered during her pregnancy and those moments deserve to be captured on camera and remembered forever. She is creating life. Women are sick throughout the first trimester because they are growing a new organ; your body is accommodating a brand new human. That is amazing. We, women, are amazing, and that should be recognized. There shouldn’t be any nights, curled up in the dark, crying and whispering, “I’m sorry.”
There should be joy.
“Your love is surprising
I can feel it rising
All the joy that’s growing
Deep inside of me
And every time I see you
All your goodness shines through
And I can feel this God song rising up in me
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Your love makes me sing
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Your love makes me sing”
– Phillips, Craig & Dean