Guilty Mommy ~ by Sarah Crisp

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This is a guest post by Sarah Crisp. You can find her at her writing at www.sarahcrisp.org and connecting at @acrisplife on Twitter, and A Crisp Life on Pinterest.   
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Not that I make it a habit to quote J-Lo, but I remember her saying in an interview that the hardest part about being a Mom is the amount of guilt you feel all the time. I may not agree with her on Idol, but this is one time the judge got it right. But, if I hear her say, “you gave me goosies” one more time, I might go crazy.   For those of you who are reading this and don’t have children, I’ll try to give you some examples on why Moms generally feel guilty.  
 

The first time I felt guilty was in my labor and delivery room. 

I pushed for what felt like 2 weeks, but in actuality was only two hours. The nurse would assure me that she knew from the first time she examined me my pelvis was too small to deliver. Great. Now I feel guilty because my pelvis is too small. I gave it an honest go, but we were rushed to an emergency c-section.    

The second time I felt guilty was in the operating room. 

The c-section wasn’t really an option for me. I rationalized that I wouldn’t be the one of four that has one. I intentionally did not read the c-section chapter in all the childbirth books. But, there I was lying as flat as an ironing board making jokes to the surgery nurse that my anesthesiologist was totally McDreamy.   As I lay there I thought, ok, this could still be special. Even though I won’t be the first to hold her. I remember hearing somewhere when a child is born, the first few minutes are so important for the child to bond with its mother. I hoped I would get to do that.   However, I was experiencing a tremendous amount of pain as my epidural began to wear off. I remember yelling at the doctors, “please stop for just a moment.” That must have given them a good chuckle as they were in a sort of time-sensitive matter.   The anesthesiologist kept asking if I wanted to be put under, but all I could think was “are you crazy?” I don’t want to miss seeing her for anything.

    
Well, I got to see her. No book can prepare you for that moment. No word seems to fit. The word joy even falls short. After I saw her I begged for the drugs, as I couldn’t take the pain any longer. Although I did hold her later in the recovery room, I don’t remember it. And that picture I’m afraid, won’t be posted (as I look like I may never regain consciousness).   I didn’t make it awake to hold her during those first important minutes of her life. 

Guilty again.  

    
Every cry you can’t figure out, every time they can’t latch on, every time you lay them down for a nap and shut the door, every time you put on a DVD so that you can do something you need to do….   Guilty again.   I remember the first time I left her alone with my sister so that my husband and I could go out.   Mega guilty.   This letting go and watching her grow is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do.   My husband said something the other night that really resonated with me.   

“Remember Sarah, she’s just on loan to us.”

Something about that freed me. I remember when I first found out that I was pregnant. Stick after stick reminding me “you can’t get pregnant”, and then the glorious dollar store stick proclaiming me that I CAN.   Well, I immediately thought of the story of Hannah in the Bible (1 Samuel 1). She wanted a child so badly and when the Lord finally gave her a son, she gave him right back to the Lord.   At that moment, I got down on my pregnant knees and gave that fetus right back to Him. I told Him that I was so grateful to have this opportunity and knew that this baby had been entrusted to me.   As I think back on the times I felt guilty, I wasn’t living like I had given the Lord my daughter.  

Or given Him the reign to do what He wanted.

My doctor recently told me that I tested positive for an infection. An infection that I had tested negative for while I was pregnant but should have tested positive for.   If I had insisted to keep trying to have a natural birth, my daughter would have caught this infection and possibly would have died.   My doctor also went on to tell me that she didn’t even know how I carried her full term with my progesterone level the way it was.   She said to me something I’ll never forget.  

“Do you realize this baby is a miracle?”

 

So, it was silly of me to be guilty of a small pelvis and a c-section. God was protecting my baby and me.   God gives grace to those that feel guilty. He’s not the one bringing the guilt.

    

 After all, aren’t we all walking miracles? From now on I’m thinking of myself as…  


Miracle Mommy.

  I love this text I received from a friend:

 

         “You only have to be a good parent, not a great one, to have great kids.”    

Hang on to the One who has immense purpose in every thing we walk through. Even when we don’t listen, He still hears us. Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful. Even when we are sad, joy comes in the morning.   From one recovering Guilty Mommy to another.

 

Do you struggle with feeling guilty? How do the miracles God has given you help conquer your guilt?

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Comments

  1. This post hit me. I had a similar birth story with my baby. I had to have a c-section (too small of a pelvis) and it was not even on my radar. I struggle with the fact that I wasn’t able to hold him right when he was born because I was shaking so bad. I still daily struggle with c-section guilt (but i remind myself how good the Lord was in allowing me to get pregnant in the first place) it is so comforting to hear I am not the only one.

    I struggle with guilt daily. I am a people pleaser, so i don’t want to let those around me down. The Lord is teaching me through this struggle…and reminding me constantly that all I need to do is rest in the gospel.

    Thank you, Virginia for allowing Sarah to share! 🙂

  2. Megan,
    Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad I’m not the only one recovering from c-section guilt! Keep trusting in the One who goes before us and walks beside us and yet hems us in from behind. Is there anywhere we can go to escape His presence? Hang on to Him! I’m holding tight too!
    Sarah

  3. Bless you. I am a doula. With every birth, I am more grateful to live in a time when we have technology for saving more babies and moms. A miracle is right. I have two friends who would have died with their babies if not for the technology that revealed highly correctible abnormalities. Not dream births, but they, too, acknowledge a wise and loving creator who loved them more than they love themselves.

    • Maggie,
      Yes, thank you for reminding me that God is wise not to always give us what we want. He always has our best interest at heart! I know God is using you in a powerful way with other expectant Mommies! Thanks!
      Sarah

  4. Anonymous says:

    Parenthood is a constant struggle between wanting to do the right thing, and wanting the next thing; sleep; eating; bathroom break; talking with an adult… But it is so wonderful. I am a mother of twins. They remind me of God’s richest blessings. Something I didn’t deserve, but received. Throw off the guilt, and put on joy! Smile at your children, laugh with them, be reminded of the blessing.

    • Anonymous,
      You are so right! I agree with you that this is something I so didn’t deserve. In fact I thought for years God was getting me back by not giving me a child. Oh, the mercies of our Savior. Thank you for your wisdom!
      Sarah

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ditto to the ‘I skipped over the c section chapter”. i had the natural birth of our first born child all played out in my mind and i informed the medical staff taking care of us just what to do and not to do. Then we were rushed into the surgical suite and all i could say was “remember the drugs i refused? could you please give them to me now!” Probably a great first parenting experience for us so that we are thankful to God that we are not in control, He is! I keep a running thought i my soul as i parent our 3 gorgeous girls, “Give them a heart for God”. That is all I hope to do. Thank you Sarah for sharing your life love and laughs with us!

    • Oh praise Him! That we would all pray that for our children! “Give them a heart for God.” Yes! Do it Lord! We are nothing without you! I pray so often that God would use my Sadie in a mighty way for His kingdom and His glory! Thank you for sharing, and I too regard my c-section as a great reminder that He is in control! Keep seeking Him!
      Sarah

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