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Survivor’s Guilt

Discovering I was pregnant at 45 years old was undoubtedly one whomping miraculous gift of amazing proportions. Whereas last time I discovered my impending parenthood my shock was due to my feelings of complete incompetency. This time my shock was simply because my fondest wish and hope had actually been realized. I could not believe it. When I shared my news, people asked me if this was a good thing because of the shocked expression I wore. Because I wasn’t sure I was worthy of such a blessing.

With this pregnancy, I have been suffering from a feeling akin to survivor’s guilt. I am keenly aware that many women I’m close to have had “issues” with their lack of children. Whether they regretted not choosing to conceive while they could, or they were unable to conceive for reasons beyond their control, I feel for them. I can remember feeling rankled by the arrogance of some breed-easy people. And here I am suddenly luckier than a leprechaun pulling the short straw.

I wanted to apologize for my good fortune. In fact I did to one friend. I dreaded being a source of new found grief for the unresolved sadness of my dear friends. I felt as if I couldn’t write about it. And this is a sure sign that there something not quite right in my head. Because that’s crazy talk. Again, low self-esteem may be to blame for my feelings of unworthiness of my happiness or any future help I will receive in my time of need. Because I’ll need help.

Further, I’m thinking, anyone who’d begrudge me my happiness, in whatever form it comes, may need to consider why? “I’m happy,” I told my husband and he said “Good, you deserve to be”. And then I asked why he said that? Because I have had enough of grief and misery for a lifetime? Because pregnant ladies deserve to be happy to counterbalance their tough job ahead?  Or because he loves me unconditionally and always wants me happy? “All of it”, he says.

Every time I think about what’s happening inside me and how my life will be better than I can even know, I get butterflies. I could continue to feel guilty but I just can’t anymore. And when I heard the half a second of the baby’s heartbeat yesterday, I know it’s the real deal. And it’s all good.

 

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3 Responses to “Survivor’s Guilt”

  1. Donna at the UU says:

    You deserve the joy!! I’m jumping up and down for you…what a fantastic surprize. BE HAPPY! None of this covering it up with guilt. Donna

  2. Jane Barry says:

    Beautiful post Shalagh, very moving : )

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