So Be It

SONY DSCAfter a long day at work, my husband was greeted by me: a vomiting machine crossed with an emotional basket case.

You might think I’m exaggerating, but there are just some embarrassing scenes that are too awful to make up.

At one point, my physical distress of morning sickness had peaked to such a humiliating level, I wept hysterically on the floor of our bathroom. As my whole body shook, James put his hand on my shoulder and murmured,

“It’s okay.”

I could feel deep, patient love flowing through his vocal chords. He started the shower and brought me a fresh change of clothes.

This is only going to get worse.

In a few months, I’ll deliver our first child and, as all mothers will tell me, that event’s the real kicker.

This isn’t “another pregnancy post.” This is an honest reflection (which I can’t do without my throat tightening) on truly loving someone and allow yourself to be loved.

James is willing to clean up after my bodily fluids (Great training for diapers! Not to mention when we’re both getting into the well-seasoned years!) and he doesn’t make jokes about checking the game scores on his phone when an awkward subject comes up. He knows that being with me through the wretched bits shows that he loves the me that goes deeper than whatever my physical body is doing at the time.

And I’m learning to let him come into that place.

The night I knelt, weeping and hacking, on our bathroom floor, I cried, “I don’t want you to see me like this!”

It felt safer to shut him out and compose myself, but had I done that, I’d have rejected the chance to let him love me and let myself be loved on the deepest level.

I don’t settle for things that are just nice or easy or comfortable, I want the full-fleshed, real thing, and that takes much more anguish and heartache to reach. I want love at its greatest, most transforming stage.

So be it.

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

-Kahlil Gibran

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. That’s such a beautiful story Elise! Love you two<3

    1. Thank you, Sarah! It’s so crazy, all this stuff that I’m walking through that at first I really don’t like–then I look back with surprise and see all the good that’s come from the tears and the pain. God’s tricky sometimes, because I’m not expected that blessing in disguise. 🙂

  2. They say parenting gets easier after the first eighty or ninety years

    1. HA! By that time, the freshness of any residual pain from things like this will have been soothed by the waters of time. But yes, it’s started already, but I’ll never really stop being a parent.

  3. This is beautiful, Elise. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Hannah! I’m so glad these humiliating stories can be used to encourage and inspire. I’m often in danger of forgetting that.

  4. Morning sickness is a chance for our husbands to really shine! David cooked dinner for me every night and was so kind and thoughtful. I remember one time I was hugging the ceramic bowl (my toilet was never so clean as when I was morning sick!) and Rachel came in and hugged me with her tiny arms, trying to comfort me. There a some gems to be found in the midst of misery.

    1. This is so true! I love that your husband cooked you dinner every night–that’s truly amazing. And your story of Rachel coming in to comfort her sick mommy…made my eyes moist. Thank you for sharing these. They really are gems.

  5. I’m pretty sure you were right there with Susan when she was sick with your sibs…. And your older cousins (and Uncles) all took care of us though our time kneeling before the ceramic. A huge life changer for me was when I could thank God in the midst of it all happening, grabbing the breath to thank him. It is so very freeing to thank Him in everything, and was also good prep work for ‘the main event’. But that main event, Elise, is quite different from morning sickness, and if I could have eliminated one or the other, I would have kept birth and tossed the 3 months of misery. Speakin’ from a lot of experience with both.

    1. I love hearing this. You’d have kept the birth and ditched the morning sickness. I’m studying a lot about the birth process right now–and its both overwhelming and beautiful. Thank you for the encouragement!

      I don’t remember helping my mom when she was “sick with baby” over the others, but I know I’d have wanted to. 🙂

  6. How sweet! And not very easy to readily admit, I know. I congratulate you on your boldness and your desire to have that deep-seated love. As a father of two, you are right: it probably will get worse. There might be worse things to see, especially during delivery. In the end, a love like that wipes all the memory of those little moments, leaving you both with only the precious ones – like you’ll be holding very soon.
    Hang in there, Elise. 🙂

    -Jimmy

    1. I love your reminder that love wipes away the sting of the more uncomfortable scenes, and when you look back, it’s that love that you really remember. Thank you, Jimmy!

  7. I agree with Rebecca. The birth is a finite time of discomfort/pain. Morning (often all-day) sickness was worse.
    Oh, yes you were there for me! You would rub my back and pat my hair. Your little hands were a reminder that all the nausea was worth it. Then you would put your hands on my abdomen and talk to baby. All of it was very serious to you. You were a solid friend to me.
    For me, pregnancy was the time I learned that I was not in control of my body the way that I thought I was. Humiliating, but true. Hmmm…. Why do we feel shame over not being able to control our body fluids? It’s weird when you think about it. We should feel shame over the selfish things we do with full intent, not the short-comings of our bodies. I think we have it mixed up.
    Anyway, life is a messy process and it takes the strong of spirit to find the moments where love can really shine forth.

    1. That’s a good point about how it shouldn’t be loss of control that humiliates us. And I didn’t know I did that for your births! That makes me so happy to know I comforted you and talked to my siblings. 🙂 I want to be among the strong of spirit, I really do. xoxo

  8. Thank goodness for abundant love of spouses! That first trimester was the hardest because it was so new to me- being sick all the time though I was healthy. It didn’t seem right! You got through it though and will continue to rely on James (and vice versa) through all the milestones to come, be them ugly or beautiful!

    1. You know, it’s encouraging to hear that the first trimester was the hardest! That means that I’m already “over the hump” in some ways! Yes, thank God for the abundant love of spouses. I can’t even imagine what this would be like without him!

  9. beautiful as always, Elise. And remember: how we (and those around us) respond to the bad times is the true measure of ourselves. Love to you and your little boy. and your hubby too. xoxo

    1. Thank you! Yes, it’s so true how our responses during the hard, awful times say so much about us and our friends. It makes me feel like its the “real” friendship test, you know?

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