Jealousy is ugly. It hurts others and frankly, it hurts yourself the most.
When Joshua was born and I wasn’t able to take him home, I was jealous of every one else who took their baby home. I turned away when I saw pregnant people and couldn’t stand the site of a new baby. I turned away, yet part of me couldn’t help but stare. I was jealous of the pregnant people’s nativity and jealous that they would probably be bringing their baby home. I was jealous of the new baby’s mom who was able to happily birth their baby and bring them home alive.
I met with a friend about 6 weeks after Joshua was born. She had a 3 week old at the time. I asked her how she was feeling and she said, “I cry a lot. I’m having a hard time adjusting.” I just responded, “Yeah, me too.” I was envious that she was crying because she adjusting to a world with a new baby. I wanted to be crying for that same reason.
I kept telling myself, when I get pregnant again, I won’t be jealous anymore. It’ll be different. In a way that’s true. It’s not as difficult to look at pregnant bellies or new babies. I’m not sure if that’s time as a factor or if it’s the fact that I’m pregnant again. I’m able to look at those things without jealousy anymore, but that doesn’t mean the jealousy is gone. Whenever I see a pregnancy announcement, it still hurts. I’m happy for them, don’t get me wrong. I want their pregnancies to go smoothly. But part of me is jealous that they may likely go through a normal and heartbreak-free pregnancy unlike mine. I don’t wish them pain, in fact, it breaks my heart when I hear of anyone who experiences a miscarriage, stillbirth, or even has a baby with a health issue. I want all babies to be born healthy! But it doesn’t lessen the fact that I’m still envious.
With every call or text I get from my mom that her friend’s kid is having a baby, I roll my eyes. It stings. I don’t know why, but it does. The only sheer happiness is when I hear of a loss mom having another baby (not that I’ve always felt that way, I feel it vanished now that I’m pregnant myself). Not that a loss mom deserves it more than anyone else does. But it’s a happiness from a pain I know all too well.
The Bible even gives us stories of jealousy when it comes to children. God knew this would be a continual issue in our world.
“When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or I’ll die.'” Genesis 30:1
Later in the story, Rachel is able to conceive a child. Did her jealousy disappear or was she still envious of those who were able to conceive with no issues?
I want my jealousy to stop but I don’t think it will go away on its own. It’ll be a conscious effort.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
God blessed me with a wonderful 41 weeks with Joshua. I wouldn’t take that back. No amount of pain would be too much for me to trade my time with Joshua. But that doesn’t change the fact that I wish he was still here with us. However, I’m looking forward to a future with Joshua’s sibling and believe that this baby that’s growing inside of me is meant to be in our family. I’m grateful for the time I have with this baby and know that if it weren’t for Joshua, this baby would not exist.
Next time jealousy creeps up on me, or slaps me in the face, I need to step back and reevaluate why I’m feeling this way. Am I jealous because they are pregnant? I was (and am) pregnant too. Am I jealous they got to take their baby home? I am hopeful that I will be taking a baby home one day too and I’m so happy for the time I got with Joshua, even though I didn’t get to take him home. It’ll be a continual effort to be grateful for what I have rather than being envious of what I don’t have. Like the Proverbs verse says, envy rots the body, but a heart at peace gives life!