The Elephant and the Dog

NATALIE HEINZ


An elephant and a dog became pregnant at same time. Three months down the line the dog gave birth to six puppies. Six months later the dog was pregnant again, and nine months on it gave birth to another dozen puppies. The pattern continued. On the eighteenth month the dog approached the elephant questioning, "Are you sure that you are pregnant? We became pregnant on the same date, I have given birth three times to a dozen puppies and they are now grown to become big dogs, yet you are still pregnant. What’s going on?”._ The elephant replied, "There is something I want you to understand. What I am carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. I only give birth to one in two years. When my baby hits the ground, the earth feels it. When my baby crosses the road, human beings stop and watch in admiration, what I carry draws attention. So what I’m carrying is mighty and great.” - Unknown

“You must be so excited!”

I am excited. I am 8 months pregnant with a healthy little boy. However, the journey was not easy to get to this point. I don’t always look excited. Fear still sets in about whether I will be able to bring my baby boy home with me. It was over two years ago when we officially decided we wanted to start to grow our family. Since then, I have lost two babies. The entire process was miserable and difficult. I also struggled to get pregnant during this process, and I battled long and hard to find out everything I could about my health – and do anything I could to improve it. So this is my third pregnancy; not my first. And it is exciting; but it is also scary. I am aware that I could lose this baby too, although I hope to be able to bring him home. During this time, support, community, and stories got me through. The story about an elephant and a dog stands out to me. This story continues to motivate me and remind me that the baby boy I am carrying is very special. He is mighty and great. His story is full of difficulty and grief and time, but when he is here, he will be very important.

Stories have continued to be impactful for me because of the communities I was able to connect with during these times – stories of people who have struggled for many more years. I found not only my own strength through them, but I was empowered by the strength of these women. There is nothing that these women will not endure for what they want.

I wish this was not the case. I wish that I could have been like the dog and have had the babies that I wanted when I wanted them. But my story was not like that. Instead, I have two angel babies, Andrew and Ellie. My story includes grief and heartache and loss. It also includes learning my own strength to endure anything and to fight for my children. I know that I have a new level of self-care and respect for myself, and I know that I am a fierce mama bear ready to protect this baby. So yes, I am excited, and I cannot wait to finally welcome my first living child to the world. I can’t wait to see his story start.


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Natalie Heinz has been married to her wonderful husband Bryan for five years. She is a licensed clinical professional counselor and practices at the Children’s Home as the lead foster care therapist. She has two angel babies and one baby due to greet the world in September. She enjoys yoga, finding new ways to relax, and friendships.

Christina Hite