I hate that whenever a pregnant person tries to explain just how crap being pregnant is for some people, that they are silenced by those people saying:
look what you get when it is over!
it will all be worth it in the end…
I am sorry but I know what is coming. I have a 2 year old who does not sleep and a set of vagina muscles that are definitely not going back into shape close to what they were pre-baby let alone pre-babIES. I can’t see my toes never mind my pubic region to be able to ‘take care of business’ and my back aches and feet swell the way that your body does after a big night out, only it is a constant rather than temporary feature and the rest of me is swollen too so I just look like a giant beached whale. Literally. And thanks to pregnancy I have no sense of style or self-confidence in how I look because all I feel is bloated and overweight. Sensing a theme here? So I want to allay a couple of myths about ‘negative pregnant mothers’, because I think we get given a bad rap when all we want is for someone to rub our neck or feet and commiserate saying things like ‘yes it does suck’, rather than:
You should be grateful to be pregnant – I am complaining because I am feeling sorry for the seeming endless parade of stretch marks (a new and very unwelcome feature of this pregnancy after all the hard work we put into being mark free during last time), insatiable thirst (thanks medication), burning muscles, low energy however the ability to stand and eat all the food in the house and my workplace (yes, I tapped into those Grain Wave crisps this afternoon) because I can’t feel my stomach capacity due to this MASS sitting right up under my rib cage, compressing and crushing my vital organs and making me shit funny. Only it’s not funny when you run to the toilet every 20 minutes thinking that it is explosive poo time only to discover a shart caused all the raucous and bubbles in my gut and pressure ‘down there’.
You chose to be pregnant so you should be happy about it – but I just feel like I am biding my time until the baby comes and the REAL fun starts. You know, the poonamis, vomit streams, feeding issues, lack of sleep, deterioration of self care, loss of time due to chronic sleep deprivation, and did I mention lack of sleep? Do not underestimate the power of rest when it comes to being able to deal with a child/ren and although I get rubbish sleep now, things are about to get a whole lot more real in this house when the baby comes. So no, I am not looking forward to the end, I am not happy about it because I know what is coming. I know there are good things like newborn snuggles, but on the whole making and raising a baby is hard work and just like periods of hard work in a rewarding career, we do NOT have to be happy about it. So just bugger off.
You’ll forget all of this when your beautiful baby arrives – nope, it is two years on and I still remember that by 29 weeks in my last pregnancy I was struggling to walk and had to stop work in 4 weeks time. Stop work. In one month. Yes, I remember that AND that my child arrived 3 weeks ahead of schedule so it was good luck, really, to have that time off work otherwise I would have had no maternity leave at all. I also remember the heartburn and return of all day sickness in the third trimester, and this week also helped me recall the ‘beauty’ of birth in the way that makes you want to drink a whole bottle of wine so that your mind can just drift peacefully into oblivion and let your body do the work. That reminds me Mr A, we should start our Calmbirth meditations again soon…
Don’t worry about the excess weigh because you look glowing and beautiful – Yes, thank you and tell that to me as I have to walk diagonally through your front door to strategically place my blossoming belly so that it won’t knock your precious vases on the floor. In what other world do we praise gluttony? As soon as I push this baby out you’ll be talking about ‘loosing the baby weight’ so how are these states any different?
But I will probably smile with you and chortle at these things that you say rather than speaking my mind. Because ultimately it is not worth the fight with what should be seen as a magical, wondrous time full of joy and thankfulness. And as I start my second block of Cadbury chocolate I want you know that I hate being pregnant, I don’t feel lucky or grateful. I just feel like eating chocolate and hopefully catching some sleep while still I can.