The Pregnancy Spectrum
Pregnancy, such a common subject to read about but one thing I haven't really found was an article about the full spectrum of pregnancy. Yes there is one side of it, where everything goes to plan and you don’t even think about it, then there is the other side where life comes through and ruins everything that you had planned, nothing goes like you thought it would and there is nothing that you can do about it. I think it’s time someone touched base on multiple points instead of focusing specifically on one.
High Side of the Spectrum
I am personally fortunate enough to be on the high side of the spectrum, my husband and I decided in August we were ready to start a family and we found out two days before Christmas we were pregnant. I had dreamed about this moment for so long, my husband and I have been together since I was 14, we got engaged at 19, and married at 20, so wanting to start a family was always in the back of my mind, not to mention I have always been one of those women who always knew I wanted kids. I had it played out in my head as this magical time where my skin would be glowing, morning sickness was non-existent, it would be all smiles and perfect moments where the baby would kick and we would laugh. All rainbows and sunshine right? NO. I was very wrong, from the time I was 7 weeks pregnant until almost 17 weeks I was throwing up a minimum of three times a day, and my skin wasn’t glowing, in fact the imbalance of hormones made me break out more. On top of throwing up for 10 weeks straight I also felt like crap every single day, the nausea never let up, it got to the point where I would sleep all day to escape the horrible feeling of needing to puke every ten minutes, just to get up, try to eat something, throw it up, and go back to sleep again. Halfway through my second trimester I had lost 15lbs. I had started a new job right before I found out I was pregnant, we were also in the process of buying a house, it was a high stress situation for me and I remember crying almost every day on my lunch break. I would call my mom and just cry for 30 minutes straight, which was also bad because I had high blood pressure at the beginning of my pregnancy. I remember one day my husband came home and I was lying in bed, he sat down and pulled me close to hug me and asked me how my day was. I looked at him and began to bawl my eyes out saying, “I just don’t want to feel bad anymore. I am so sick of being sick.” I know hormones run high during pregnancy but this was something I never expected. I cried almost every day, I felt guilty because I knew I should be so excited about being pregnant, this is my first child, how could I not be through the roof? At the end of the day I just couldn’t wait for this pregnancy to be over with. Now it wasn’t all horrible, our baby is 100% healthy which is all we have ever wanted, she has been so active since the beginning, I felt her first movement at 11 weeks. She has been right on track since the beginning and now, at 31 weeks, we are in the final count down before we get to meet her, and I couldn’t be more excited! Most of the problems from the beginning have faded and now I am starting to get a taste of the lower back pain and stretching hips. I don’t cry every day, we ended up not going through with the house and are moving in to our new apartment in a few weeks. Things are going great for us and that is what’s important. I know just how fortunate I am to be able to have these things to complain about in the first place and although it is easy to take them for granted I would go through it a million times over for our baby girl.
Low Side of the Spectrum
The low side of the pregnancy spectrum, the side no one expects or wants. The side where life comes and screws up everything you had planned for, dreamed about for so long. There are multiple parts to this side, from having a tough time, taking a few years, to having to try IVF or adopting because they can’t get pregnant. I’ve never understood why some of the most amazing people, the ones who truly deserve to be parents, tend to be the ones who run in to these life changing problems. There are the kids getting pregnant every day, who don’t want the kid, thousands of women terminate their pregnancies, and yet there are men and women out there who would do anything to get the chance to have a child of their own. I am a firm believer in God but this is one thing I constantly question, now I’m not going to get in to any religious or political aspects in this article, I am just simply stating facts. I will never understand why some of the people who struggle with pregnancy, are the ones chosen to have that struggle. Now one thing I will say and this is to anyone who is friends with, acquaintances, or even strangers having a deep conversation, do not, I repeat, do NOT tell someone who is having troubles getting pregnant “miracles happen.” I understand when it comes to things like this we might not know what to say or how to respond but you basically just told them they need a miracle to get pregnant…think about it, they know it will be hard and no you didn’t mean it in any way other than trying to help but if I was going through what they are going through, I would hate to constantly be reminded that it’s going to take an act of God to get something that is so easy for others. Instead ask if there is anything you can do for them, if they need anything, don’t make light of it by saying “you never know what could happen.” and changing the subject. This is just a personal thing and I am sure others disagree with me, and yeah maybe they are acting like it isn’t a big deal, or they are at peace with it, but you never know how much it affects them behind closed doors. I will never know from personal experience because I am so fortunate to be able to be pregnant, but I can imagine it is a personal pain you don’t share with the world, something like this is between you and the one person you love most in the world.
Middle of the Spectrum
To the women who don’t want kids, don’t let anyone tell you, you won’t be fulfilled, or question you. Children do not equal a happy life for everyone, this is not the 1920’s where a woman’s job is to be a home maker and nothing more, and if you are a women who wants a career instead, more power to you! When it comes to the topic of children, women are so quick to put each other down instead of lift each other up and it’s time it stops. “How could you not breastfeed?” “How can you let your child cry it out?” “You let someone else watch your child while you go to work?” “Why are you so focused on your career, aren’t you afraid you will miss everything?” When will we learn that just because we do things one way does not mean that it is correct for everyone else? For all you women who don’t want kids, don’t let someone put you down for that, it is your choice. Breastfeed or do formula based on your personal preference and what you feel is best for your child. Want a career and to be a mom? Fantastic! You go on and do you supermom! Sometimes you just have to let your baby cry it out and that is okay, if you don’t want to, then don’t do it. You never know what someone is going through in their personal life, maybe they never wanted kids but also can’t have them, telling them they won’t be fulfilled is just cruel, but you would never know if that was the case unless they told you. Maybe she had planned to breastfeed but her milk never came in, if someone is constantly putting her down telling her she isn’t doing what’s right for her child, how is she supposed to feel? There is nothing she can do about it and shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for something she can’t control, but again you will never know unless she tells you. Be considerate of others before you throw your two cents at them.
There isn’t enough time in the world to go through and touch base on every part of this topic, there are so many different factors and outcomes, but I felt it deserved to at least be put out there. It’s hard to remember there are others who go through so much worse than we do, some who will never get to experience that which I get to complain about and others don’t want any part of it. I am no expert by any means, these are just my personal thoughts about it and maybe they will help someone maybe not, either way, it’s a diverse topic that deserved to be put out there.