When It's Hard To "Just Enjoy Pregnancy"
“Just enjoy being pregnant,” they say.
“Try not to stress; it’s not good for the baby,” they say.
“Isn’t pregnancy the best?!” they say.
These things are easy … until it’s just not easy.
This is something that’s been on my heart recently, and I want to open up about it.
First, I want to preface this blog post by saying that I know there are so many women out there that would give anything to be pregnant. I wish I could reach through this screen and just hug you. I see you, and I don’t want to discount you or disrespect you at all. So please know that is NOT my intent. I have been there, my heart aches for you, and I wish nothing but for you to have a baby to hold very soon.
But, now I’ve been on the other side of it too…
I remember one of my friends stating in her third pregnancy (after having a stillborn baby and miscarriage) how much she didn’t enjoy pregnancy and just wanted her baby to be here. I never understood it. How could you not love being pregnant?! It’s such a blessing, right??
And yes, it IS a blessing. But, I get it now. I get why you might not enjoy pregnancy like everyone thinks you should. I get it so much.
I understand now how it feels to be pregnant and have a really hard time with it. Not because I don’t want this baby. No no no. I wanted this baby more than anyone will ever know. But because our history and this current pregnancy has just been plain hard. I don’t really even know what it’s like to have a “normal” pregnancy with no issues.
I had preeclampsia in my first pregnancy.
Our first child almost didn’t make it due to heart problems and spent time in the NICU.
Our second child had kidney issues in utero.
We had two back to back miscarriages within a year.
A subchorionic hemotoma (blood clot on uterus wall) was found in this pregnancy at 13 weeks, followed by weeks of bleeding. We were told this was a “high risk” pregnancy and our chances of losing our baby were much higher.
A VSD (hole in the heart) was found at our anatomy ultrasound with talk of Down Syndrome being a link.
No, this isn’t me complaining or wanting your sympathy. I’m simply stating what it is.
I know that so many women have been where I’m at or even much worse. And those women — YOU, my friend — is the major reason I’m writing this post. I want you to know…
It’s OKAY to feel scared and anxious. This doesn’t mean you’ve lost hope or you aren’t strong or you don’t have a strong faith.
It’s OKAY to not love being pregnant because it’s so stressful for you. You’ve had some really scary experiences and have every right to be stressed.
It’s OKAY to not always feel as connected to your baby as you think you should be. I understand that it’s how you might protect yourself.
It’s OKAY to not want to shout from the rooftops that you’re pregnant or show off your bump every chance you get. You likely feel more guarded and protective of your pregnancy and have every right to be.
IT’S OKAY. Please don’t feel guilty. Instead, be aware of how you’re feeling and the emotions you’re experiencing. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other. You can do it. And eventually, your sweet baby will be here.
I am sending so much love to you. And, I want you to know — I understand you mama. I feel you. I get you. You are not alone.
I’m also writing this post for those of you that haven’t had these experiences. You’ve either never been pregnant, or your pregnancies have been rather seamless, and/or you’ve never experienced a pregnancy loss. This post is for you too. Because you likely know someone that has been through (or is currently going through) a high risk pregnancy or a pregnancy loss, and if you don’t yet, you will eventually. This is what I have to tell you…
I am so happy that you have never had to experience these things. To be completely honest, I went through a time of resentment toward people like you. It was part of my grieving process. Don’t be surprised if your friend or relative is experiencing this toward you too. I’m now past my own personal phase of resentment and am so grateful that I can be genuinely happy for you, because I truly am. I don’t wish high risk pregnancies, sick babies, or pregnancy loss upon ANYONE. Just know that if you have a friend or relative experiencing a hard pregnancy and/or loss, and they’re experiencing some resentment toward you, do your best to be patient and understanding. It’s not personal; it’s simply how she’s grieving. Continue to be her support, encourage her, and love her. It’s what she truly needs in this moment.
Also, please understand and know that you haven’t been where she has been or experienced what she has experienced. Don’t tell her how she should act, respond, or think. Let her process things and grieve things how SHE needs to, because we all do it differently and in our own timing. Once again, simply love her and support her. You don’t need the perfect words or the perfect actions. Her knowing that you are there for her and that you care is what she needs most during this time. Compassion goes a long way. Don’t dismiss her feelings. You won’t fully understand them, but you can still be loving and supportive.
This was a really real, honest, and difficult post for me to write, but it’s been on my heart lately and I felt the need to share. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. But, it can also be a really hard thing. We as women have such unique and personal stories of pregnancy and motherhood. My hope and prayer is that we can all support, love, and be compassionate toward one another’s various journeys.
Love to each of you!