Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Before I had my first child, I heard so many friends (and others) carry on about how beautiful pregnancy was/is. They would talk about "that glow" that all pregnant women get, how healthy their nails and hair were and how happy they felt, despite morning sickness or any other side effect of being "great with child".
I fall in the opposite camp. Though I recognize the miracle that birth is philosophically and scientifically, the beauty of the entire process is virtually lost on me.
Interestingly enough, all three (successful) of my pregnancies were quite easy and uneventful. I didn't experience morning sickness. There were no complications and I never was relegated to bed rest. What I find even more ironic about this, is that many of the people I know who had the worst pregnancies are the same ones who resolutely proclaim the beauty of it!
Maybe it was because they had such a difficult time that they learned to genuinely and profoundly appreciate what came of that struggle.
Then there was me. Firstly, having done my fair share of babysitting back in the day, I had decided that having kids was NOT on my Christmas list. But marriage happened and some concessions were made and now I have three.
I remember attending a four year old's birthday party with my oldest daughter, being great with child (my third). Who knows who or what had peed in my cheerios that morning or what horrible hormone demon had possessed me that day, but I was commiserating the irritations of pregnancy and how I hadn't even wanted kids in the first place (for the record, do NOT try this with people who do not know and appreciate you well), much to the apparent horror of another mother in the room.
Please don't get me wrong! I wouldn't take them back for all the money in the world, no matter how much they drive me crazy! I love them with every bone in my body and would jump in front of any large moving object of destruction if it meant preserving their lives.
Maybe I should just list reasons I don't/didn't appreciate it as fully as other saintly mothers.
- always feeling fat
- stretch panel pants
- swelling feet
- uncontrollable urges to eat
- stretch marks
- other strange and random pains
- being kicked from the inside
- the inability to sleep on one's back (my preferred position)
- raging hormones that made me into an unrecognizable monster at times
- internal exams
- regular weight checks
- OBGYNs who won't listen
- That sweet crap you have to drink for the blood sugar test
- The constant wondering if everything was fine
- other people's sudden apparent lack of anything else to talk about besides babies
- inevitable flack for any name you choose
- strangers touching your belly
- advice (everybody's got some)
- birth stories (everybody feels the need to tell theirs)
- Did I say stretch marks?!?
And I'm just getting started...
So I officially go on record as the unsaintly mother who probably doesn't deserve the children she has, but you will all be happy to know that I have rectified the situation by sending my dear, patient husband to the urologist while I was pregnant with my third, to ensure I don't find myself in that situation again (barring divine intervention).
Lastly, my children are healthy, beautiful, and as far as I know, well adjusted. As soon as I saw them and held them, I decided they were okay and absolute keepers (this is a joke, please take it as such!).
Kudos to you who love pregnancy! I appreciate our differences and hope you'll give me the same grace.
I'd love to hear what you hated (or even what you loved) about being pregnant.