I have been trying to write a pregnancy update for weeks. The last few weeks have been some of the more frustrating of it as the end starts to get closer, though. They have made me that much more reticent to share anything about my pregnancy at all, but certainly less willing to engage in conversations. In light of some very interesting conversations this week, I decided to share one last time before baby boy is here.
What has been great is that I have flown through this pregnancy with no issues and very little discomfort. Especially now that he is down further to prep for an exit, my ribs don’t hurt at all! Having that one discomfort be next to non-existent has made the fact that my tummy is so large easier to manage. We are measuring on track for a healthy little man to arrive in the coming weeks. (Fingers crossed)
However, the frustrating part of this whole process has been seeing how people view a pregnancy and their expectations of the woman who is pregnant. Never have I been asked probing questions about my physical body or medical state as though it’s the equivalent of asking what my favorite color is. People want to know details and are clearly put off when I don’t share. They are visibly disappointed when I say that I don’t have cravings, ‘pregnancy brain’, or any physical issues to share. I feel great. I feel normal just with a baby snuggled up in what looks like a beach ball under my sweater.
Making it worse is that the questions don’t stop after one or two nor are they opening into a conversation that is respectful of the decisions I have made for myself and my family. More often than not, when I choose to actually give an answer, they are met with judgement and/or an opinion I didn’t ask for. Any level of respect for the fact that this is my body and my family goes out the door and is replaced by pushing and judging.
To say this has been disheartening to see firsthand is only a part of it. Voicing my frustration on Instagram recently, I received so many messages of support from women who then shared how frustrated and angry they were or continue to be as people continue to push things on them even after they have voiced their choice on something. Women do it to other women, friends and family feel they have the right to, and even strangers think it is their place to tell you how and why your choices are wrong or should basically be in line with how they chose to tackle motherhood.
The thing that everyone doing this seems to forget (or not realize in the first place) is that every person is going to experience something differently than the next person will. Two women could be the exact same age and have identical medical histories but they will likely have pregnancies that are 180 degrees different than one another. They will feel things differently physically and emotionally, and they will make choices for how to have and raise their child differently depending on theirs, their family’s, and their child’s needs. This doesn’t just apply to a pregnancy but to all situations. And there is nothing wrong with that! We are each unique, incredible individuals with our own identities. It is what makes the world such an interesting place: all of the many, many different people that together make it a whole.
My journey doesn’t look the same as yours. Yours won’t ever look the same as mine. But in the meantime, we can respect one another’s choices and perspectives regardless of if they are same or different. Consider waiting for someone to ask for your perspective/opinion or to share your experience with them. Respect one another’s choices and boundaries knowing that they are not always going to be identical to yours. You can still love and respect others while have opposing viewpoints. We could all do more to remember that in all areas of life.