Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things You Should NOT Say To A Pregnant Woman

The news is out!! Tommy and I are expecting our first baby! We are unbelievably grateful for this wonderful gift that our Savior has blessed us with, and we are absolutely ECSTATIC to meet our sweet little one. It was a fabulous journey to arrive at this place, and one day I will share that story. In the meantime, I decided I needed to do the typical 'I'm Pregnant!' blog so I will remember all of these awesome days in the future.... Now, here recently, I have been 'graced' with MUCH advice, opinions, stories... you get the idea. What is it about pregnancy that makes everyone want to tell their stories?! What is it about pregnancy that convinces EVERY WOMAN that her pregnancy/labor/delivery/breastfeeding story is so awful (much more awful than everyone else's in fact), and BONUS! She wants to share that awful story with you.... what a blessing. *Are you detecting the sarcasm? Because if not, you're totally missing out....*

I have been very sick with our little one, but because I am such a worrier, I have been grateful for the nonstop rendezvous with the nearest toilet, trashcan, and the occasional bush. There were actually times where I said, "Thank you, Jesus" after completely emptying out even the most minute contents of my stomach.... HOWEVER, I have learned that if you were one of the lucky ones who were not sick with pregnancy, it is difficult for you to grapple with how it affects others. Or, if it has been a long time since your last pregnancy or you were only sick with your first and have since had 3 kids that are now all school aged, you might have forgotten what it was like to vomit all day every day. Now, I know this is not true for all women. My experience with these women has taught me this...

Lesson 1: Do not EVER suggest that sickness is just in the mind. Yes, I did have someone tell me that maybe I was just "expecting" to be sick. And if I didn't expect it, it wouldn't happen. Really?! Because I'm pretty sure if that were the case and I could just force myself to throw up, it would've saved me many tears & prayers that the good Lord would just let me puke as I laid on the bathroom floor many a night with a stomach virus that was initiated in hell. If I could've just, "expected" to be sick, I'm pretty sure I would've done that! I am not one of these people that can force themselves to throw up... I'd make a pathetic bulimic... seriously. Also, can I just mention that prior to pregnancy, I was laboring under the delusion that I would NOT be sick during pregnancy... Minutes before I was offered this little gem of wisdom, I had just puked up all my breakfast... If only I had known that I should just tell myself, "You're not sick," then maybe I could've held onto those chocolate donuts... just maybe.

Lesson 2: If you were sick your entire pregnancy, feel free to keep it a secret unless asked. The first thing people always ask when you tell them you're pregnant is.. A. When are you due? and B. How are you feeling? Since I'm honest, I just tell them I've been sick. This has been met with many stories such as, "Oh, honey! My friend was sick through her ENTIRE pregnancy. She threw up every day until she delivered." Awesome. Or how about, "Well, most people will say that it will stop at the end of the first trimester, but you'll probably keep throwing up for another month or so." Wow, friend. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I mean, I know that there are people who are sick the entire time, but seriously, let's shoot for a little bit of encouragement. If I happen to be sick with our sweet baby the entire time, you can bet that I WILL NOT be sharing this little tidbit of information with the new pregnant girl! If she asks, I will tell her. But I will not be offering it up. I mean, why rain on someone else's parade!?

Lesson 3: All labors & deliveries are relatively traumatic. There's no need to terrify people with your story. Ok, now I am one of those goofy naturalists... I know, I know. I believe pregnancy is a process, it's not a medical condition that needs to be treated. It's just my philosophy. However, I also know that you cannot bring life into this world without some trauma... I mean, you are BIRTHING another human being! Somehow, I feel like some people's stories tend to get worse the longer they tell them.... I mean, by the end of some delivery stories, it's like that delivery messed you up so bad they had to sew you a new vagina as the old one was labeled as "ineffective"... Honestly, less drama is best. Wow. I believe it was difficult, you don't have to convince me.

Lesson 4: Just because something didn't work for you, doesn't mean it won't work for me. This has ALWAYS been a pet peeve of mine, in a MAJOR way. Like, when people ask how many kids you want and you say, "Four" and they say, "Oh yeah, I used to say that, too. Just wait til you start having them, you'll change your mind." I'm sorry you changed your mind, but please understand that our life circumstances are different.... Just because you did it, doesn't mean I will. I have noticed that some people tend to lord over you an experience they've already had-- and OF COURSE, their experience is the one and only way it could ever be. I know I'm guilty of doing this at times, too, but I really make an effort not to do this. Here lately, this applies to me because, as I mentioned, I'm a fan of natural labor & delivery. Now, I am not an idiot-- I KNOW that I've never had a child before, so I have no clue what my labor might be like. I am not suggesting that I would NEVER have pain medicine or would refuse medical care which could endanger the life of my sweet child. But I do believe, that it is best for me and for my baby to do it as naturally as possible for as long as I can. This is why much preparation has gone into this for me already-- lots of books, classes, exercises, hiring a fabulous doula, making a specific birth plan with my midwife, planning to labor at home for as long as possible. I really haven't told too many people about this because so many people are TOTAL nay sayers.... Like, "Oh you just wait. You'll change your mind." Again, thanks for the encouragement, friend. Now, there are exceptions to this rule. My momma had a completely different type of birth than I am planning. But she has been VERY supportive of me-- and WHY?! Because she loves me and our baby, and she knows that there is more than one way to successfully birth a baby. Thank you, Momma!! Please teach others how to be encouraging like you!

That's all I've got for now... Though, I am certain that the longer I go along, there will be more awesome nuggets of wisdom....There's nothing like a major life change to bring out the stories of trauma... Of course, truthfully, I am grateful that the majority of people care about our sweet baby and about our newly established family. Thank goodness for those folks! :)
Here's the earliest peek at 'Baby G.'....

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