Trust me… I know.
I spent five years rolling my eyes and just WISHING I had pregnancy issues to complain about. I swore up and down that if I was ever lucky enough to be pregnant myself, I’d NEVER complain, and I’d enjoy every last second of it no matter WHAT!
So what’s changed?
And yet… everything.
I actively appreciate every day of this pregnancy. I thank God for what he’s given me, even though things have been difficult, and could be even more difficult down the road. Every stressful, uncomfortable, painful, spectacular moment – I send up a “thank you”.
I want to acknowledge a small belief, however, that seems to stem from one of the more bitter corners of the Infertile Universe, though.
The belief that once an Infertile conceives, that she is never allowed to utter so much as a whine about morning sickness, heartburn, swollen legs/feet/hands/face, or fears of impending childbirth.
This belief is rather widely accepted in some circles, and while I understand where it comes from because Sister? I’ve been there!, it’s still a little unfair.
If anything, being pregnant after infertility affords you a bit more slack perhaps than those who conceived accidentally while on birth control and drunk in a hot tub.
If you’re like me – pregnant after years of suffering the trials, tribulations, grief and bitterness of infertility, then sweetie – I’ve got some advice for you:
Bitch about whatever you want, lady.
You’ve earned it.
Don’t take pregnancy for granted – like that’s even possible – but give yourself a break and understand that your past doesn’t make a difference in how pregnancy will impact your body. Physically, you’re undergoing one of the biggest transformations a person can make – you’re literally MAKING A PERSON – and that’s going to come with some pain, discomfort, stress, panic, and a lot of really gross shit.
Complain if you need to.
Ask for help.
Search out those who understand and don’t judge – those folks are going to be the most supportive people to have in your corner.
Sometimes those people will be members of your Infertile Circle…
But more often than not? They won’t be.
Which brings me to another point: When you’re pregnant, you obviously don’t want to alienate your fellow/former Infertiles, but maybe not-so-obviously, you really don’t want to alienate the Breeders in your life when going through infertility either!
You’re going to need them one day, and if you’re lucky, they’ll have stuck around and will still be willing to support you through your early pregnancy freak-outs, guide you through your midnight acid reflux horrors, advise you on the best granny-panties to pack in your hospital bag for maximum lady-bits comfort, and come over to hold your baby while you take your first shower in a week once you’re home from the hospital with a screaming armful of infant.
Moral of the story is this:
We all need each other.
Don’t screw it up.
Life is hard, and complaints are allowed.
Give a little slack, and get a little in return.
Infertility sucks, you guys. We all know that. We all aspire to grow out of infertility and blossom into pregnancy as gracefully (and as SOON) as possible.
Pregnancy can be beautiful, and as much as we want to think it’s going to be all glitter and rainbows when we finally achieve that dream, sometimes the cold, hard truth is that pregnancy sucks, too.
And, as much of an optimist as I am most of the time, I can tell you for a fact that going through either of those things without a strong, understanding, judgement-free support system will also suck. Big time.
So don’t be so hard on the complainers out there, even if they are former-Infertiles who “should know better”.
Throw them some slack, because you’ll need some yourself one day…
Also, you’ll need someone who won’t judge how greasy and smelly you are after a week with no sleep and being brainwashed to respond to a tiny, wiggly pink creature’s every whimper and snuffle. You’re going to be gross, you’re going to need clean laundry, and you might need help applying various ointments to your cracked and destroyed nipples. You may also need help feeding yourself, washing your own hair, and doing the small, basic personal maintenance tasks like changing your underwear that keep a husband in the house…
So, you know… Complain at will, but just don’t alienate the supportive folks you have around that you can trust to help you with those things and NOT post photos of it on Facebook.
Trust me. I’m already putting aside bribery money…