So, this is a hard post for me write. It's about this pregnancy and what I have seen through it--and that makes it hard, because I guarantee you that parts of it will come across as complaining and whining, even though that is not my intent, and in saying some of the things, I will feel guilty.
Through this pregnancy, I have tried really hard not to complain. I have probably failed at it--a lot. The weight gain, the stretch marks, the sweating, the peeing, the hormones--all of those things I have taken in stride. However, there are a couple of things that have really bothered me, physically, and emotionally.
Physically, one of the changes have been hard because nothing seems to fit me properly. I have had to spend money on top of money just to have something that fits, is comfortable, and looks like I am not trying to squeeze into something that's half my size. It's hard because it makes it harder to be modest...loose fitting things, have become tight. Things that should go up, instead come down. People notice--men notice. I feel guilty, but also at this point apathetic. It makes my upper back hurt because of how fast it has changed and my back muscles can't keep up with that growth. This isn't a vanity thing.
The other issue are my hips. They hurt. Not when I am walking around throughout the day, but at night, or anytime I lay down to sleep. It's not uncommon to have one hour where I am awake 3 times within that hour. I consistently get 4 hours of sleep, and that is on a good night. Naps are hard too...because it isn't just at nighttime. It's anytime my body is horizontal. Sharp shooting pain drives through my hips and nothing works to alleviate it. I don't complain about this because it's there, I complain about it because I am TRYING to deal with it (and I have been since early on in the second trimester). I am trying solutions that will work. Even my OB and Chiropractor are at a loss for what I should do. I get adjusted at least twice a month, if not more. I go to a massage therapist (although, I forgot to make an appointment, and keep forgetting because it's new to me). Tylenol lasts for such a little time, and pumping my body full of it makes me cringe with fear. If I sit up after laying down, my hip pops--and it is painful. It's not a relief thing, because it goes right back to the pain. I can't control it. I wake up crying and in tears--partially from pain, but mainly because there is so little time I have been able to sleep that I can't properly deal with my emotions.
Why am I telling you this? Simply because when I have told others this, a majority of responses (not all), are not kind. I am writing this to remind you mommas of all the pains and hardships you had in your pregnancies. I am not a naturally sympathetic person when it comes to there being a solution for an issue, that is not being approached. (For example, if one were to complain about being thirsty and doing nothing about it when they are able to.)
Anyways, here's my urge to you all from one extremely physically and emotionally exhausted expecting mother. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be encouraging. Be thoughtful. Be sincere. I have heard the phrases "This is what you've prayed for.", "Oh, but it will be so worth it..."Just you wait until...(fill in the blank)", "But this child is such a blessing...", "It doesn't get any better, so you might as well get used to it now.", and countless other phrases that are similar. I get why these things are being said. I do. They all make sense. However, they all make me feel even worse. I know this is what I prayed for, and I am soooo thankful for it. I am excited by it, anxious for it, exceedingly in awe of this child! This pregnancy is already a blessing, this child IS a blessing--a promise fulfilled and every time I think of how merciful and kind God has been, I am moved to tears. I AGREE with you on these things!!! But it isn't what is needed. Hearing those thoughts make me feel guilty for even thinking about how hard this is--especially the fact that this IS what I prayed for. Does that mean I am not allowed to be in pain? Would you have sympathy for someone who broke their leg in a car accident that wasn't their fault?
The other phrases "Just you wait until...", "It doesn't get any better...", and other things like that make it so hard as well. Where is the hope for better days? I get that motherhood is hard, I really do. I know that right now, I cannot grasp what all that means, and that will have to come at another time, but where is encouragement? Shouldn't we be edifying one another? Honestly, without having the rest I even need to get by, and being so exhausted, emotions have more power over me than I would like. Fear comes in like a monster, fears that really have no place in being there, but are now bigger and badder simply because I am tired.
I beseech you, to be you to be kind. I am aware that I more than likely wasn't kind or showed the same compassion with you that I am asking for now, and for that I apologize. If this is how you felt when you had tried talking to me, I now understand. Yes, I was bitter and thought that "well they have such a blessing, what do they have to complain about?!" and I was selfish. I hate that this is what it has taken me to have that shortcoming so blatantly obvious, and I feel awful that I was not compassionate. Again, I have tried hard not to complain about other things and instead tried to have an attitude of thankfulness for weight gain, and stretch marks, and not shaving any more (which that last one, REALLY is a reason to be thankful!). Those things affect my vanity though, not my physical well being. I am asking for some empathy, encouragement, and compassion instead of the typical comments. I am looking forward to giving birth and letting every single issue I had fade away into the background of the precious new life. But please, right now, be kind. Be kind to Simeon as well, because he hears most of it simply because I don't know who I can talk to about this without feeling guilty. He feels helpless that he can do nothing to help the pain of either my emotions or my body right now.
Through this pregnancy, I can honestly say that after this, I want to be the mom that is understanding of another pregnant mom's pains and issues. It isn't just the physical pain. But physical pain, coupled with physical and emotional exhaustion, makes way for emotions from the enemy to take hold. Let's be kind. Let's be understanding. I hope that this is not a rude post, or a justification for complaining. Simply a post that enlightens how much more one could have to deal with than just the body changes. So much more. Let's bind together in the light and love of Christ, and allow others to hurt, and allow them to not feel guilty for hurting---emotionally, physically, spiritually, and under any circumstance.