We all know that comparison is the thief of joy…I mean, it’s one of them for sure.
But, there is another ugly side of comparison that really shows itself in pregnancy, especially late pregnancy.
It’s the side that says you can’t experience your pain or acknowledge your pain because someone has it worse.
In several mom’s groups I’m in on the internet, there are moms who are just.done. They have carried this baby to 30, 33, 37 weeks, and they are tired. They are miserable. And, they.are.done.
Yet, when they take time to vent, in a space that is supposed to be “safe”, many find themselves shamed by other moms. How dare they say they are done so early. Do they wish pain and agony on the child? Because, that’s all that will happen now. How can they be so inconsiderate of moms who had premies, who are now separated from their babies? Or how inconsiderate of moms who have struggled with fertility! How rude of them!
But, the fact is, none of us knows anyone else’s story. We don’t know what those moms have been through in this pregnancy.
For example, I have been severely anemic…like, one of my numbers that should be 16 at the lowest was a 2 last time I got my blood drawn (don’t worry, I had an infusion, so here’s hoping it’s all on the up & up now). Also, I have been struggling with the pregnancy depression + postpartum depression/anxiety still from my daughter. I have had 2 infections in the last month – one respiratory and one vaginal. I have also started painful contractions, have sciatic nerve pain, and SPD (SPD is basically, my pelvis is falling apart).
You better believe I am OVER all of this.
Yet, I mean nothing by being over it to suggest that I’m trying to have this baby earlier than he’s ready for. I want him to be fully developed and ready for life in the world…that said, every single day is a battle for me. Every.single.day.
The fact is, I am allowed to feel this way. I’m allowed to express this. My feeling this or expressing this does not take away from any other mom who had her baby early. Or any other woman who is struggling to conceive or adopt.
My pain does not negate their pain, and their pain does not negate mine.
I should not (no mom should) be shamed for my struggles and pain, just because someone else has struggled to conceive or someone else had a baby early.
Yet, when I see those posts, I get a stab of oh man, I’m so weak and selfish for feeling this way.
But, that’s not the case.
Hear me, momma, when I say, if you are OVER IT at 30 weeks, or at 33 weeks, or at 37 weeks (or at 8 or 12 weeks, that morning sickness can be a b***), you have every right to feel that way & express that feeling. It doesn’t make you a bad mom, nor do I assume it means you will be putting your baby in danger just because you’re tired.
I don’t care if you’re just over being pregnant and have been having the easiest pregnancy ever, or if you’ve, like me, had your own personal health put at risk…you have every right to feel how you feel, and be OVER IT, at whatever stage you are OVER IT. Because, pregnancy is hard. Pregnancy takes a toll on the body, no matter who you are, and pregnancy comes with some really big inconveniences and discomforts. (But, the pay off is so wonderful, isn’t it?)
Now, I’m not saying you should just wallow in the negative feelings, or dwell on them for long periods of time. And, if like me, you find yourself dealing with depression or anxiety at an even deeper level, you most definitely need to be seeking help (I definitely notice if I miss a dose of my medicine. Postpartum can be a beast).
What I am saying is that the other ugly side of comparison says that someone who has it worse than us means we shouldn’t feel our own pain or vent our own pain.
But, no one else’s pain negates your own experience of pain/suffering.
The same can be said of deciding the size of your family – whether you’re done with one, two, or twelve (though, if you’ve got twelve, God Bless You, because I cannot even imagine trying to do this one other time, much less ten other times…). No one should make you feel guilty or shamed when you’re done growing your family, just because others are having struggles of their own in the area of fertility – just because you may have the ability to have more than one or two, doesn’t mean you are required to do so.
And, just because you may have experienced struggle getting to this point, doesn’t mean you should feel bad if you, too, are over it. You can love that baby, feel blessed to be carrying, and still hate all or part of the process. It’s ok.
So, at 33 weeks and 5 days, let me just tell you: I.AM.OVER.IT.
I want him out of my belly, in my arms, and I want my body back,
back from being put in harms way, back to myself, back to more energy and better looks.
But, you know what, I am not trying to get him here any earlier than he’s ready. So, for the next 4-6 weeks, I’ll just continue to be over it.