... I stink at being pregnant.
There I said it. And if you want to judge me. Go ahead.
I struggle with this. I struggle with admitting it. I struggle with thinking it. I struggle with saying it. I struggle with feeling it.
And if I do, someone else does. And that someone else needs to hear it from someone like me so that they stop feeling guilty for feeling guilty. That's why I am writing this.
There are women who are made for being pregnant. They love it. They do it well. They glow. They grieve when the baby is on the outside and not inside them anymore.
That ... is ... not ... me.
Some people are made for this.
Some people are not.
I am not.
After ten years of infertility, we adopted. And then got pregnant. I had dreamed ... for years ... of having one of those big bellies.
Now I had one.
And I didn't like it.
And that is hard to admit. It's hard for anyone to admit. But infertility is woven into the fiber of my being. It will always be a huge part of me. Many people who read my blog are still battling this. It's a horrible affliction of which I would not wish on my worst enemy. I was forever changed by it. I will never forget it.
During each of my three pregnancies I faced complications. The small things like leg cramps and insomnia and heartburn. With my third, I was sick until 27 weeks and battled depression and anxiety related to the continual sickness.
And there were big complications too. Bleeding. Early labor. Heck, even an appendicitis which had to be operated on in a Turkish operating room while I was awake.
I wanted the baby of course. I wanted each of my babies with every molecule of my being. But the side effects of pregnancy? I didn't want those.
But to say that? Out loud? Especially me. A woman who wanted this and begged for it and pleaded for it.
If I admitted to my group of infertility sisters that I didn't like being pregnant, they would be hurt. I know if I were in their shoes, I would be hurt too. And while some of my mom friends encouraged me to "be real", there was an always present level of fear surrounding admitting that anything was anything but "perfection."
I feared that if I admitted I didn't feel cut out for pregnancy ... if I admitted I didn't feel good ... if I admitted that I just wanted my body back ... that people would consider me ungrateful. They would judge me.
That Wendi. She begged God for years for a baby. Now she has one. And she's complaining. She is whining. She isn't loving every single minute of this pregnancy thing.
I confided in a few choice people and got burned. I realized that I was held up to a different measuring stick because of the infertility. That people expected me to behave a certain way. That they didn't think being honest was appropriate.
It's like playing Division I Basketball in college (which I did.) You have a full ride to college and are fawned over and travel the world. How dare you complain?
Okay but still. I don't want to get up at 5:30am to run on the track. I'm sick of taking four showers a day. I'm sick of the gym. How do I keep on my schoolwork? I'd like more than four days at Christmas to spend with my family. I want to go on a vacation during the summer instead of continuing to work out.
Isn't it okay to feel tired and worn out and grateful and blessed at the same time?
I argue that it is. And I'm not going to pretend ... anymore ... that real is not okay. I don't want someone else to feel the way I have. To feel afraid to share their heart.
A friend. A neighbor. She admitted to me that her two pregnancies were terrible. That she and her husband wanted more children but not if it meant being pregnant again. That after her daughter was born, there was no instant bonding. That it took many months for her to feel attached. Nothing came natural. Everything felt awkward.
She admitted the truth. She was real with me.
What if she wasn't? What if she lied? What if she pretended that everything was great? And what if I did the same thing? And we all did? And no one felt they had permission to be real? And we kept this cycle of dishonesty going? And new moms everywhere felt alone and that they were the only one?
Because ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I want to argue that what begins with pregnancy continues into motherhood and there are way too many women who are comparing themselves to fake other mothers. Be your child adopted or biological you need to know that you are normal. You need to know that you are not alone.
This pregnancy and motherhood thing is tough to figure out. Especially after wanting it so badly. But wanting it doesn't mean you love every minute of it. Wanting it doesn't mean that you don't feel overwhelmed some days. I have a huge belly and three children already out of the womb. None of whom will go to school in the fall. That's a lot. And some days I honestly think to myself: God? Did you get me confused with some other woman who is totally capable of this?
Certainly having moments where you wonder if you can do it or if you are cut out for it or if God got you confused with some other woman who was capable of doing this job -- pregnancy and birth and raising a child or children -- certainly doubting your ability in these moments does not mean you are not grateful.
I am grateful. I am on my knees thanking the Lord grateful. Not a day goes by that I do not think I cannot believe I got this opportunity. Not a second goes by that I do not remember that there are women everywhere would give anything to switch places with me. Women who want to have a baby with every fiber of their being.
I was that woman.
But the opportunity does not change the fact that I have hard days. That opportunity does not mean I am not scared, overwhelmed, frustrated, unsure, and just plain tired some days.
Both in pregnancy.
Heck even in life.
I stink at being pregnant. I'm so glad that others have paved the way and admitted this and allowed me to not feel alone in not feeling good and counting off the days until this blossoming miracle of life is on the other side of me. People like Joy Gabriel who wrote on her blog:
Pregnancy is not easy for me. I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to it because my whole mind and body just kinda freaks out. This last one was brutal and and my body is still shouting that story from the rooftops. Six months of bed rest and 60 lbs, agonizing hormone shots, early labor, depression, migraines, insomnia, stretch marks (just to name a few). I will probably never look or feel quite the same again and that's exactly as it should be. I'm not the same. Bearing children has brought me a wealth of insight and experience I wouldn't trade for the skinniest pair of jeans.
I refuse to pretend and be fake and make others think that I have it all figured out.
So I'm admitting it. Whatever your "it" is, remember that you can admit "it" without being a complainer.
You can say "this is hard."
You can be real.