This post was inspired by a group of wonderful women that I met through an online ttc and pregnancy support site. I’ve been thinking of writing this for awhile, but was battling with the idea until I decided today to go for it. There are certain things that a pregnant woman does not want to hear. While you may mean well, we are about to push a tiny human being out of our bodies, and don’t really need to hear some very specific things……especially from the grocery store clerk, the old lady at the barber or the random person walking around.
First up is how much labor and delivery hurts. I’m sorry if you experienced a painful labor, but no one really knows how an individual is going to respond to the pain of labor. I for one have a pretty high pain tolerance thanks in large part to an abundance of medicinal allergies and a body that processes pain medications quickly. I have had numerous medical procedures, broken bones set and my wisdom teeth removed with absolutely no pain medications. Hell, I even walked around with a broken leg for 4 days before going to the doctor a few years ago. While I am completely prepared for this to be a painful experience, I don’t really need to hear over and over how painful it is.
I also don’t really need to hear about whether or not to get an epidural. Each pregnancy and each labor is unique. While I don’t judge your decision to either have an epidural, use another pain management technique or go natural, I don’t really need you to tell me what pain management technique I should use. In fact, I don’t know why random people care so much about what choice you have made.Yes I plan to try this unmedicated, but am all for a PCA line if I can’t handle the pain. I cannot have an epidural. That doesn’t make me a “brave soul,” or “strong.” It makes my delivery a bit more complicated, but he’s still coming out regardless. It doesn’t really matter how he comes out, it all hurts at the end of the day.
You can keep your opinions on how big/small I am to yourself as well. I don’t mind being asked how far along I am or when I am due……but do you have to make the “oh my” face? I can’t tell if you think I’m too small for my gestational age or think I look like a hippo. The “you’re about to pop” comment also doesn’t make me feel very good about myself. I realize that at this point I look like a beached whale and probably look like I am actually about to deliver any second…..but a simple congratulations is all I really need.
Staring at me doesn’t help either. I realize that I don’t look anywhere near 31 years old…..and when I’m walking with my husband he probably looks borderline pedophile. It’s really none of your business how old I am, or if I am capable of having a child. I can hear the whispers, and feel the dagger stares. It’s rude, and doesn’t affect your life in any way, shape or form.
The biggest offender I have…..the one that drives me absolutely nuts……get sleep now because you will never sleep again. Really? Never sleep again? While I know that sleeping patterns definitely change (no more 12 hour sleeps for me), to say that I will literally never sleep again is a pretty big overstatement. The next 60 years or so of my life are going to suck pretty bad if I never sleep again. To be honest, the 2 hours of sleep that I anticipate getting post delivery are going to be glorious compared to the 4 days it takes me to get 2 hours of sleep now…..and I can get more than 2 hours in in one day!
At the end of the day please remember that you are speaking to a hormonally charged, bigger than usual pregnant woman who is probably already scared to death. While you may be trying to help, right now we don’t need horror stories but compassion and kindness. Open a door for me, get something off a high shelf for me, offer a smile.