Some of you may remember reading my blog post about my personal experience with pregnancy. I caught a lot of flack for that post from people who seemed to misunderstand me. These are typically the same people who encourage every woman, regardless of her personal experience with pregnancy, to just be happy, never mention the misery that ensues with carrying another human being in one’s body, and feel ashamed for even thinking of anything remotely negative related to pregnancy. Many of these people have lost children–and my heart goes out to them. I cannot relate to that experience, but I can certainly imagine that if I were in their shoes, I’d find it a bit easier to focus on the positives during subsequent pregnancies and to be even more grateful for the miracle of it all. Other people simply have wonderful pregnancies–their bodies respond well to the changes, and they don’t recall a single day of feeling miserable. I also cannot relate to these experiences, but I certainly wish I could.
For me, pregnancy has been a trying time in every way. I won’t begin to list the odd physical issues I’ve faced or other symptoms that have plagued me while pregnant. Suffice it to say that one night when I could not sleep–which is every night, but this particular night I decided to write–I compiled a list of reasons to have only one child and to avoid getting pregnant in the future.
Without taking a moment to pause and reflect, I typed out 35 reasons, or “cons.”
Since making that list, I’ve tried to counter it with positives or pros. So far, there are three.
However, even though the pro list is quite short, I can find many things to be grateful for in the midst of the 35 cons. This is a list of what I call “bearables,” which are not the same as pros. These things have made pregnancy more tolerable, even if just for a moment, and for that I am truly grateful.
My true friends have been nothing but empathetic and prayerful. They know me well enough to avoid clichés and empty phrases like “Oh, but just wait until you hold that little baby” or “When you have her, you will forget all about the bad stuff, trust me.” Instead, they pray for me, send me messages inquiring about my health to let me know they’re mindful of what I’m experiencing, and send me gifts and cards to brighten my days.
Humor. Friends have also sent me hilarious links and quotes and books to pass the time and to remind me that the best way to get through something miserable is to find the funny in it.
Science. I may be strange, but I’m strangely comforted by scientific information regarding my baby’s growth and development. Having read upwards of 1,000 pages of scientific goodness–not just books containing suggestions and common sense advice, which I have not found as helpful–has really reminded me of the absolute miracle of my child growing inside me. So thank You, God, for the Mayo Clinic :).
My husband is a lifesaver. Really. I could not have made it through many of the physically trying times–or emotional ones, for that matter–without his support, practical help, and constancy. He has already proven his worth as a father to our baby by performing countless acts of service in love.
Children’s responses to my pregnancy. There is something charming and humorous about seeing each child’s reaction to the burgeoning belly. One of my nieces was completely spooked by the notion of her cousin floating around in utero. The others were fascinated and still cannot seem to stop poking and rubbing my belly and talking to Baby Maggie when I’m around.
Great food. I feel fat all the time now. Since I feel fat, I might as well just give in and eat ice cream if I really feel like it. Not the whole carton . . .
Baby gifts. Opening and touching countless incredibly soft, pink items has been a total pleasure for me. I look forward to using all the gifts we’ve received, but for now, it’s plenty enjoyable to be surrounded by piles of plushness.
Two great doctors. I’ve been blessed with truly caring medical staff who continue to try to help me and never make me feel ridiculous despite how many questions I ask or what sort of odd symptoms I mention.
I’m grateful for the bearables–with them, it’s a little easier to find reasons to smile and items to add to my gratitude lists.