Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Pregnancy battle lines - which side are you on?

I’m starting to understand that the pregnancy journey is quite a segregated one. Pregnant women, and those trying to fall pregnant, can judge each other harshly based on their own experiences. Even before the babies are born, there’s an undercurrent of competition between just the process of falling pregnant, and having a baby.

I will admit that I am guilty of judging. Women who fall pregnant easily, or by mistake, and who have not suffered the loss of a baby have it easy. This morning, I heard a woman tell a colleague she was pregnant again after just returning to work from her first child. She wasn’t planning on falling pregnant that soon after. I understand our experiences are all relevant but part of me wanted to stab her.

She was clearly not happy about the situation and I wondered if she had of lost that first baby, wether her attitude would be different. Of course it would because out attitudes are based on our experiences. And I know it’s stupid to project such things, but part of me wishes women would take a moment to think about the alternative and appreciate how lucky they are.

One of my friends, who’s had a hard battle with infertility, had to suck it up when a friend told her she was so glad she fell pregnant on her 3rd go because she couldn’t have stood it taking any longer. My friend had been trying for 3 times as long as that. It was another moment where a stabbing could be justified.

Women’s experiences of pregnancy are all individual. But I do feel there is a divide between those who have experienced loss and those who haven’t. I find myself congregating with the ones who have experienced it. These are people who understand the pain, longing and fear a pregnancy after loss brings. Those who haven’t experienced loss may be able to empathise, but they don’t really get it.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I wipe women who haven’t experienced loss from my life. I am very lucky to have such supportive friends who have all had successful pregnancies support me. I am lucky to have found such wonderful friends who have the ability to empathise and support me. Some women just don’t have those skills.

For me, the saddest part of pregnancy after loss is the crippling effect fear has. Some of my friends never got over it and spent every day of their pregnancy literally paralysed, refusing to believe they would end up with a baby. Others became superstitious and kept the pregnancy to themselves for fear of jinxing it. Others rose above it and choose not to let fear rule their lives. It’s so hard because the voice of fear is constantly in your head.

Me – will I’ve spent some time in all of those states. The fear voice tells me something is wrong and I have to squash it. If I let it, I would think about all the things that could go wrong and write emails or text messages in my mind telling people I’ve lost the baby. While I don’t fear jinxing the pregnancy, I do fear letting myself get too optimistic about it. And other times, I choose to be stronger than fear and be excited about everything that’s to come.

In the moments I need to be brave, I picture myself posting a photo of my new baby on Facebook, with the comment “Sometimes in trying to achieve our dreams, we get knocked down. We have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and be brave enough to give it another crack. This face will forever remind me of what determination, courage and never giving up can achieve.” That’s my way of saying “Kiss my ass fear” everytime it rears its head. I am determined to beat it!   

Image by Stuart Miles
Courtesy of www.freedigitalimages.net

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...