Over the weekend a friend introduced me to the WhatsUpMoms YouTube Channel. It’s this awesome space with short and to-the-point videos relevant to moms and moms-to-be. By far my favorite contributor is Elle. She is hysterical!
I watched her 5 Things Not to Say To A Pregnant Woman and loved it!
Go watch. I’ll wait.
Very early on (I’m talking eight weeks!) I had several people just reach out and touch my belly. It freaked me the eff out. I instantly tensed up and wanted to scream, “It’s the size of a seed! All you’re feeling is flubber!”
Only it’s not funny.
I’ve spent my entire life hiding my midsection. Before getting pregnant, I wore a shaping tank top labeled “extra firm control” under every outfit – even on the weekends. So you can understand why I don’t necessarily want people touching that area of my body.
Even now my stomach is still a squishy mass and I’m still learning to love it and not feel compelled to hide it under super large, flowing shirts.
Maybe when there is actually something to feel I’ll be okay with it. Maybe.
But, I digress.
I’d actually like to add a sixth item to Elle’s list.
It falls in line with #3, but it can definitely stand on its own …
“You’re SO lucky!!!”
I’ve found that I can’t have a normal conversation about my pregnancy without other women uttering those words. Typically, there are a series of questions preceding the phrase about how I’ve been feeling, if I’ve had morning sickness, etc. Afterward, if the women have been pregnant before, the statement is followed by stories of how sick they were, how they couldn’t get off the couch, and how pregnancy ruined their favorite foods forever.
For some reason, some women judge other pregnancies by whether the moms-to-be suffered from morning sickness or food aversions. It’s weird to me.
I get it.
I’m the pregnant woman you love to hate. Well, hate is a strong word. But, just go with it.
I didn’t get morning sickness. None of the foods I love made me queasy. My breasts weren’t sore early on.
By every “traditional standard,” my pregnancy has been a breeze.
Don’t get me wrong, I know dodging these pregnancy “bullets” has made things easier in some respects; however, let me tell you a little secret:
I still have my own struggles.
I’m 20 weeks and am already dealing with swollen feet and ankles. And, heaven help me, summer hasn’t even arrived yet.
I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof waiting for ultrasounds and doppler heart beat readings. Even though the risk of miscarriage is very slim at this point, I constantly wonder if everything is okay since I’m not experiencing “normal” pregnancy symptoms.
I’ve had severe acid reflux since day one. I’m currently taking 150 mg of Zantac twice a day and some days wish I could take more.
I’m already worried about finding nursing bras. Why? Because my breasts are ginormous and I have to order everything online. That means ordering multiple sizes of multiple bra styles, crossing your fingers something fits, and sending back what doesn’t. Ugh!
I have (and will for the majority of my pregnancy) a B Belly instead of the nice, rounded D Belly most pregnant women get. Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s a description from Plus Size Birth:
A B Belly is something many plus size pregnant women have but it doesn’t get talked about very often. It’s when your belly has a “waistband” in the middle, so the belly gets “divided” between the top and the bottom. When you stand to the side it looks like a B rather than a D during pregnancy. Women who have “muffin tops” usually get a B Belly during pregnancy. It’s normal and if you have a B Belly you’re not alone!
See. Just because I didn’t puke up my toenails doesn’t mean I’m cruising along without a care in the world.
The way I see it, we’re all experiencing (or have experienced) what millions of other women can’t … the ability to carry a child.
For that, I am extremely thankful.
(Notice I didn’t write lucky. Because luck has nothing to do with getting pregnant)
Edit: After reading this several times, I felt the need to clarify. I know the women who have said “You’re SO lucky” are doing so because they know from first-hand experience how terrible morning sickness can be. However, my point is that EVERY pregnant woman suffers from ailments. No two women are exactly alike. No two pregnancies are alike. No two babies are alike. And, for some reason, like I mentioned above, it’s become standard to judge whether a pregnancy is easy or not by whether the woman had morning sickness. You very rarely hear women using the phrase when it comes to other pregnancy symptoms (back aches, acid reflux, sore breasts, etc.). The sooner we stop comparing notes and realize we all have our own struggles (and may not necessarily feel lucky), the better our relationships will be.