Just have fun! Don’t Drink the Water! Don’t stress, it will happen! (Insert eye-roll) If you’ve been around a pregnant person or you’re thinking of, or trying to, get pregnant you’ve probably heard one of those phrases, if not all of them. They just annoy me.
Pregnancy is not something that came easily to me. It was a years-long process that took an emotional toll. It was full of setbacks and heartbreak and self-doubt. It was definitely not fun or easy. I understand the heartache and pain that can come with pregnancy announcements and having to hear the clichés. I work in a predominantly female profession, in fact, I have no male coworkers. There are a lot of women of “childbearing age” and if I hear one more person say “don’t drink the water” I may lose my mind. If only getting pregnant and staying pregnant was as easy as drinking the water in the workplace or “just having fun.” I could have saved a lot of time, tears, and money.
I know how hard it can be to see someone pregnant and to think, ‘Wow, I wish I had it that easy.’ Then I have to remind myself that we don’t know each other’s stories, we don’t know what pain that woman is carrying along with a baby. It’s not like we have a sign over our heads telling strangers of the emotional toll it took to get where we are, and yet, as a pregnant woman, at holiday time no less, I want to say I’m sorry.
To the mom who has been pregnant, but didn’t get to take her baby home, I’m sorry you have to see so many seemingly happy, pregnant women.
To the mom who is in the middle of her infertility battle, I see you. I’m sorry you have to see me.
To the mom who has a child/children at home and grieves those children she never got to meet. I’m sorry.
To the mom who took her baby home, but didn’t get to see that baby grow up, I’m sorry.
To the woman who desperately wants to be a mother, but feels like a failure every cycle. I’m sorry.
To the mom, the mom-to-be, the mom that wants to be, your feelings are real and valid and okay. I know you don’t need permission to feel them, but sometimes we put other people’s feelings before our own, so if you can’t talk to a pregnant person that is okay, and if you need your space, take it.
I know how lucky I am to have a child and to be pregnant, and I don’t take those things for granted. I’m overjoyed to be adding to my family, at the same time, there is a part of me that is acutely aware of the hardships other women face. I want you to know I see you, I see your pain and I’m sorry if I’ve added to it.