You have heard it all. The delightful expressions of people when they see a pregnant woman:
You are glowing!
And it's true. I have seen pregnant women who are simply radiant as they carry their child. But, looks can sometimes be deceiving. While there are many women who delight in pregnancy, there are also those like me. Those who would rather skip this part of motherhood.
I know what many may be thinking and I do not want this to be taken the wrong way. The immense privilege I have to be able to become pregnant, carry a child to full term, and bring them into this world is an incredible miracle that I do not take lightly. I am very grateful for my many blessings. However, I should also be able to feel my feelings freely without guilt.
Pregnancy is hard. Hard on your body, on your mind, and a hindrance on your day to day functionality. For some it is more difficult than on others. So, what do you do when you aren't feeling "the glow" and every comment from a friend, acquaintance, or stranger has you wanting to tear your hair out? Here are some tools that I have been working on myself which you may find helpful:
Remember that people have good intentions. All comments made to you about your growing baby bump and questions about how you are feeling is their way of connecting with you and your pregnancy. Some miss the feeling of having a child grow inside of them, some long to experience it themselves, and some just love babies! It may be the 100th time that day that someone neglected to ask how you are and instead asked how you were feeling, but try to remember that they do not mean any ill will.
Take advantage of offers for help. This one is hard for me. One of the parts of being pregnant that I don't particularly enjoy is being limited in what I can and cannot do. I am fiercely independent (right, honey?) and I hate feeling like a burden to others. But, let people help you out so you can get adequate rest while your body works hard. Trust me, I have been learning the hard way on this one.
Remain grateful. While it is completely ok to vent to your nearest and dearest about all that ails you, try to not stay in that negative space for too long. Look for what you can be grateful for during this season. Observe how incredible your body is and remember that there are many who wish to be in your shoes. What a privilege to be chosen as this child's caretaker.
The mixed emotions women feel about being pregnant are ok. If you are having a particularly challenging time, please know that you are not alone. Don't be too hard on yourself if you find yourself not feeling that way you think you "should" about your pregnancy. And try to use the tools about to stay in a positive and calm mentality. It will serve you well during those 40 weeks.