Women who have ever been pregnant, they’re traitors, all of them.
Somewhere in the midst of the four weeks in which I threw up from morning to night, I called my mom and to question her on what pregnancy was like. She said, “Oh I didn’t stop throwing up until I was six months along. It was miserable.”
WHY DID SHE NEVER TELL ME THIS?!
When I asked her that, my mom responded, “I don’t know, I didn’t really think about it again once you were born.”
I told another girlfriend that I’d been having an awful time of it and she blithely replied that all the other pregnant women she knew were having super easy pregnancies and felt wonderful. Though when further questioned I said, “How well do you know these other pregnant women?” and she told me they were mostly friends of friends, not people she knew well.
Of course. In polite small talk, women are obligated to ask you how you’ve been feeling during your pregnancy and you are obligated to lie through your teeth with a huge smile on your face and say, “Great! I’ve been feeling great!” You only tell close friends and family how horrendous you actually feel, and even then you under-exaggerate so they won’t worry.
If you’re not “Great!” and “Loving [your] bump!” it is implied that you are doing something wrong, you are not the “right” kind of pregnant woman.
And then this politeness, this “Everything is wonderful! I’m pregnant! I’m glowing!” perpetuates the idea that you are some kind of failure if your body reacts normally to the tornado of hormones swirling around inside you by throwing up and being exhausted, by being a disgusting, miserable mess of a human being who can’t even look at a car in movement without throwing up.
In reality, throwing up is one of the healthiest signs in pregnancy, it’s one of the earliest ways to know that everything is going well. In society however, people act like you’re less healthy if you have bad morning sickness.
People who are ignorant about pregnancy think it’s something you can control, that if you just eat right and exercise you probably won’t be nauseous.
It’s infuriating really, when it’s not something you can control, no amount of exercise, healthy eating, or even saltine crackers or starving yourself, will keep you from these horrors, and the pressure to have a “good pregnancy,” is ridiculous.
Anytime a pregnancy ends with a healthy baby coming out of a healthy mom, I’d consider that a “good pregnancy.”