Kicks and Cankles: Being Grateful for the Whole Experience
If I am being completely honest, I do not really enjoy being pregnant. I got blessed with every symptom in the book; the acne, sciatic pain, extreme nausea and vomiting, edema, and more. But, I have friends and family that have been praying and trying to get pregnant for quite some time, and I know, for a fact, that they would be grateful for every one of those symptoms if it meant being pregnant.
The pregnancy symptoms kicked in quite early for me, and didn't let up at all after that. I remember telling both my mom and mother-in-law that I didn't care how hard the baby was or how little sleep I was going to get, I was just looking forward to being rid of how completely crummy I constantly felt. Then, one day, I was talking to one of my friends struggling with infertility. She asked how I was feeling and I opened my mouth to complain, but quickly stopped myself.
After thinking for a second, I told her, "I don't feel very good, and I have a lot of other symptoms that are hard, BUT I am just grateful to be pregnant." She then expressed that she was grateful for my honest answer, and glad that I knew it was all something to be celebrated. From that conversation moving forward, I strived to always see my symptoms as something to be celebrated along the path of creating a tiny human!
What did I do when I was sick and laying on the couch? Looked at baby clothes, nursery decor, and signed up for weekly pregnancy update lists. What does my friend do while lying on the couch because her IVF hormones have her feeling tired and weird? She does the same thing I did. The difference? Heartbreaking.
There were a few days while pregnant that I was so upset about the desire of my loved ones to be pregnant, that I couldn't think about anything else. Even though I know that everyone's journey is different, I felt guilty that I had conceived so easily without medical intervention. I expressed my feeling of guilt to my aunt (who had just had a failed round of IVF), and her answer reminded me, yet again, that I would be a fool to take anything for granted. She didn't want me to feel guilty for being able to conceive on my own, but rather to spend my energy being grateful!
Pregnancy in its entirety is a grand miracle. There are so many things that have to happen 'just so' for a baby to be conceived and born. So, no matter how hard, or even how easy, your pregnancy is, be grateful for the whole experience! You never know how many people around you could be wishing to feel even the slightest pang of pregnancy nausea!
Written by: Alyssa Liston