Why Pregnancy Guilt is a Real Thing
There were no serious complications with my first pregnancy, I was just very, very sick. Nauseous and throwing up about 7.5/9 months. I gained a total of 12 pounds. The minute delivery was over, my nausea was completely gone and I was back to my normal self, if a bit smaller. Needless to say, after having my first baby I was TERRIFIED of ever being pregnant again.
Some type of forgetfulness must’ve happened though because here I am, pregnant with number 2. It has been a very difficult summer; my husband has taken multiple days off of work to take care of me and my young son, I’ve spent a couple of afternoons in the hospital receiving IVs to help with dehydration, and my spirits just aren’t the happiest some days. Throughout these crazy weeks, my thoughts have been ALL over the place. One spot it tends to linger is on guilt. Pregnancy Guilt.
Guilt that I got pregnant RIGHT away with both pregnancies.Within a month of going off birth control, I was pregnant. With both pregnancies. I cannot tell you how many people I know or have heard of that are struggling to get pregnant or struggling to stay pregnant. My heart breaks for these ladies. I feel so blessed to be able to carry babies of my own, and it’s hard for me to not feel some guilt about it. What gives me the right to be fertile? Why am I so lucky to not have to go through a battle with infertility or miscarriage?
Guilt that I complain about being pregnant.With the above said, you would think I wouldn’t have the nerve to utter a single complaint about being pregnant. But that is not the case. Back during my sickest days I would wallow in self-pity about how hard being pregnant is and how unfair it is that I get so sick. Then I would get so angry with myself for being ungrateful and not appreciating the miracle of child bearing. This guilt has been the hardest for me this pregnancy. I’ve spent countless hours going over my circumstances in my mind and trying my best to be grateful for what is happening, but I have really struggled.
Guilt that I’m unable to do what I should be doing.Though they’ve certainly been lacking, I’m not focusing on household chores here. Or the fact that my toddler has watched more movies this summer than he probably will in the next 2 years of his life. Or that his sleeping has been nonexistent from going through separation anxiety because I haven’t been around as much. Or that when I’m having particularly nauseous days I can’t even wipe his messy face without a whole lot of effort to not get sick. Then there’s my poor husband: taking care of me and taking care of our boy, all while taking care of our entire house.
Guilt about splitting my attention with multiple children.Obviously I don’t know what it’s like to have more than one child. It saddens me to think that baby #2 wont get the same attention that my first-born did, there’s just no way. And then my little guy is going to lose some attention from mom and dad due to the new baby. It’s such a hard thing to wrap my head around, but I'm hoping it’ll all work out okay.
I believe that I will come out of this pregnancy a stronger person because of some of the challenges I’ve had to face and the mentalities I’ve had to overcome. One day while sitting in the hospital room getting an IV infusion, the door to my room was open and for a few hours I watched patient after patient receive chemotherapy across the hall. This is a day that I will forever remember. It is also the day I snapped out of myself and my heart was changed. Though scary and miserable at times, I’m getting a baby out of this. A sweet, precious baby who will bring love and happiness into my life. Watching those chemo patients really put things into perspective for me and made my problems seem so small and doable.
We have no way of knowing all of the struggles and trials the people around us are going through. Everyone is fighting his or her own battle, whether big or small. What we can do is be kind and slow to judge. We’re all in this together and I’m humbled to be bringing another one to join us.