*This is a guest post written by VP of Brand Strategy and expecting mother, Greer Pearce.*
Confession: Pregnancy Sucks.
I know, I know. I’m not supposed to say that. I’m supposed to say that at 5 ½ months I’m feeling the pregnancy glow. That each and every day I am in awe of the miracle of growing and supporting a life inside of me. That I’ve been a little tired, but that second-trimester energy burst has kicked in and I’m doing great!
But, that would be a lie.
The truth is that yesterday, my dog threw up right before I had to catch my train for work. And when I went to clean up the dog barf, my nausea kicked in full force and I threw up, too. And every time I went to try and clean up the dog barf, I would only add to the barf situation– it was an endless cycle of dog and human throw-up. My husband had already left for work. I was alone in a sea of endless sick and I had to make it to a 9 AM client meeting.
So, I did what I had to do. I LEFT THE BARF ON THE GROUND and went to work. I called my husband to tell him, “Sorry. You’ll need to clean up multiple piles of crusty throw-up all over the rug when you get home.”
That, in a nutshell, is my pregnancy.
While it’s true that some women love being pregnant and their side effects are minimal, for a large portion of us every day of pregnancy–especially early on–is a challenge. That little euphemism “morning sickness,” (Ha! Morning Sickness??!) is like having a terrible flu all day every day for weeks–or for the unlucky few of us–months. You struggle not to throw up in public. Your head pounds and your muscles ache. And the worst part: You have to go about your life as if you are feeling normal.
Let me get this straight: I am truly thankful I’m pregnant. I can’t wait to meet this baby and be a mom. I just had no idea the process of actually becoming a mom would be so hard.
Part of that is due to our collective compulsion to sugarcoat our lives. Women are expected to smile and say “I’m doing great!” no matter the reality. We perform our pregnancies while smiling and patting our bellies and making jokes about eating for two. Maybe part of it is to prove to our coworkers that our job performance isn’t suffering. To not seem like complainers. To downplay how much pregnancy affects us emotionally and physically so that we’re not just seen as pregnant people, but as still our own selves (with an admittedly larger body than usual).
I’m already feeling uncomfortable writing this article… am I being too complainy? Will this come off as whiny and pathetic? Will people think I’m overreacting and that my pregnancy hormones are going into overdrive?
But guess what: Pregnancy, no matter how it affects you, is a big deal.
I think we need to be honest about it. Even the healthiest of pregnancies and births can be physical traumas. And to downplay that is to do a disservice to the role of women as mothers.
So, I’m shouting it from the rooftops: Pregnancy sucks!!! And the next time anyone asks me how I’m doing, I’ll tell the truth: It’s really hard and you may want to move out of the way because I’m 30 seconds away from vomiting on your shoes.
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