I’d like to issue a small complaint. About complainers. If you’ve read this blog for very long, you know that I back away from doing public service announcements. I try not to post “Don’t Do This” or “Things You Shouldn’t Say” lists. Mostly because, ahem. I’ve done it or said it. Soap boxes are slippery that way. I’ve been insensitive. I’ve opened my mouth without thinking. I’ve uttered the completely wrong sentiment to someone who is going through something of which I have no understanding. So I want you to know there is no judgement in this post, just observation. And a little perspective.
With that qualifier, I set forth the following. Pregnant women of America, please stop complaining.
I’m not talking about the “man, I’m tired” or the “I can’t get comfortable sleeping” or the “holy cow, I didn’t think I could sweat this much” complaints. Those aren’t really complaints. They’re light hearted. Normal. They are expressions and manifestations of the wonderful thing happening inside your belly. Those proclamations are totally understandable, and a sweet rite of passage. You get to say them. And while I very much wish that I had been able to say them myself, those statements don’t make me cringe. You are growing a life. You should be able to talk about the changes in your body that growing a human requires. It’s ok.
It’s the incessant complainers that make me cringe a little (ok, sometimes a lot) inside. The ones who label their pregnancies miserable. Terrible. Can’t wait to get this thing over with. The ones who list every possible inconvenience their current maternity status brings. The ones who wish their baby would give them a break. The complaints that end with, “I just want this baby out of me”. The ones who might dare to utter, “this baby better come before his due date.” And the ones who endlessly obsess and complain about the growing length of their stretch marks.
I know your hormones are raging. I know you must feel very uncomfortable at times. I know you feel un-pretty. I know you want to get back to doing the things you were able to do before becoming pregnant. I know the glucose tolerance test takes terrible to a new level. I know nothing fits. I know it seems like the months are going by so slow. I know you just wish you could get this thing done.
Here’s what else I know. I know what a baby looks like when he’s born so early you can see through his skin. I know that in the same group of women to whom you just complained for 20 minutes, 1 or 2 of them are trying desperately to get pregnant . They would give anything to be as miserably uncomfortable as you say you are. I know that you don’t really want to see your baby before he’s due. You don’t want to see him turn gray or blue or yellow because he’s stopped breathing, he’s sick or he’s severely jaundiced.
I know that you would rather hold your plump baby a few days after his due date than hold him months or weeks before his scheduled arrival. Both of you tangled in wires and beeping monitors, you being mindful not to bump the tube mechanically helping him breathe. I know that stretch marks are gone from your mind when your baby is heading into his 2nd, 3rd or 4th surgery. I know that you would drink a glucose tolerance shake every single day if it meant you wouldn’t have to watch your baby get one more chest x-ray. Or blood transfusion. Or spinal tap. I know you don’t want to watch as your child struggles to hit milestones like speaking, eating and walking because he came weeks or months early. I know you don’t want to give a code to a receptionist every day so you can see your baby. I know you don’t want your sweet baby to miss one single developmentally important day inside your womb.
I know you don’t really mean those things.
Rejoice in your healthy pregnancy. Be grateful for a body that didn’t betray you. Anticipate with joy and humbleness a baby born without significant setbacks. Consider perspective. Before you complain. Contemplate the alternative. I get it, there are times when you need to just let it fly-irrational or otherwise. Spouses and best friends are good for those moments. Groups of people-not so much. Often unknown to you, are the circumstance of the friend beside you who wants (or wanted) more than anything to have the healthy pregnancy that you are lamenting. You have been given one of the greatest blessings of your life. Of your baby’s life. Be mindful of those around you who have not been given that same gift. Offer thanksgiving to the One who chose you for this gift. Recognize the miracle. And be thankful.
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing.” Philippians 2:14
This is where I would normally show pictures relevant to my post. I do not have any pictures, however of my pregnant self. So, these cute pictures of Tucker will have to do…