Hollywood lied to me about pregnancy. Right down to morning sickness.
You know what lie I am referring to. Images of expectant mothers with one day morning sickness, snatched in all the right places while showing no signs of fatigue or emotional distress as they work to take over the world. That lie. Or maybe half truth. To be fair, there are SOME mothers who can just slay it like Bey without so much as a stretch mark. Their wardrobe, hair, face, body. Flawless.
Pregnancy sites, doctors, and heck, everyone are constantly pushing us to get plenty of exercise during the second trimester because “you should start seeing more energy”. Social media has countless visuals of real mothers bench pressing a thousand pounds or doing meditative handstands while eight months pregnant. I thought that was normal.
Not going to lie. I wanted that to be MY normal. However, this is my norm.
I spend most of my days in pajamas or an oversized tee and when I manage to make it out of the house to run quick errands, I look disheveled and frankly, in pain. i am by no means knocking the mamas who can do much, much more than i can. they are still an inspiration to me. however, I now chuckle at my Pinterest boards dedicated to cute pregnancy outfits, and pregnancy workouts to keep me looking fwine.
Reading articles and blog posts about all the things I should be accomplishing in my “honeymoon” phase of pregnancy seemed only to further reflect my inadequacy to the perfect pregnancy. I have been an athlete almost my entire life, so being inactive because i had no fight left in me was discouraging. By the saving grace of God, I stumbled across Sarah Ingle’s blog Sweet Miles while I was pregnant with Isaac. An avid runner, Sarah suddenly found that she had almost no energy to stay as active.
Even though it has been a year since I have come to the realization that there are other mums out there who share in my discomfort, I still struggle with the pressure to be like the mothers who are not like me. It doesn’t help when the world around me is trying to fix me to be more normal. My doctors and nurses often give me puzzled looks, as if its abnormal to feel sluggish or slightly alarmed by some reaction my body has to the cerclage or the progesterone shots. There are a lot of you should be's shooting out of their mouths to which i respond with an eyebrow raise and silence.
i say all of this in humor, although months ago it was not funny. i was miserable. i am still miserable, but i can at least laugh at myself a bit now, especially now that milk of mag and colace sit at the dinner table like condiments! it also helps that Keith has been my biggest supporter through my journey. He cheers me on when I am able to do fifteen minutes of simple stretches or when I am able to cook dinner. He holds me as close as my growing belly will allow him to when I am struggling emotionally and physically. He lets me know that I am doing a great job when i allow myself to take a nap. “You’re making a human, Andia. Of course you’re exhausted,” he often tells me.
He is right. I’ve been so concerned with how our society views pregnancy and how I measure up to its rubric. I need to let go of this standard and embrace mine, whatever that may look like in this journey. I want to celebrate everything I am able to accomplish regardless of how insignificantly it compares to the industry norms.
i have to keep telling myself, i'm making a human. mic. drop.