As a woman in my early thirties and about to have my first child I have been pondering on the different sorts of narratives I have heard about having a child. How, if at all, they have changed since I got pregnant. And mostly, the positive and negative views women share with each other.
Before even considering having a baby:
- getting pregnant: It can be very very hard and trying and sigh.
- Pregnancy: It’s wonderful!!!
- Labor: Silence.
- Baby: It’s great. Tiring but so worth it. You should definitely have one.
Considering having a baby:
- getting pregnant: It can be very very hard and trying and sigh. Or it could be easy.
- Pregnancy: It’s wonderful!!! Best time of my life!
- Labor: Mostly silence.
- Baby: It’s great. Tiring but so worth it. So, when are you having one?
- getting pregnant: It can be very very hard and trying and sigh. Or the easiest thing ever.
- Pregnancy: It sucks. It’s hell. It is horrific.
- Labor: Most painful experience ever. Go Epidural. Horrible episiotomy. Horrible recovery. Epidural-Epidural-Epidural. And the stitches. Worst thing in the world.
- Baby: You won’t sleep. It’s horrible. It is the hardest thing in the world. You won’t sleep. You will fight with your husband. You won’t sleep. You won’t feel human.
So, if it’s so horrible to have a baby, why do we keep having them? Why doesn’t anyone ever tell a bloated, uncomfortable, in-constant-pain pregnant lady: It’s worth it.
In my 9 months of pregnancy I have heard constant: “why are you so uncomfortable if pregnancy is wonderful” and have heard counted times of the joys of motherhood. Everything else has been negative.
No talk on good birth stories. Nothing on how incredibly incredible it is to have a human you made and are now taking care of and you get to show the world to.
Why don’t we change the narrative? I do believe that if we did it being so uncomfortably pregnant would acquire a different connotation and it would make you look forward to something instead of sighing about the inevitable horrors that are looming past your belly’s horizon.