“Just wait…” and other horrendous things people say to pregnant women
Pregnancy has acquainted me with a phrase I have grown to hate: “just wait!”
Let me take you back a few steps so you can understand why this simple phrase makes my stomach turn.
Before becoming pregnant, and I’d say even going back to when I was a child, I absolutely feared pregnancy and childbirth. I used to tell my parents that if I was to ever have a child it would be through adoption because there was no way I was letting THAT happen to my body.
When I began exploring careers based around childcare my fear only intensified, not because of the children themselves but because of the ongoing exposure I often had to pregnant women. I heard all the horror stories.
Oh the ripping… and the tearing… and the leaking…
It was all too much for me, and I came to the resolve that if my destiny was to always be “fun Auntie Ashley,” I’d be alright with it.
Then of course I fell madly in love, got married, and here I am, 38 weeks pregnant.
Boundaries and other things people love.
I have had to set up some serious boundaries around my pregnancy, and not the boundaries I expected I’d have to put up. I thought my biggest struggle would be people giving me unsolicited touches in the grocery store, and though that has happened once or twice, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as people’s traumatic story-telling inclinations. Any woman who has ever had a negative pregnancy or birthing experience merely has to gaze upon my swollen belly, and all of a sudden I’m sitting front row for the re-telling of their birthing story. Instead of flicking hands away from my belly button, I have found myself stopping women (and sometimes men) mid-sentence to say, “I’m sorry, maybe this is a better story for me to hear after baby comes.”
Here’s where the “just wait…” comes in.
I have been working very hard to keep myself in a positive space about pregnancy and birth (hynobirthing is hugely to thank, but more on that later) but I have noticed a pattern develop.
Whenever I am asked, “how are you feeling?” (or any variation of that) and I respond positively, the response is almost immediately receive is, “well, just wait…”
Person: “How are you liking maternity clothes?”
Ashley: “Great! Stretchy and comfortable; I’m thinking about transitioning to maternity pants full time.”
Person: “Well, JUST WAIT until you’re further along; you’ll be sick of them.”
Person: “Being pregnant in the summer is the WORST.”
Ashley: “Oh, it’s actually not that bad. We have air conditioning, so I’ve been more than comfortable.”
Person: “Well, JUST WAIT until it gets hotter and you get more pregnant. You’ll swell up and it’ll be awful.”
Person: “How are you sleeping?”
Ashley: “Pretty good. I’m on summer vacation so if I need to nap, I take one. It’s awesome.”
Person: “Well, JUST WAIT until you have a newborn. You’ll never sleep again.”
Person: “What’s your birth plan?”
Ashley: “I’m hoping to try natural, and see how we do.”
Person: “Well, JUST WAIT until you’re begging for an epidural, because you know it hurts right?”
Needless to say I avoid talking pregnancy and childbirth with a lot of people because it’s depressing AF.
I’m a “7” on the Enneagram; don’t hate me because I’m a positive enthusiast
I am not delusional ; I understand things can be challenging. I also understand I have had a unique experience in that becoming pregnant was not a struggle, and my pregnancy itself has been pretty peaceful. But I don’t think these factors make my experience any less valuable, or un-shareable. I don’t want to live my life in an “Eeyore” state of mind: “it’s not raining now, but it will some day soon.”
I know things aren’t always easy, but I kind of wish more people could have leaned towards the positive side of the “just waits…”
Ashley: “I felt the baby kick!”
Person: “Well just wait until you look at her for the first time!”
Ashley: “I’m trying to be positive about childbirth”
Person: “Well just wait until you see what your body can do; it’s amazing!”
Ashley: “I think my pregnant body is adorable!”
Person: ”Well just wait until you see all of the beautifully weird and wonderful things it does to sustain your baby; it’s a miracle!”
Just wait until you see how beautiful all of this life is. Just wait for the joy, the excitement, the giggles, and the new adventures. Just wait!
SO in celebration of our due date nearing, and soon getting to meet our little bundle, I’d love to hear your POSITIVE “Just Waits…”
Let me have it.