Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On Pregnancy: I'm Not as Fragile as You Think

I've been pregnant four times. I've dealt with the pain, the swelling, the aches, the mood swings--okay, my husband more so than me on this one--but you get the point. It's not all rainbows and sunshine, but you're working overtime making another human being inside of you, I don't think it's meant to be an "easy" task.

The thing that bugs me is the people that act as though you are suddenly unbelievably fragile, as though any activity that you were to do may cause you to lose the baby.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do know that there are women like this. High risk pregnancies are not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the regular, run-of-the-mill pregnancy where everything is perfectly fine and you have no restrictions what-so-ever.

All of my pregnancies have been no-restrictions kind of pregnancies. Even though my third one was now considered high risk, at the time it really wasn't so bad. Both of the first ones were high risk in delivery, but none of this was any reason to drop my activity level, if I could keep up with it, as though I weren't pregnant.

With number one, I worked outside a lot. I worked on fish ponds, lifting and digging and doing all kinds of work that my body is completely used to. Besides that, my grandmother was living with us and, unfortunately, she was dying from advanced breast cancer.

I remember the first night she fell when I was alone at home with her and I didn't hesitate to help her to her feet. She raised me and barely weighed a thing at that point, and I wasn't that far along. I didn't even think about it. I don't think most people would in that position either.

A few days later we were talking with my husbands' family and it came up in conversation. (My husbands' grandmother was dying from lung cancer at the same time, so discussing this sort of thing was actually rather normal.) I can remember the anger that my father-in-law had on his face as he started on about how I didn't need to be lifting on her, didn't need to be doing this, doing that, because I was pregnant and could kill the baby. Of course, his wife joined in right away as well. It was horrible.

I mean, where did they come up with this idea? Do they not trust that I know when to stop pushing myself? By the second pregnancy, I couldn't do the same things I did the first time around. The first pregnancy I didn't have a baby to take care of. I didn't have to get over my depression from losing my grandmother. I didn't have to deal with that lost feeling because most of my family was suddenly "gone."

It's not like I was trying to harm myself. I've fallen during pregnancy and, no matter what some of those old shows used to portray, nothing bad happened to me or the baby. There were no strange birthmarks on my children from when I smashed my toe or finger.

Sure, I liked off-roading when pregnant with both girls and they like speed and bumpy rides--who'd figure?

But does that mean all my kids love to dance because I randomly shake my booty when no one is looking? Well, yeah, probably. I mean, that would explain a lot.


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