Please stop with the horror stories!
It’s been quite the week for tales of traumatic births and worse, much worse. It’s a very strange thing, conversing with people when you’re pregnant. There’s no etiquette guide to follow and up until this week I haven’t been bothered by the Spanish inquisition style questions about conception, fertility, sex (both gender of the baby and whether I’m ‘still doing it’) and other odd queries from people’s whose surnames I struggle to remember, even prebaby brain.
I’m not fussy; I don’t mind the inappropriate touching or questions but there are certain subjects that should be off limits when talking to pregnant women.
I know bad things happen, trust me. I can’t stop thinking about the bad things that might happen so I really don’t need the constant reminders from people who are gossiping rather than giving helpful advice.
Some people have awful times of it, really awful and I can’t even imagine what they go through, but the thing is that I can imagine it and I do imagine it and I dream about it and think about it. I’m trying to be better, trying to remember that worrying won’t help anything and staying positive is the best thing I can do. I know I’ve very little control over what’s going to happen so I need to relax and enjoy this time. I keep telling myself this over and over again but the voices, the ‘helpful’ voices make this tough.
Right now, I’m not even worried about the birth. Well, I am obviously but I’m not really thinking about it. The way I look at it is there will be at least one expert in the room who can tell me what to do and when to do it. I’m going to explore a few different options but in my own time. As much as I’d like to have a positive birth plan, I know that may go out the window when the time comes so for now I’m just focusing on my second trimester and enjoying it.
One thing I have found really helpful is comparing the horror stories I’ve been made listen to with tales of woe from other pregnant women because it’s not just me. Every woman has been told some form of highly inappropriate tale of loss or horror at some point. People don’t mean to be inappropriate or upsetting but unfortunately they are. There are just some things it’s best we hear from our doctors and midwives as opposed to the friend of a friend whose cousin had this thing.
Being honest, I had eight days of horror leading up to my 22 week scan. Someone told me something they probably shouldn’t have and realised their mistake as soon as they saw my face pale. I hardly slept in the lead up to the scan. The rational side of my brain was completely swamped by the fearful, tormented side that made me question every twinge again and toss and turn all night long.
There are no words for the relief I felt as the scan revealed that we’re right on track. I didn’t use my words at all. Just tears; great big heaving, sobbing, gooey, messy tears.
I don’t know how my BH put up with me but in a way I’m grateful for this crash course as I know he’ll deal with my peculiarities and much worse, in the best way possible. So for now, I need to let him reassure me that everything will be okay and if the worst thing happens, we’ll deal with it together. But for now, we hope every day is a good day and I need to focus on that and not get bogged down in the he said/she said of it all.
Sonia Harris is MD of Harris PR and has been working with Mothercare for over 10 years. She lives in Dublin with her better half, his two little girls and their dog. Sonia is pregnant with her first child and is due Christmas Day. Sure what else would you be doing then?!
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