Bump Blues

I've heard many people trying to remain positive about having a baby early. They say things like 'the best thing about having a premature baby is you get to watch the third trimester out of your body' and 'you can actually watch them grow now'; and while that is incredible and I feel so honored to be able to watch my baby develop and grow through her final trimester, without going bankrupt paying for 100's of scans, I still feel as though I've been cheated.

After I had Aria, and was able to walk again, I'd wander round the hospital and always pass heavily pregnant women, waiting for scans, excited ready to be induced, on their labour ward tour... and it felt like a knife piercing my chest and poking into my heart. It sounds silly when I had my baby and she was doing reasonably OK to feel sad about never having to waddle round holding my back. People said to me 'be thankful you didn't get too big, it's horrible', 'be happy you didn't have to go through labour it's a killer' and even 'I'm jealous you didn't have to go overdue, that's the worst' (yeah, that one left me gobsmacked too). So I thought I'd write this post, mainly to get it out of my system, but also to help the people who make careless comments to mums of premature babies thinking they are funny and light understand that, basically, your comments hurt.

Everyone in the world compares their pregnancy and labour stories. Everyone shares too much information, makes light of serious things and laughs about it all after it has happened. They compare their hospital experiences, which nurses helped when and how early or late they were. And, this is the strangest thing I have found about pregnancy and being a mum, nearly everyone tries to make out their experience was worse than yours! Now I know I share my story, I know I point out certain things that happened with Aria in hospital to portray just how horrific and serious the whole situation was, but I very rarely compare my story to someone else's without provocation. I only feel the need to when people make these hurtful inconsiderate remarks about how I should be thankful that I didn't have to be huge and fed up during the third trimester.

I don't think I can explain how it feels to want to be huge. To wish I had an outie belly button and a sore back. To pine after the experience of not being able to see my own feet or to witness limbs poking up out of my stretch-marked stomach. It feels like you're being punished. Like when all you want is pudding after dinner but you've been naughty and sent to bed without it so you just lie there and wonder what you would've got if you'd been good. You feel like people take it for granted and you sit green with envy when people jolt and complain that their baby is kicking 10 shades of sh*t out of them from the inside. You feel the memories of feeling them move, flutter, kick and stretch, fading away. It's like your clinging on to someone who's gone, which is crazy because they haven't gone, they're here and people are right it is amazing to get to see them grow and thrive, but it's painful to know they're growing and thriving without you.

You'd give anything to have lasted through the third trimester, to have even made it into the third trimester would've been triumph. You'd die to feel them twitch or boot you from the inside one last time. And the most frustrating thing is that you can't fathom the words to make people understand that you aren't grateful for never having to waddle, you aren't thankful you didn't have the uncomfortable nights, you aren't happy you didn't need help getting out the bath or up off the couch. You feel an overwhelming wash of sadness whenever you see someone who get's to go through that. Whatever future pregnancies you have, you know you will be hoping, praying and willing that you are lucky enough to experience all that. That you will get a normal pregnancy.

This post is probably controversial, people will think I'm being overly sensitive and pathetic, which is fine and maybe I am. But my reason for this post is simply to actually say how most of us feel out loud and not be ashamed of feeling it! People shame us for being hurt by silly remarks and comments but they do bring up painful memories or unfulfilled wishes for us as mums of early babies.
So next time you feel the urge to make a comment about how awful it is to go overdue, how horrendous it is when you're huge and need help getting up, how much you hate your baby moving so much; just stop and think. Think about the women suffering infertility who would give anything to feel any of that, think about the mums of premature babies who have been robbed of their chance to feel it. I'm not saying don't share your experience, I'm just saying think about your audience before you complain to someone who'd give anything for those experiences.



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