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When Pregnant Friends Complain
a blog by Jenn Nixon, August 21, 2013
Once upon a time, I was conversing with a pregnant fertile friend who was inquiring about my feelings regarding my recent pregnancy loss and what my fertility treatment plans were for the future. I happily answered her questions and appreciated her encouraging words regarding the hope for my success. After I had finished my life update, I asked her how she had been feeling:
“Oh I am doing okay, just tired of being pregnant.”
I’m sorry, what?!
During my years of infertility, no matter the lowest point I may have been at, there has always been some pregnant fertile who tried to downplay the situation she was currently in. She would make her snarky remark, forgetting who she was complaining to and I would feel the sting of her cruelty. Of course she wasn’t saying it to be mean; it just didn’t occur to her that whining about pregnancy should be saved for fertile friends only.
“The baby kicks all the time, I can never get any sleep.”
“I feel so fat.”
“My boobs are so sore, they feel like rocks.”
“I am so nauseated all the time, are you sure you want to be pregnant?”
Look, I am aware that pregnancy isn’t all flowers and rainbows. Even during my two short experiences, I remember feeling uncomfortable, tired, and sore. Yes, I also became a whinny pregnant woman BUT only in my head. I dared not speak my grievances out loud and if I did, only sparingly to close fertile friends, NEVER to an infertile.
I think it is only natural to become frustrated when faced with so many changes in your body. The difference is that for all my complaints, I absolutely loved being pregnant and with each new symptom, no matter how ugly it may have been, I knew that this is what I signed-up for. I wanted it, I sought it out and it was worth it, all of it just to finally be pregnant. Most of all, I knew that every symptom was a sign that my pregnancy was progressing so I relished the latest frustration.
With that being said, I am not asking the fertiles out there to stop complaining, I am only asking that they stop complaining to their infertile acquaintances. Consider this; would you share your discontent about the stresses of your high-paying job to an unemployed friend? Would you grumble about the cold symptoms you were experiencing to a companion who was going through chemotherapy? No, you would save all these grievances for an appropriate moment with a cohort who had no emotional connection to that issue.
I would like the baby bump population to consider the feelings of those who desperately seek the uncomfortable trials of pregnancy. I am spending over $25,000 on IVF, just for the honor of being able to experience morning sickness. So when my fertile friends use me as a sounding board for their pregnant complaints, it’s rubbing salt in an empty womb.
Does anyone else find it difficult to be around friends who complain about their pregnancy?