Friday, March 12, 2010

Gratitude is overrated

When I was pregnant with Owen I followed some . . . what do you call 'em? Chat boards? Something like that. For pregnant ladies. I didn't do it this time around because, online-people? Are apparently not very nice.

Some people were interested in talking about the experience of being pregnant, but some people were sadly ignorant or maybe just, shall we say, not-like-me. For example, when one woman started a thread (that's some interweb lingo for you there, folks) about whether she should try breastfeeding her baby, the first response was "only if you want inch long nips." Okay. Way to condense that debate to it's grossest level. Nice.

People who know me know that I don't much like interacting with people who are philosophically diverse from myself. Or, in other words, "wrong." The disagreements that some people find to be an energizing discussion I often just find to be a depressing commentary on the state of humanity.

The other reason I stopped following these boards was that you were NEVER, EVER, EVER allowed to, in any way, imply that being pregnant might not be the greatest experience ever. If you did, invariably, somebody who was reading the board but had not yet been able to conceive would remark on the selfish, ungrateful nature of such a thought. The theory being that the simple fact of being pregnant was such a miracle, and such an sorrowfully unattainable goal for some, that every moment, every twinge, every bout of vomiting, should be considered a blessing.

First of all, if you are having a hard time conceiving, I'm not sure it's the healthiest thing for you to do to be reading the pregnant-lady boards.

Second, I'm not sure that discounting the experience of others is the best way to relate to our fellow human beings. You don't see me going to the Trying-to-Conceive boards and commenting when people get another negative pregnancy test, "well, at least you aren't nauseous! And you can go have a drink!" Because that would be VERY RUDE. And kind of not the point.

The thing is, sure, yeah, it could always be worse.

I am very grateful that I've been able to conceive my children with a minimum of fuss. But that doesn't mean that living through this pregnancy has been easy for me. Or those around me. When people talk about how great and sexy they feel while pregnant I want to squirt water in their faces. But I don't, because we're kind of all allowed to experience life in our own ways.

My point is this . . .

When I complain about being pregnant, I am fully aware that there are women out there who would kill to be pregnant and I am truly sorry that they have to go through that. And that getting pregnant was a conscious decision, so technically (metaphorically) I made my own bed.

I know I have it good. And I try hard to count my blessings. But when I do, I'm often reminded of how very much I have to lose, and that is a little too scary for me to deal with on a daily basis.

1 comment:

  1. beth: what is through this p...has been easy for those of us around you. Easy. So long as we are careful not to annoy you in any way or disagree with you or leave town when Owen gets sick....well you get my drift....wait...can I do this anonymously?? oh oh....i am in deep doodoo.............wait, I can do this anonymously....hell I would have responded much more often...