The honest truth is, not everyone likes been pregnant. I know of a new mom who woke her husband up, almost every night, because she wasn’t comfortable or worse, that she felt some pain. The husband can’t count the number of nights, he stayed up, trying to massage swollen feet, ankles and the back of his wife’s leg, because it was cramping.
The worst had happened one early morning, when I had gotten a call and the helpless man was asking what to do about his wife, who had been up since 2am, sobbing and lamenting her state, asking him to turn her back into the way he met her. She told him she did not want to be pregnant again. Honestly, I did not know what to say. I merely asked to talk to her. My friend was not in pain, she was just uncomfortable; she couldn’t sleep and so kept her poor husband awake.
The unfair part was, she could sleep later, as she works from her house, but her husband had to be out of the house by 6am and the man had not slept since 2am. Even when put like that, she told me they had made the baby together, so he must endure, whatever she goes through. Not even when I suggested she watch movies to while away the time and let her husband rest.
However, there are women who truly enjoy being pregnant and do not mind the pain and twinges. These women make pregnancy look like a piece of cake. That was my antenatal clinic buddy, Biodun. She was an older mom, but you wouldn’t know, if she did not tell you.
Our antenatal clinic was a very large one, filled with women at different trimesters. Most of us did not know each other, because we often did not have the same clinic days and the obvious reason was that we were too many, and all bumps just looked the same, never mind that recalling faces can be a hard task with pregnancy brain. But Biodun and I lived in the neighbourhood and that was the start of our ante natal class friendship.
While we groaned and lamented the various pains in our lives brought on by pregnancy, she always had this serene look about her, as though nothing ached her. While, some of us compared notes, and symptom spotted and compiled lists of complaints for our doctor, Biodun was sure to say, “But, it’s not that bad nah!”
“Wetin no bad? I know you, you will never complain.” Was one retort I had thrown at her, when she had mouthed the refrain one too many times, that it grated on my pregnant nerves.
But she wasn’t suffering and smiling. She was truly enjoying her pregnancy. She was discovering new things about her body, and all of those things had wowed her, she was filling out in pleasant places, like boobs and hips. She was gaining some much needed weight, that she hadn’t gained all her adult life.
Pregnancy was a phase in her life that was so good. For her, it was not TTC that made her appreciate her pregnancy. She had gotten married, and got pregnant, so it was not the waiting or anything. She just loved the whole process.
She enjoyed being pregnant so much that she got pregnant again, before her first child turned one year old. No one could have convinced me to try that. Even with a child on her arm and a bump, Biodun was the epitome of serenity. In the space of four years, she’s got three kids, all under five and if not for the stern warning by her husband (the man was the one who went to the family planning unit of the hospital to request an appointment for his wife, while she was in the labour room), I’m almost sure, she would have been rocking another bump by now.
My sister is another woman who loves being pregnant. That’s when she brings out all these sexy maternity gowns she rocks. That is when her shakara is even plenty sef. She gains weight and such, but she is often glowing. Hardly will you find my sister downcast while pregnant. And quite a busy bee, she usually is too. But she doesn’t look forward to labour at all.
She often says, give me pregnancy any day, but let someone else do the birthing. Fortunately, or unfortunately, both go together. It’s not possible to carry a child and have someone else birth it. But it’s all well.
For me, while I like to think that I didn’t complain much, I must admit there were times I felt like, why did I have to go through all these suffering sef? Not even the baby kicks could make me forget my pain at those times, as all I wanted was to not be pregnant, right at that moment.
I had gone to Ghana on a tour, when I was pregnant the first time, and there was this mountain that we were supposed to climb, and I so wanted to climb. At that moment, I wished I was not pregnant, but I was and starting to show too. I climbed the mountain o, a bit slower but I got to the top of the mountain and the cheering, when I got there made it all worthwhile. The hike down was easy, but that night, I slept like a log of wood. I was so tired.
You see pregnancy is not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, the way expectant moms these days seem to be bonding over all the many things I and so many other moms hate about pregnancy — you can’t sleep, you gain weight, nausea, constipation, stretch marks, calf cramps, you name it, it is still so surprising and absolutely welcoming. After all, it’s the pain of the glory…sorry baby.
True, there’s a lot to complain about pregnancy, and no one would fault moms for groaning out loud every single time they have to wiggle out of maternity pants to pee again. Or lie down, or even get up from the bed…but it’s nice to acknowledge the positive parts too.
Growing another human being inside you is a unique experience, and not something everyone gets to do. That alone should make you love being able to.
So, preggy mama, next time you’re feeling down, or worse, like a grouchy bear, do us all a favour, grab some ice cream, or your favourite snack, prop your feet up on the couch, and think positive, until your beauty sleep catches up with you.
Just know that, even while you sleep, you are being productive, after all you’re growing a tiny human.
Godspeed to you preggy moms!
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