When the Joy Doesn’t Come Easy

It can be easy to succumb to sadness over a pregnancy that strays from the path you had envisioned. Pregnancy is a very dynamic condition that does not follow the books, except for in women distanced enough from their pregnancy to have had their bad memories erased. An unexpected medical condition, a partner that is not as helpful as we want, a delivery plan that is not going to be possible, or even that the pregnancy itself was unplanned. Once your baby arrives, these are the things that are often forgotten, brushed aside with the demands of a newborn but when you are pregnant the unexpected can be overwhelming.

Laura Crossett talks about this in her wonderful New York Times blog post, The Pregnancy I Endured, and the One I missed:

For all the discomforts of pregnancy (and I had many), there is something magical about it. I see my friends going through it now, and I do not envy them many things: not the hyperemesis that one has, or the pain, or the difficulty sleeping, or the body image crisis that comes from gaining weight when you’ve worked hard to lose it. I don’t envy them those things. But I do envy them this: the chance at anticipation, and at joy.

The nausea, the testing, the family members that dislike your name choice, all these things, big and small, take away from the joy of pregnancy. The excitement of the first heartbeats and ultrasounds, the feel of a kick, even in your ribcage, the appreciation that your body is powerful, that pregnancy is a joyous celebration of being female. Mourn the loss of your magical, perfect pregnancy but embrace the one you are having. One day you will be glad that you did.

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