Luck (Good or Bad) Shouldn't Equal Guilt
I’m just going to say it ... In my opinion nearly everything to do with pregnancy and becoming a mother seems largely a matter of luck (and, of course, genetics). It seems to me that even before we become mothers, we often feel guilty. But whatever your experience and whether you have good luck or bad luck, there should be no guilt.
Yes, like me, you can try your hardest to make everything perfect. You can prepare your body to conceive, you can take every recommended step for a healthy pregnancy, and plan getting pregnant using whatever assistance is available, like track ovulation. But, largely, whether or not you get pregnant seems to be due to luck and genetics.
If you come up against obstacles getting pregnant, in most cases, you cannot help it. There may be a reason but it’s rarely because of something you did or didn’t do. If you need help to get pregnant, it is not your fault. This doesn’t mean that you are somehow defective. You should not feel guilt.
Jonny and I have became pregnant naturally twice. Both times we got pregnant very easily but both times I lost my babies, one during pregnancy and our baby Mackenzie at 7 months and 11 days old. I am now about to start a second round of IVF after a very unsuccessful first round. It’s not because we have fertility issues. Since discovering that Jonny and I both carry a genetic disorder, we need to do IVF to make sure we get a healthy baby who is unaffected by this genetic disorder. This is not my fault. It is not my husband’s fault. It is pure luck and genetics.
I believe luck also comes into play in the type of pregnancy you have. Whether you get sick, feel great, get swollen feet or lopsided boobs, are affected by hormones, moody, glowing, happy, get morning sickness, stretch marks, get big in the second trimester or pop in the third, it is all mostly out of your control. Being as healthy as you can, goes without saying, but just hold on for the ride. You have little control over how your pregnancy will unfold.
Pregnancy isn’t the only part of having a baby that seems to be largely defined by luck. Luck plays a part in what type of birth you have, whether you breastfeed easily or not, whether you have postnatal depression or not, if your baby is a fussy eater or a bad sleeper. You just have to play the hand you're dealt.
Despite not having much control, women often seem to feel guilty about their baby journey, especially if it’s different to how we want it to be. And we shouldn’t.
We compare our experience with others, and we shouldn’t.
I think we should just do the best we can with what we have been given. Know that where you might struggle in one area, you could sail through in another area that might be an obstacle for others.
I had the best luck with my pregnancy. I cruised happily through it, and loved every minute, but I had a looooong, tough birth. Kenzie wasn’t a great sleeper because she didn’t move enough to wear herself out but she was a brilliant feeder. Did I have control over any of that? No, and looking back I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was my special baby journey. It was my Mackenzie journey.
One of my best friends has had terrible pregnancies. I have watched her go through pregnancy twice and both times she suffered horribly from hyperemesis gravidarum (non-stop morning sickness) for which she was hospitalized. , She got an aggravated uterus, was hospitalized again with the flu, then hospitalized with gastro. Her first baby had limited movement which required even more hospital visits but, by contrast, both of her births were smooth, fast and simple.
We can’t control luck. So why do we so often feel guilty about what what we cannot control, or over what we do or don’t feel? Each pregnancy is unique and is what it is. Maybe we just have to focus on the areas where luck swings our way and be thankful when it does, and for what we have. You are pregnant! You have a child! You are lucky.
Please don’t get me wrong. It may not always be great. And if you are having a shit time, then feel free to complain to whoever will listen, just don’t let the bad parts overwhelm you. There will be up and downs but please don’t feel guilty, don’t feel like you have done something wrong.
Your journey is unique - so own it Mama xx