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Week 18: My pregnancy is not your pregnancy

“You haven’t felt her kick yet?” A friend of mine asked me when I revealed that our sweet baby was a little girl. Instinctively, I placed my hands over my belly, and shook my head no.  “Not yet,” I said. “But I think it’s still early.” This time, my friend shook her head. “No, I...

aaaeb58e9b2311e3b581129d66bb6fb9_7“You haven’t felt her kick yet?” A friend of mine asked me when I revealed that our sweet baby was a little girl. Instinctively, I placed my hands over my belly, and shook my head no.

 “Not yet,” I said. “But I think it’s still early.”

This time, my friend shook her head. “No, I felt mine move at fourteen weeks. Both of them. That’s weird. I would be freaking out if I were you.”

Aaaaand here we go.

I know people mean well when they share their pregnancy stories with me, I do, but I have a hard time when they insist that they are right, that something is potentially wrong with my pregnancy because I’m not experiencing it the way they did. This happens a lot, but often in more subtle ways than a friend telling me they would be “freaking out” if they were me.

Side note: Never okay to tell a pregnant lady that you think she should be “freaking out” over anything pregnancy related. If you’re really concerned, say something like, “Oh! I’m sure your doctor knows better than I do.” Trust me, us pregnant ladies will call the doctor if we feel we need it.

Whenever I mention not feeling sick, eating everything in sight, and only gaining a few pounds so far, eyebrows shoot up. They want to know what my doctor thinks, they want to tell me that their weight gain was much more significant by now and that something might be wrong. Whenever I mention that the bond with my baby wasn’t quite as instantaneous as I thought it would be (I was elated to be pregnant, yes, but it took a few weeks to feel attached to our baby in there.), some people can barely hide their shock. “Oh my God, really? I was so immediately connected to my poppy seed-sized baby! I was already reading it books and rubbing my belly before I even heard the heartbeat. How could you not feel that way? I hope everything’s okay with your emotions after you give birth!”

Collective eye roll, please? Thanks. I needed that.

We all know that pregnancy seems to bring experts out of the woodwork like we just put up a giant sign that says “PLEASE GIVE US ALL OF YOUR PREGNANCY WISDOM”. We’ve all heard stories about women being interrupted by strangers in the grocery store line because she dared to put a can of coffee on the conveyor belt. We all know someone who has no problem telling a pregnant lady that if she doesn’t write a birth plan, then why even try? We hear it a thousand times, these stories, and I’m here to tell you that all they do is put fear into the hearts of us pregnant ladies everywhere.

So enough. I’m tired of being scared because my best friend’s cousin’s stepdaughter didn’t have an epidural and screamed through twenty-six hours of labor so, obviously, my fate will be the same. I love hearing stories of other women’s pregnancies and births, but not if it means each story is followed up with a “So, I don’t know, but I would be freaking out if I were you.”

And, for the record, I asked my OB about when I should be able to feel the baby. “20 weeks or so,” he told me.

“My friend freaked me out. She said I should’ve felt her by fourteen weeks.”

There was a long pause where my doctor stared me down before rolling his eyes and saying, “Don’t listen to everything your friend says.”

Boom. Who’s freaking out now?

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