It must be nice to judge other people as if they all live the same exact charmed life that you do.
Since losing Luke, I've come to be more empathetic. I've always had empathy for people that can't help themselves. For those who are disabled. Poor. Hungry. But I've come to find that those are the easiest to feel empathy toward.
Mothers, and parents in general, seem to dish out a lot of judgement. And maybe I notice it more now because I AM a parent now, and yet, not. I am in a weird, inbetween stage that MAYBE 5% of the population truly understands what it's like to live in.
And maybe comments are finding their way to my ears now because it's clear that I'm a parent--Or at least I'm going to be a parent. People tend to look at a pregnant woman as a given--A given that they'll have their baby and raise it through adulthood. Obviously, right? If you're noticeably pregnant, you'll have your baby.
It must be nice to assume that all women just go through labor, and walk away with their baby. To have a birth plan. To say, "I'm doing this naturally! No meds for me!" and then actually do it, and hey! There's my screaming baby. How perfect.
Now that I'm about 28 weeks along with Bowie, people talk to me about being pregnant a lot. I don't mind it with people I know. But strangers are always a wild card. Some are perfectly fine, and others stray too far into the "I-don't-know-you-but-I-like-to-pry-and-offer-unsolicited-advice" category a little too easily.
There are times I wish I had a sign on my forehead that just said "I had a full-term dead baby already. Please don't talk to me about being pregnant. Whatever you say to me about it will probably piss me off."
I recently had to have a conversation with someone...a medical professional. Not my OB or anyone taking care of my pregnancy. A man. This man clearly has the perfect life. From what I know about him, he makes quite a bit of money, just got himself a motorcycle, has two perfect children and a hot wife. He just moved his oldest daughter off to college, and she's perfect. His son is pretty obsessed with bodybuilding/healthy eating/"just looking his best!". This has all come from conversations we've had. I don't tend to ask much-It's just offered up.
He knows my story. He knows what happened to me. He knows I'm messed up about it. So about a month back, he brings up delivery. I don't think I've shared how my delivery went last time, but he proceeded to hammer it home to me about how crazy he thinks women are when they just go to the hospital and say "Give me drugs!" Also about how crazy it is that a lot of women think they can just sit back in a hospital bed, put their feet up and push out a baby. "That's just not natural! I mean, gravity! Think about it!"
I kind of just wanted to throw up in my mouth a little. Then I said, "Well, I'm pretty much going to do whatever it is my doctor wants me to do to have this baby alive. Whatever that means. It doesn't matter to me."
Then he kind of shut up.
I don't care if I have to have a c-section. I don't care if I'm induced. I certainly don't care if I get an epidural. And frankly, I've had one before. And I was induced before. And oh yeah, did you even think about the fact that I'VE BEEN THROUGH BIRTH BEFORE? So how do you even know what my opinions were on it?
Presumptuous. All of it. And frankly, people in general seem to miss the entire point. Did you get to take your baby home with you at the end of the day, whatever sort of interventions you had to have? You did?
Well great. You're lucky. And you're better off than I am.
I feel like so many people feel free to judge. Judge women's choices. Judge whether or not they're good mothers. Complete strangers feel free to make snide comments to moms in grocery stores about their parenting skills. Why? Do you have any idea what it's like to live one second in their shoes?
You don't. You don't know if that pregnant woman has had a stillborn son like me. You don't know what it was like for her to go through postpartum healing WITHOUT her child. You don't know if that woman you call "lucky to be child free!" has been battling fertility her entire life. You don't know why that girl walking out of Planned Parenthood is crying. And you don't know her situation. You don't know what that mom with out-of-control kids in the grocery store has gone through to HAVE those kids.
So stop it.
It would be lovely if I could have your seemingly perfect life. But I'm willing to bet money that your life is far from perfect. And I won't judge you about that.
Being pregnant this time around is the hardest thing I've ever gone through, besides going through the motions of losing Luke. I guess this is all still part of losing him. I don't know. I wish I could be naive again. To not know the things I know. But I can only go forward as who I am now.
Life isn't as clean and tidy as some people make it out to be. I wish it was, but it's just not.