Today marks my 33rd week as a pregnant woman. For as much as that title has been on my heart and mind the past seven months, I haven’t written about this new stage of life very frequently. Other than a few mentions and our gender reveal, I’ve only written four posts* about pregnancy. Pretty minimal for someone (this girl, at least) who processes through writing.
Despite my commitment to authenticity, writing about my pregnancy put me in a tough spot. For one, I often felt too raw and unrefined in my journey to be writing anything constructive. Just thinking about the changes happening in my body and our little family were overwhelming enough, let alone trying to communicate those feelings. I could barely wrap my heart and mind around what the next nine months (and the rest of our lives) would hold.
Secondly, I didn’t want to proliferate the feelings of comparison that I was struggling, and still sometimes struggle, with. [pullquote]Pregnancy is a minefield of places to compare yourself to others.[/pullquote] There’s weight gain and maternity wardrobes, OBGYNs and delivery methods, energy levels and nausea on top of your overall mental state about being pregnant and having a baby. And where there is comparison there is also judgement. I would read/hear about other people’s experiences and compare my own. I would judge them and I would judge myself. I didn’t want any of my thoughts on pregnancy to promote comparison or judgement for others, so I just didn’t write much about my own experiences.
Then I got the most life-giving and encouraging pregnancy wisdom from a mom who also happens to be pregnant herself. After sharing some stories about labor and delivery, she went on to say that everyone has a different story. Each story is unique and that’s what makes them all beautiful. So simple and so freeing. [pullquote position=”right”]There is no right or wrong way to be pregnant, give birth, or be a mom.[/pullquote] I can embrace the story that God has written for me, and at the same time, I can appreciate the story that God has written for someone else.
I want to be a pregnant woman and a mom who finds joy in her own journey, and all of the uniquenesses therein. I also want to be a pregnant woman and a mom who encourages other women to find beauty in their own unique journey. That’s the motivation behind sharing any life experience, whether baby related or not. When our stories are similar, that’s great and I hope there is encouragement and support in the similarities. But when they differ, I hope you are still encouraged by a God who shows up in all sorts of stories.
*My 4 posts about pregnancy:
- A guest post for Kayse Pratt about our failed attempt at family planning.
- How Grief Gives Me Joy about allowing grief in order to embrace changing life seasons.
- My Times Are In Your Hands about worrying.
- When The Scales Tip about how God operates.