Some of you may never experience a less than ideal reaction to when you share the big news you are pregnant and others may experience this far too often. To those who do experience crappy reactions to your pregnancy, you are not alone. It sucked for me too.
In my head I envisioned everyone being excited about my pregnancy. I could not wait to share this news with so many people. There were a number of important friends and family that I went to tell first. The first handful or handfuls of people you tell will most likely be the people you want the best reaction from so it is not abnormal to feel let down if those first people do not react well. In my experience, there were a few family members and close friends that did not react the way I thought they would. In hindsight, I could have communicated differently but that does not change the way it hurt when it happened.
In general, I wanted people to be happy and I wanted people to be engaged and talk to me about my pregnancy. The first person that had an opposite reaction was one of my good friends. It was a quick wake-up call that people still have their own lives, feelings, and reactions. It was also important to realize that I cannot rely on other people for my own feelings about life events. However, it was tough and I had to grieve for a bit that a person I thought would be heavily involved would not. Conversations showed me that I couldn’t even bring details of my pregnancy up because they would be brushed aside.
There are also family members that may react indifferently to your news. This can be heartbreaking. This was heartbreaking. You may continue to make attempts to get that family member to react the way you want them too. And a lot of times you will find that your family member probably won’t change so there may be more unpleasant feelings. Or! Family members may show some enthusiasm and then drift off only to come back with some more enthusiasm and then disappear again, starting an entirely all too familiar chaotic cycle that nobody wants.
So, what are you supposed to do with reactions that don’t meet your expectations? It was my experience to first allow myself to feel the feelings that come along with the disappointment. Then it was equally as important to find people who do care. There will be people who surprise you… do not let those people go. Show up for those people too! Even if you are hugely pregnant, show up because those people will most likely show up postpartum and you will need those people even more then. When you find the people that care, talk to them, tell them the details of your pregnancy, and share in the delight of your pregnancy together. If there are people who are enthusiastic about your pregnancy and begin to engage with you but you don’t feel very close with, I would strongly recommend making the effort to get close. The people who share this eagerness will make such a difference throughout your pregnancy because instead of feeling disappointed over and over again you can focus on your happiness, ultimately making you happier.
Additionally, it is important to do two other things: 1) being taking care of you and your soon-to-be family and 2) find other pregnant women and women who have had children. Taking care of you and your-soon-to-be family can mean many different things. First, take care of you, your body, and your health so that your baby can continue growing beautifully. Second, if you have a partner, spend time together just being with one another. If you have a partner, your world will become smaller together when the baby comes, so making your partner and family a priority will help you make that even bigger adjustment later.
The last thing would be to find other pregnant women and women who have had children. Pregnant women will be able to talk to you about every ache and pain and craving you are feeling, in the moment! Women who aren’t pregnant often forget every minor detail. Other pregnant women will be able to meet you where you are and truly relish in the moments that are happening now.
As you near the second half of your pregnancy or maybe even later, you will begin to have all sorts of questions and concerns regarding birth and postpartum and that is when women who have had children or who have gone through a birth will become great to have around. These women can offer insight on what’s down the road and give personal details on what to expect. There are many, sometimes horrifying, things that happen throughout birth and postpartum. As concerns and anxieties come up, talk to women who have gone through this before, and then you can share the details with your pregnant friends! 😉
And like any other topic I touch upon, if you do not know where to turn, feel free to turn to me. You can contact me through the homepage, email me directly, or call me on my phone. If I am not the person to help, I am always happy to point you in the direction of someone who can. Be well, mommas!