With my first child, I loved being pregnant. I adored pregnancy so much that I actually contemplated having a gaggle of babies and going into surrogacy. I didn't want the feeling to end.
Then I got pregnant again. And it was awful.
Save for a few blissful moments, most of my days were spent in pain. I felt like how a lot of people feel when they're growing a roughly eight-pound human baby inside their bodies for nine months: I wasn't sleeping well, I was achy and nauseated and tired and cranky. And still I knew that some women have it even harder.
When British reality TV star Luisa Zissman took to Instagram last week to share her frustrated feelings amid her third pregnancy, I nodded in agreement . . . and then was shocked to see that she was slammed for it in the comments section – shamed for not being "thankful" enough about her pregnancy.
"Hate growing babies," she wrote alongside a photo of herself sick in bed. "Literally don't enjoy anything about pregnancy. It goes on FOREVER, too."
For many like me, her honesty was welcome — so many moms-to-be only show the blissful moments, which makes those struggling with pregnancy complications feel like they're alone.
But several vocal commentors advised that Luisa keep her feelings to herself:
"If you had been through fertility treatments you would unlikely say comments like that."
"You're freaking kidding me right??? How dare you say you HATE making babies. Did you ever take a minute to think of those of us, celebs and non celebs, who have tried FOR YEARS to have a baby with no success? You are so selfish and you know what causes babies so stop making them. There are many of us women who dream of having 1 baby and here you are pregnant with your 3rd."
"Funny, you have two healthy kids, third on the way and still find a way to complain."
"Wahhhhh . . . All you ladies out there who side with that comment are just as lame…. Grow up and deal with it… You all knew what to expect….. Lmao Keep crying, cry babies!"
I get it. Someone always, always has it harder. Some people get pregnant on the first try, others spend years and go bankrupt trying to conceive. Some sneeze and pop out a baby, while others suffer traumatic birth experiences.
I get it. Someone always, always has it harder. Some people get pregnant on the first try, others spend years and go bankrupt trying to conceive.
Yes, it's important to have perspective and be thankful for the blessings we've been given, even when they are causing us pain. But it's also important that we speak our truth, especially in this era of filtered snapshots of perfect lives. Being honest about hardships and finding support is one of the most important things we can do as a community.
As one commentor said after all the backlash: "We need not to bash one another. We all have our stories, and they're always not perfect pregnancy stories. Be kind."