Every time I saw a mother and child strolling hand in hand I always thought, “I want that”. Not because I didn’t have it as a child or because I was longing for it but because to me, it was the natural course my life would take. We grow up, get married, have children, and have families with or without whatever else we might be doing on the side. I had never given it much thought until I got pregnant.
My pregnancy was something from a horror movie, I spent more than half of it terribly sick. The other half was mild sickness. During the second half, I developed tactics to help me cope and so it was not as bad. The vomiting, body aches and loss of appetite was so severe in the beginning, I couldn’t even keep water down. I remember thinking why did I not know this BEFORE I got pregnant. As I got to the middle of my second trimester, I used to make myself vomit first thing in the morning so that I wouldn’t have to vomit whatever I had after.
You are probably wondering why I didn’t visit the doctor or try some home remedies because surely one of the vast things out there would have helped, right? Well, I did and NOTHING worked! All the anti-nausea medication, the home remedies and nothing. I tried ginger, lemons, oranges, and a whole lot more that I can’t even remember. At that stage if it was suggested I wouldn’t even think twice – I would try it.
Society always paints pictures of roses and “soft” pregnancies. Not to say those do not exist because they do (I know of people who don’t even get labour pains for longer than 3 hours and no sickness at all), but what if you are like me who suffers the morning sickness until the delivery date? What if like me you can’t eat and lose weight so dangerously? Don’t girls and women also have the right to hear those stories?
If we perpetuate only one side of the story and send girls and women into the world unprepared for one of the most beautiful but also trying times of their lives, then are we really doing our best as a society? For me it was the mental unpreparedness that made it even worse. I had no idea my body would turn against me in the manner that it did. And when it did, I honestly did not know how to deal with it.
This article is one advocating for open conversations in the societies we live, in the old days they had community or family aunties to talk about these things, but times are changing, and those structures have somewhat been eroded. Newer methods need to be adopted to facilitate for the mental preparation of women and girls for things like marriages, pregnancies, motherhood, careers, and their roles in the lives of others that come after them too.
In the same breath this goes for the men in our societies too. I will however take a step back on that conversation as I am not one and cannot articulate the struggles they go through. However, the need is evidently there on both fronts and something needs to be done.
They say every time one goes through pregnancy and delivery you risk your life and I for one do not disagree with this notion! Bringing a life into this world is joyful and a blessing but for some the road is longer than for others.