Any female can tell you that we hear a lot about pregnancy growing up. I suppose this is because we are expected to grow up, get married, and raise lots of roly-poly babies before we die.
I remember hearing about the joys of pregnancy: conception (between husband and wife, but as we grow older we learn better, don’t we?), the first trimester morning sickness, mommy mood-swings, the “glow”, the cravings, the eating habits, the growth (both mommy and baby), hemorrhoids, water breaking, contractions, labor that can go on for days (or cesarean), breast feeding (or not), stages of babyhood, postpartum depression (for the unlucky)…..but you get the idea.
We also grow up (well, most of us at least) with it drilled into our head that this should only happen when we’re married. Now, one would automatically assume many immediate practical reasons for this: finances, morals, help (daddy’s help with the baby too), and emotional well-being of the baby being raised in a family setting.
What I NEVER heard about was the emotional needs of the mother. As a single mother, I don’t have that constant emotional support that a married woman, or a woman in a relationship, has available to her, regardless of whether or not the pregnancy was expected or wanted. Now these women in relationships may say that they never had enough support during their pregnancy, maybe their spouse or partner wasn’t as supportive as she wanted them to be, but to have had the opportunity for support every day and night of the week? I envy these women who had someone whose shoulder they could cry on, who had someone to hold them whenever they needed to be held, whenever they needed to be comforted. These women who had someone to share this experience with on a daily basis, these women who didn’t feel like they were going through this alone.
I am very lucky to have the support and understanding of some really, really good friends, but it hurts me to say that it isn’t enough. Maybe enough isn’t the right word….but at the very least, it isn’t the same. I really wish it were.