complaining.

Ahhh, I feel like I am sitting down to write a controversial blog post today. I have been thinking and praying over this topic for a while because it’s not one where I want to offend anyone. And I don’t want to come across bitter, because I’m not. I started this blog with a vision of being able to speak for women struggling with infertility. And lately, after many conversations with others in my place, have realized that this is a topic that I would do my best to prayerfully, lovingly approach – the topic of pregnant women complaining.

Gulp.

Here is what I want to say before I go any further. I have several friends who are pregnant – both in real life and in the lovely social media world. Ones that have struggled to conceive and others where it came more easily. I am genuinely so happy for each and every one of them, as being in my place, I recognize the incredible blessing that pregnancy is. This post is not meant to make anyone feel bad, or create any anger. I am not looking for a “BUT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN! IT’S A FREE COUNTRY!!” response. Well, I mean you can, but I will politely ignore it. (And you.) The purpose of this is simply to explain how the complaining makes us (TTC’ers and those that lost a baby) feel. You – pregnant mama reading this getting angry already – can chose to respond kindly to our feelings and acknowledge them or not to and you are welcome at any time to close this blog entry if this is a sensitive topic for you.

With all of that said – here is the thing, more and more  often recently have I come across friends complaining about their pregnancies and each and every time it stings. It hurts that something that I would do ANYTHING for is something that is so “miserable and unbearable” – for a max of 9 months. I want to celebrate your blessing with you! But when you start changing the balance of acknowledging that you are the recipient of a GOD GIVEN blessing and spend more time complaining about your back, your feet, the fact that you have to be on bed rest, how hot you are or how sick you feel, it makes me not want to celebrate your blessing. Because I wonder if you really understand the amazing gift that you have been given. And it hurts. Because I want nothing more than my back to hurt, my hips to ache, to feel a hot flash that isn’t a result of 5 shots that day but because I am growing a baby inside me.

Granted, I will empathize with you when you complain respectfully. Occasional complaining is ok! It’s how you feel and I am so thankful for my pregnant friends who follow it up with “…but I am thankful for every time I throw up, because that means my baby is healthy.” I adore the Instagram pictures of swollen cankles with the captions “Love my cankles … because it means I am pregnant!!” Thank you for acknowledging that regardless of the hellish symptoms, you have a baby. I love my friends who get put on hospital bedrest and cheer that they are keeping their babies in and healthy and would do anything for them. THANK YOU! Thank you to the pregnant women who remember women like me when they are getting up 10 times a night to pee. I would give my left arm to pee that much because of a baby pushing on my bladder. I laughed at a friend the other day who complained after eating that she felt so full. I felt full looking at her! But she did it with a laugh and has been nothing but graceful and caring and constantly acknowledging of her blessing this entire pregnancy. To the women like you, I will chuckle and get you a glass of water (and tums) because I DO care that you are having a hard day.

Here’s the thing – if I knew that you were living in your parents basement and wanted a house of your own so badly, how would it make you feel if I wrote a Facebook status that said “Ohmygosh, I am SOOO tired of dusting my 3,000 square foot house! What a pain this is! Oh the miseries of owning a home.” Or if you were struggling with money, barely making the bills and had everyone praying for you to find a job, and I posted something on Instagram that said “Ohhh, my arms are SO tired from holding my purse with all this money!! Woe is me!” It just doesn’t make sense right? It’s not something that we think to do! Unfortunately I feel like it has become too socially acceptable to complain about certain blessings that God has given us – at the expense of others who haven’t been given that same blessing.

I am open with our journey and others know the pain we have faced and are facing. But you know what, I am 1 in 8. 1 in 8 women who are in a situation where they are struggling to conceive. I talk to women EVERYDAY who are struggling and do not share with anyone except a few family and friends. That means that you DO have people struggling that you don’t know about. I am speaking for them. If you have 300 Facebook friends, that means that with every “Good lord, I hate being on bedrest, I am missing out on SUMMER!” post you write, you are hurting about 37 people’s feelings. Not just hurting their feelings … putting a dagger into their heart as they recall the pain of sitting on the toilet bleeding as they lose their baby; or crying on the side of the bed as the pregnancy test shows the painful one-lined result; or passing a due date or getting that first scary doctor call telling them their husband has an extremely low sperm count. It hurts. It makes me struggling with confusion so badly with how people could be so blessed and not acknowledge it.

Moms, I know how hard the morning sickness is. I empathize with how hot you feel and how bored you are laying on the couch for a few weeks. Don’t forget I have experienced so many of these side effects as a result of going through several years of medications and 2 hard IVF cycles. It’s NOT easy! But if I could find reasons to praise God for even blessing me with the CHANCE to have a baby as I cling the toilet bowl in the morning, I beg you to find the silver lining blessings in your situations.

And to those women who sat in my shoes and struggled with TTC and now are the ones complaining – shame on you. You know how this feels. You cried the same tears 7 months ago when others complained about being pregnant, reminding them how badly you wanted to be in their place. Don’t forget that emotion. Don’t forget that you prayed for this baby and wanted it. Savor every single trip to the bathroom, every single hot flash and every ache and pain – knowing that you are going through 280 days of misery in order to be blessed with a child for the rest of your life.

Now, to those who are still shaking their head muttering about their right to complain – go ahead and complain. I can (and will) block you from my newsfeed and unfollow you on IG. I will return your calls less and less if that’s what you are going to choose to talk about. Just as you as the right to complain, I too have the right to stop being a part of your life. And I would hate that. I would hate that friendships would suffer at the cost of you simply acknowledging and being thankful for your blessing. Know your audience, I beg you.

There – I said it. And please, friends that are pregnant, so many of you have complained gracefully and it doesn’t bother me. But to those who feel the need to moan all the time. Stop it. Please. My and my TTC friends are begging you. And please understand, I am not bitter. I truly am so happy for you and your blessing. I just ache sometimes as a result of flippancy. We get it. We know you are pregnant.

Now – on to happier things! Josh and I are doing really well. I feel really grateful that we have been surrounded with so much support and love as we dealt with the reality of our BFN (big fat negative.) We are excited to be moving forward with our FET (frozen embryo transfer). We meet with our nurse consultant next Wednesday to get our final prescriptions, sign and sign and sign some papers, and finalize the cycle. I have so much to more to share about a great conversation with our doctor and answer many of the questions that you guys have been asking me about “why is this happening?” and “what are your chances now?”. I will save that for another post in the next couple days – as well as fill you in on my first fertility acupuncture appointment. (Funny story, I promise.)

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Thanks for being the rockstar supporters that you are. :)

33 thoughts on “complaining.

  1. amandalsummers2012 says:

    Thanks for posting this! My husband and I have had nine, NINE, people get pregnant while we still trying, and although we are so happy for them, it stings. Many know what we have gone through, but there are many that still complain about their body image, sickness, etc. and I can only take so much! The worst is when they say, are you sure you want this? I’d rather adopt than go through this. I would give all of my possessions to be pregnant, please keep this to yourself! Thanks agin for this post, it helps to have people I can say me too with!

    • chels819 says:

      Amanda – thank you for your comment! And support with this tough topic. I completely forgot to mention to body image complaints, stretch marks, etc … and that is such a hard thing to hear. I agree! If our heart was for adoption, we would be at that step! But please respect our heart to have our own child, at least right now when this is our sensitive journey. I am praying for you guys and am so thankful for your comment. XOXO!

  2. Laura F says:

    Yes!

    This explains so much of the heartache that I go through on a regular basis! Some of the heartache that we endure is a given, and we can’t avoid it, but this kind of heartache can be avoided, or at least reduced. I agree that it would be amazing if our friends/acquaintances tried harder, but if all else fails, we can always decide not to hear it anymore. It’s so hard when it’s people that we love doing this, I’m sure they don’t mean to hurt us, but they just don’t think, but they really need to start thinking…. Pregnancy is a blessing, and even if you’re sick as a dog, or stuck in bed, there are millions of women who would give anything and everything just to be at that place too.

    Such an amazing post, as always! Of course, here I am writing this with tears running down my face, maybe it’s the Vivelle Dots, but your posts are always so heartfelt and wonderful, they always move me emotionally.

    Love you, sweetie!
    XOXO

    • chels819 says:

      You said it so well – it is something that typically isn’t done to be hurtful. Its just complaining is easy! And so hopefully I have brought some awareness to this today! Thanks for reading and commenting and sharing your heart with me too! I love the Vivelle Dots comment – totally hysterical and likely that, ahahah! I cried while drinking orange juice because it tasted so good while I was on Vivelle, haha! Love you too!!! XO!

  3. Gemma says:

    Loved this post Chels!!! It hurts so bad to hear someone complain. My friend lost her baby at 9 weeks, two days ago and to think someone is complaining about their pregnancy to her kills me. It kills me when it happens to anyone, but I think of her at this moment and how raw her pain is and people may not know she was even pregnant.
    I felt nausea the other day and cheered. What an absolute blessing, not a burden. I felt so lucky to feel that and I can’t wait until all my TTC friends feel it too!
    Pregnancy is also a scary time for those of us who have struggled, hearing people complain when we wonder everyday if this is a miracle that is going to last for us, is a hard pill to swallow.
    I’m wishing you a beautifully successful next cycle and can’t wait to hear of your excitement through each and every pregnancy milestone, the easy ones and the tough ones! It’s called doing it with class ;)
    Xx

    • chels819 says:

      Hey lady! Thanks for your sweet, meaningful words! I have a friend going through someone similar and the thought and fear of that pain makes it even harder to hear people complain! I am constantly thinking and praying for you and am trusting that this is IT for you!! I love that last sentence “it’s called doing it with class.” – that’s exactly right! Know your audience and doing it with love, not spite. :) Love ya!!

  4. Sarah says:

    Amen to that! Thanks for this post. It’s something that needs to be said, and shared. You gave such a great example – we don’t tend to boastfully complain about other issues, such as having so much money, getting an amazing promotion, the house of their dreams, etc. because we know it could hurt others feelings. People don’t think about infertility unless it’s affected them or someone they know. And that’s too bad.

    Thank you for being a vocal advocate for this! And can’t wait for the acupuncture story…I’ve been a few times and have found it quite refreshing, but something leads me to believe your story is much more interesting!

    Best of luck to you with your FET. Fingers crossed!

    • chels819 says:

      Thank you for reading and validating these thoughts! It made me even stop and think about how often even something that simple to me, like having a marriage, much less a great marriage, is such a blessing that others desire. It’s easy to turn blessing’s into burdens and I am just hopeful that maybe this brought some awareness to just one of these topics!!
      Thank you for following and for the wishes for our FET! I will for sure blog about the acupuncture – I go back on Tuesday so it’s nothing too outrageous! :)
      Love,
      Chelsea

  5. Rachel says:

    Loved every heart felt word of it. I have been feeling this way on IG about some prior TTCers now pregnant ladies. Hopefully they didn’t just skip out and click the exit and took the time to read this no matter how much it hurt their feelings. Thank you for sharing I’m sharing it on my facebook. love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! Many many FET prayers!

    • chels819 says:

      Thank youuuuu! I hope it is taken the right way, or that even those that do it, realize its them we are talking about, hehe! I love that you are sharing this too! Thanks babe! And you know those prayers are heading your way too!!! XO!

  6. Kyle says:

    I have someone on my Facebook page that’s pregnant. She says things like “why do strangers look at me like I’m a freak, I’m just pregnant” and “look at my eyes people I’m just pregnant”. It’s been all I can do to not reply, “maybe the person looking at you is longing for a child herself”. “Maybe the person look at you wants to know what it feels like to be pregnant because she hasn’t been or can’t be”. No one know the pain, unless you’ve gone through it. The “why God’s”, “what did I do or can I do”, “how can a 16 year old who’s a child have one” or “that lady has 6 kids, I just want one” or “if I had a child I wouldn’t leave it alone like this woman is doing”…..
    There’s a part of the heart that’s completely broken when you can’t have (your hearts) desire. I can’t fix it. All I can do is give it to Gold to hold for me and keep walking forward.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and story.
    From 1/8

    • chels819 says:

      Kyle thanks for the comment! I love what you said “all I can do is give it to God to hold for me and keep walking forward.” Such a GREAT visual! Thanks for reading!

  7. Nat says:

    Sensational! I am sharing this post with all my friends!

    I was terrible to be around in my first pregnancy I complained ALL THE TIME – to everyone about everything! This time I have taken a vow not to complain, after losing a much wanted baby and then struggling to conceive I have not only been given the gift of life but the gift of appreciation of what I have, and how hard it is for those that are struggling to hear oh I can’t wait for this baby to come out at 6 month pregnant, and other such comments! I have told those close to me that if the catch me complaining and stopping being grateful to pull me up on it and hold me accountable!

    • chels819 says:

      Thanks for commenting Nat and for sharing your own experience! I have a lot of women who struggle with secondary infertility dislike their former pregnant complaining self, ha. I am thankful you enjoyed reading this and shared it as well! Hugs!

  8. Danielle says:

    Oh Chelsea that was amazingly written!!! You took the words right out of my mouth. There are days when I want to pay for a public service announcement and say exactly what you said. Thank you for putting this into words so beautiful, I will be sharing with all of my friends!!!

  9. teachmetobraid says:

    This is such a gracious but still very impactful post. Thank you for sharing it. After losing a baby at 19 weeks and then a chemical pregnancy, we became pregnant through IVF. My pregnancy was actually pretty good and I was obviously over the moon about it, but towards the end, I was uncomfortable to say the least. I had such bad hemroids (gross, I know) that the doctor considered surgery, and I could barely walk that last week. There were times when I needed to complain out loud, but I always chose my audience very carefully. I complained to my mom. I complained to my husband. That was it. I did not risk complaining to anyone else because I knew that you can never be too careful. You never know who around you is struggling to conceive or who has lost a child.

    Since having my daughter, there have definitely been times when I have unintentionally put my foot in my mouth. An infertile friend of mine recently asked how my mother’s day was, and without even thinking, I spit out the word “awful.” And truthfully, it kind of was. My daughter was miserably sick all day and my husband had worked 60 hours of overnight shifts that week so he was sleeping all day. I did everything I could to help Harriet, but everything I tried seemed to make her more sad and uncomfortable. So yeah, my mother’s day was hard because I felt so bad for my girl and I felt powerless to help her. But how STUPID of me to say that to my friend. I’m still so mad at myself for it. Again, I should have chosen my audience. I should have known better. I’m kind of ashamed to say that I still haven’t brought it up with her. I haven’t apologized. I’m just so embarrassed, and now it feels too late.

    I share this story just to illustrate that perhaps some small fraction of the time, people who complain aren’t doing it out of insensitivity or even ignorance. Sometimes those of us who have become pregnant just put our foots in our mouths. And sometimes, the stupid things we say bug us just as much as they bug the infertile people around us. I am going to resolve to call myself on these statements right away, in the moment, rather than being so embarrassed that I try to pretend it didn’t happen. I hope that other pregnant people/moms will do the same thing.

    One more thing – now that I’m in two camps (a mom trying to conceive #2 with the help of an RE), I find that it can sometimes be really hard to walk the line between being real, being overly positive, and being overly negative about motherhood with my friends who aren’t there yet (many of whom desperately want children but haven’t yet found Mr. Right). I feel that if I’m super positive about being a mom, I’ll hurt their feelings because it will look like I’m bragging about how blessed I am and rubbing it in their faces. If I find myself being more on the negative side, I worry about being one of the people you wrote about in this excellent post. But sometimes, being real requires me to sway to one side of the spectrum or the other side of the spectrum…and it’s really hard to know how to navigate it.

    So anyways, all of this is to say that I completely agree with this post. Every word. I just wanted to throw out another perspective…not a differing perspective but rather a very similar perspective, just coming at it from another angle. I sure hope it isn’t long before you’re trying to navigate this side of this complicated journey. My heart is right there with you in this fight.

    Also, I wrote more about this issue in the second half of this post, titled “no whining” in case you want to check it out:

    http://teachmetobraid.blogspot.com/2012/11/no-whining.html

    • Olga says:

      Excellent topic, Chelsea! I would also add complaining about hardships of ART treatments and number of failed attempts, because there are so many TTC folks who simply cannot afford the luxury of ART (with all the crazy pricing and 0% insurance coverage!). It is obviously not you I am referring to! You always describe your journey in a very gracious manner and with a wonderful sense of humor! I am mostly talking about people in TTC forums. My heart goes out to all TTC, but especially those who cannot afford treatments :( May The Lord be with all of us! Cannot wait for your updates, Chelsea!!! Sending you some “sticky dust”!!!

      • chels819 says:

        Hi Olga! GREAT point as well! You are right! There are so many that can’t be in the place we are in and don’t have the options we do! So to complain about IVF is hurtful! We are in the 0% insurance coverage population and have been very intentional to save but there are so many that can’t do that! I love that you brought this into the conversation!
        Praying for you and your little growing family! Thanks for your encouragement and prayers!!

    • chels819 says:

      I love this reply! Thanks so much for the different perspective and I completely understand what you are saying! We are also called to help carry each others burdens and encourage one another and one bad day to someone is still a bad day! I think my point was not to turn blessings into burdens but there are days when even those blessings are difficult. And we all do it! I am guilty of complaining about watching a movie my husband wants to watch, when others would do anything for a husband and not to be single! I thank you for your beautiful response!

      • Em says:

        Just an update on my comment…I ended up emailing my friend yesterday, apologizing for my insensitive comment about mother’s day. She was really understanding about it, and I feel so much better having said something. (-:

        And good point about the husband thing. I’m afraid I’m guilty of that sometimes as well.

  10. elaaisa says:

    Great post!! I thought of this last night at a party when hearing a girl complain how her pregnancy ruined her holidays because she was feeling sick. But there are just so many annoying complaints and not just about pain but also about physical appearance: I’m fat, I look like a whale, etc. I wish I were fat because I had a baby growing in me. Instead I am fat because I’m cumulating hormonal treatments that so far have not brought me anywhere..

    • chels819 says:

      Ahhh the physical complaints! How could I have left those out! Those are sooo hard to listen to! SO hard! Stretch marks from a baby and not from overstimulating would be lovely, right!?! Thanks for commenting and for reading this post!

  11. Jaimee says:

    I love this post and you worded everything so well. I struggled with this the entire time we were TTC an it was hard. To me, pregnancy is a blessing, not a disability! It isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but every symptom is a sign you’re growing a child- what a miracle. I am praying for your FET!!!

  12. thefertilityrollercoaster says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post, as a ttc’er who struggled to get pregnant and is now miraculously pregnant, I still couldn’t agree with you more. Despite being on my way to meet my child, my heart still hurts when I see others moan and groan about their pregnancy woes… It’s like a piece of me will ALWAYS know the pain others are enduring, and I will never, ever forget the trials of trying to conceive. It really breaks my heart to know that others who’ve been in our shoes have forgotten their “battle wounds” so to speak, because I know those scars will be a reminder of what a journey and now blessing it is that we’ve crossed the divide. Thank you for being so bold and courageous to post this because it does need to be said! I am praying for your future baby{ies} and know God has a miracle coming just for you 😘 also I’d really love to follow you in IG if you’ll have me!

    *blair

    • chels819 says:

      Thank you so much! I am glad we are IG friends not too. :) Thanks for your powerful thoughts and yes, “battle wounds” is a great term! Praying for you and your upcoming blessing! Thank you for being a new friend!!

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