Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Rise Above It
About two weeks ago I was on Facebook and my husband and I are both friends with people from our childhood. I stumbled upon a nasty status about pregnancy from someone who was thought to be a friend of ours. Following this, I went on twitter, to see the same. Nasty tweets about pregnancy from people who were thought to be our friends. Every single day I get negativity directed at me because I am only 21 and have a baby. If I had a nickel for how many times a day I see statuses posted about young mothers and how “wrong” it is, I would be a millionaire. Not only is there negativity out in the world, but also in the home where it is supposed to be safe. Families can be the most judgmental and cruel when needed the most.
I want to write about this because I know how it feels to constantly have negativity thrown your way while trying to find the positives in a situation. It is a taboo but the reality is, not everyone is thrilled when they find out they are pregnant because it is marred by all the negativity out there, even in families. I can only speak about my own situation to let you know you are not alone.
When my husband and I found out we were pregnant the first time we were 19. Naturally, it was not ideal. In telling our families, mine was a bit upset at first. Not because we were having a baby, but because good parents know how much having a baby changes your life. They knew that our lives would be changed forever and they knew all the sacrifice and struggle it would take initially for us to get on your feet. When we told his family, the response we got was very surface and followed by the statement, “I hope you can do it.” By the time my family came around to us having a baby, we had a miscarriage.
Six months after our miscarriage, we found out we were pregnant again. The history behind me and getting pregnant is, well, I should not have been able to, according to 7 different doctors. After my miscarriage I was told I would not be able to have children and if I did it would be through a painful invasive process. They were incredibly wrong because not only was I pregnant twice in one year, but somehow managed to rise above those things we like to call birth control.
Naturally we were nervous to tell our families because we had been down this road once before and some of the reactions we got were unsupportive, judgmental, and inconsiderate. My family was incredibly helpful and supported us no matter what happened. We weren’t so lucky to have the same from some of his family. We went to a family party for his family where we were greeted with the statement, “You guys are going to have a big family because you don’t know how to use birth control.” Not to get into details but such an unnecessary comment when you have no idea what you are talking about. Birth control doesn’t always work...but I digress. It was this kind of negativity that lasted through my pregnancy and still continues.
I am telling you this because I found it so hard to move passed this negativity when even the family was a part of it. People say to me all the time, “You are throwing your life away.” At first I would actually question myself, and during the pregnancy I actually felt embarrassed about being seen because I am so young and felt like I had to justify myself. For any other momma who feels this way you must know that what people say does not matter. The biggest accomplishment in life is birthing a baby. I look at it as an honor that I got to bring this gorgeous baby into the world and am blessed with the task of raising him.
Every baby is a blessing, no matter what the circumstances from the minute that baby’s heart starts beating you are blessed with caring for this little human. It is truly one of the most remarkable things in this world. We have enough things that are negative in this world. You must take the positives and hold onto them. No one can take this away from you. Hold your head strong and be the best mom you can be for your little one. I find when the negativity comes your way, silence is best because what those people have to say does not matter and you are doing something far greater than they can ever know. If you were “fortunate” enough to have in-laws like I do, the best advice I can give, is rise above it. Your family becomes you, your partner, and your new baby. You owe no response to anyone, including family.
As a good friend of mine in a similar situation said, “You will learn, in time, that you don't need to defend yourself or justify your decisions to anyone. Just focus on your baby and make a life for yourself. People will always have something to say. Ignore them, unless their opinion is of value to you. I felt like I had to prove myself to everyone. Turns out the only one I needed to prove anything to was myself. All moms, regardless of their age, are just doing the best they can. There isn't any one "right" way to do things...including the order in which you go to school/get married/have babies. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to go big and prove everyone wrong anyway.” She could not be more right. Live your own life and enjoy your beautiful family.