Here I am. Past my due date with very few signs that I will be giving birth to this baby anytime soon. The possibility of a c-section is looking like more of a promise. One of my doctors and I sat last week and talked about it, as things weren't looking particularly good. I told her some of the things I'd heard from people and read in scathing articles. She looked me in the eye and said, "I've heard it all. And I've heard worse. People are so mean to women when it comes to every aspect of birth and parenting, whether they had an option or not." And it's true. Very few people praise the woman who had a c-section instead of a "natural" birth. I feel like I will never dig my way out of the insults or guilt, even though I'm the idiot for letting it get to me.But this is Virginia, and I am truly enjoying being pregnant here. No one rubs or pats my belly. Unthinkable! No questions about whether I will have an epidural or if I will breastfeed. I get lots of well-meaning advice, none of it with attitude. The sentiment I hear the most is, "You poor thing! That pregnant in August! And it's so HOT!" And when occasionally asked about being induced, I explain about my past c-section and that I have another one scheduled if the baby doesn't come on his own. The answer is the same every single time: "Bless your heart!" No rude comments about how evil or lazy I am for having a c-section. Because, trust me, I've had random strangers in other places say some really nasty things.
I've written about my "c-section guilt" before here. And I wrote it before someone made the worst comment I've ever heard in reference to my son's birth. "Well, if you had trouble getting pregnant and had to take fertility meds, and then couldn't give birth to your son without surgery, don't you think God might have been trying to tell you that you shouldn't have kids?"
At this point in my second and final pregnancy, I should be looking forward to the prospect of holding my son in my arms. But that comment eats at me still. It's the one thing that sticks in my head the most as I'm pregnant for what will be the last week ever. It shouldn't be that way. I should be happily washing baby clothes and spending the last moments I will have with it being just Winston and I. Instead, I spend a good deal of time sobbing and praying that things will go better.
But being here amongst some of the sweetest people I've ever known takes a little of the hurt away each time I hear them say, "Bless your heart!"
Today's lesson: You never know what unkind words will hurt someone the most. Then again, you never know when a few kind ones will lift someone up and make things a little bit more right.