An Apology to Pregnant Women: My Astonishing Discoveries

.ID-10089218 (1)Dear Pregnant Woman,

I need to apologize. Until I experienced it firsthand, I didn’t know or empathize with what you are going through. I never planned to have kids, so I didn’t think my actions would come back to haunt me, but they did.

I will admit, I judged you, and wondered why you even came out in public with that turned out belly button.  I now need to apologize for these three things:

  1.  I apologize for never helping you when you were out. This especially goes out to the pregnant women with other children in tow. I merely looked at you like your pregnancy was a disease I didn’t want to catch.

I had the same thing happen to me. I was struggling to push my stroller one-handed into a store doorway, while carrying my large toddler in the other. A man was waiting on the other side to cross through this same door. I continued to struggle and he continued watch. Then Tyler’s blankie dropped. He watched me stop, struggle to adjust Tyler on my hip, and then struggle to bend down and pick up the blankie in the midst of my toddler and bulging belly. Never did he say a word or offer assistance. I’m sorry pregnant woman because I was as ignorant as this guy. I should have offered you help. Hell, I should have offered you a red carpet for dealing with the changes you’re enduring and still coming out into civilization!

2. I apologize for the stares. I didn’t realize I wasn’t the only one who did this. I had been taught not to stare as a child too, but for some reason I thought pregnant women brought it on themselves. While it’s true we did, that doesn’t mean we are a storefront window for your viewing pleasure. In addition, I’ll probably have to admit my stares weren’t the ones like other women with smiles, happiness, and jealousy. I was the woman who gawked at you, as you passed by with your awkward waddle. Please forgive me, for now I know your struggle, and that the struggle is real.

3. Lastly, and this goes especially to the pregnant people I encountered personally, I apologize for never engaging you in dialogue about your pregnancy. I avoided the conversations altogether, like talking about pregnancy makes you pregnant. I should have asked you how you are feeling and doing, because phew….low and behold, pregnancy IS a lot of work. I pretended you just ate a big lunch and would steer clear of any talk involving babies and bellies. Forgive me for not empathizing with you and sharing in your upcoming joy. I now know that this is the focus of most of your thoughts… dealing with your ever changing body, anticipating the arrival of your bundle of joy. I should have been a part of that and I should have given this major milestone in your life credit. For that I’m most sorry.

My pregnant comrades, I’m sorry I was so ignorant as to your struggles and happiness associated with pregnancy. They say once you walk a mile in someones shoes…. well I’ve now waddled many miles and I get that your struggle is real! I understand your excitement of the child growing inside you, and the sacrifices you made to bring that joy into the world. Please accept my apology pregnant woman. Going forward, I will be the one holding the door, providing my smiling assistance, and asking all about it!


Sarah Peterberry

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