GaGA! Growing and Getting Awesome… the Official Loving the Pregnant You Blog

Share your experience

Woman Visiting Pregnant Friend At HomeOne of the key themes that I share in the Loving the Pregnant You book and in the pregnancy coaching that I do, is to discover the approaches and methods that work best for you during your pregnancy and give yourself permission to do things your way. I’m breaking that pattern a bit with the following specific suggestion: share with others about what you’re experiencing during your pregnancy.

I specifically suggest talking to others because it creates an access point to enabling others to support us. Too often we feel that we’re alone, that no one has experienced what we’re experiencing. We think that we’re flawed in some unique way and that we’re the only ones who aren’t able to effectively deal with whatever issue is bothering us. We haven’t heard anyone else we know talk about their concerns of becoming a mom or getting hemorrhoids or obsessively enjoying their bigger boobies or any other seemingly significant or superficial thing that we’re chewing on. We’re too embarrassed or too proud or too “something” to bring it up. It takes courage to share openly. It’s an effort that requires a willingness to be vulnerable and open ourselves up to scorn, gossip, or judgment.

In talking with hundreds of women about pregnancy, I have heard time and again of the relief and practical ideas that we can get when we finally admit the one thing that we’ve been keeping under wraps and not letting the public see. The people we open up to might not always have shared that same specific thought. Yet, they’ve had their own flavor of it or they might simply appreciate being the confidante that you trusted.

It is such a gift to generate this kind of dialogue. You have the opportunity for cathartic relief, for getting some perspective around something that is consuming you, for getting concrete ideas that you can take action on, and for providing a space where the other person can get the same. They get to know that they’re not alone, either! It’s truly amazing. I’ve experienced it and I’ve gotten the opportunity to witness it through the telling of other people’s stories.

Does it ever backfire? Sure, it can. You might want to set the other person up for the type of conversation you want to have. You may say something like, “There’s something I want to share with you, and I feel nervous and vulnerable about it. I’m not ready to laugh about it or trivialize it. Can I share?”

I know, for me, there were a few thoughts and concerns that I had spent a good deal of time being obsessed and repressed about. I was terrified that I would be seen as a freak or superficial or self-centered. And, every time I pushed myself into opening up, I was met with compassion, concern, or suggestions. It wasn’t always the “perfect” response. I had to prepare myself for that. I had some people laugh more than I wanted when I shared about my concern about getting hemorrhoids. I had another person tell me, “It’s inevitable. There’s nothing you can do.” I didn’t enjoy that comment in the moment, yet it ultimately had me seeking out a number of women who pushed during delivery for a long time and never got hemorrhoids. I was able to believe that I, too, didn’t have to get hemorrhoids.

I want us all to have the experience of knowing that we are not alone. This is available most powerfully by sharing your thoughts and feelings. True to the book’s theme, how you choose to share can look myriad ways. You could talk to a coach inside a confidential relationship, you could talk to everyone and anyone who will listen, you could open up to a small select group of trusted friends, etc. The “how” is not as important as the act of doing it.

Trust yourself. Seek out people you trust the most, the ones you think will be able to engage in the conversation in the way you want them to. It doesn’t have to be your best friend or your mom or your partner. It could be them or it could be a co-worker or coach with whom you have a connection. The advice is to check any hesitation you have in this arena and stretch yourself to share more than you might normally and naturally. The results might not be perfect, yet they can be extremely useful.

What do you know in your heart of hearts would be cathartic, relieving, useful to share with someone?

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