On Friday Chanelle Hayes (reality TV star) went on This Morning to discuss her pregnancy. Having suffered with weight gain, loss and gain again, as well as having polycystic ovaries, it was a surprise to her that she fell pregnant so easily and she has subsequently been on a few of these types of magazine shows to talk about her life… whether you are interested or not! However, this interview was slightly different. It was clear to see that she wasn’t feeling at her best, anyone who has been pregnant and knows that deep down nausea, am I going to be sick or not feeling could see it was written all over her face. There was even a sick bucket just tucked behind the coffee table because with just nine weeks to go she was still being sick. This pregnancy was clearly taking its toll. What Chanelle was there to say was that she wasn’t enjoying her pregnancy whatsoever and openly stated that she was miserable. But what is wrong with that?! In my eyes nothing. As a person who advocates honesty, who writes about her life in a frank way and who is often told she is blunt in the way she speaks I admire those who also strive to tell it to us straight. I had been there feeling the exact same way 4 years ago and I wish someone had spoken out on TV then. As a first time Mum, I only had images of pregnancy being portrayed by the media; gorgeous bump images, a character in a show leaning over a toilet and being sick then being absolutely fine, being told that it is ‘morning sickness’ and there being no mention that this can mean any time of day… the list goes on.
My pregnancy was filled with nausea, aches, uncomfortable tightness in the skin, breathlessness and horrendous heartburn. Yet, still, we are supposed to perceive it as being the best time of our lives, a miracle, a time when your body glows and you must be a picture of health! Why in this day and age are we not more honest?
We, as women, have spent far too much time throughout history trying to pretend that everything is fine and dandy. You only have to look back over 1950’s housewife guides to see how women were encouraged to have a facade in all areas of their lives, for example:
- Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
- Children are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
- Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
- Don’t allow outsiders to know of any marital issues
- Keep the home to a spotless level
In other words, you were there to keep up appearances, to never complain and to fulfil a role that you had been prepared for through school. I remember my Nan always saying how strange she found it that we all speak so openly about medical conditions these days. Throughout most of her life, this was frowned upon because you never ever discussed anything which could be deemed as private or embarrassing. They learnt about many womanly functions as and when they happened in their lives which must have been extremely confusing as well as surprising.
So as I sat nodding along to the interview and agreeing with Chanelle that yes it sucks but you know at the end you are going to be rewarded I was shocked to read the first sets of comments on the facebook page criticising her.
″She’s lucky she is blessed with another baby some people aren’t that lucky and would do anything to have a beautiful baby think about all the people who are struggling to have babies… so insensitive″
″Maybe she should be grateful for being able to get pregnant unlike some who have to either wait on
IVF lists or even pay for it. ″
″You don’t hate a pregnancy. That’s hating the baby. You can hate being pregnant. I had two very grotty pregnancies due to sickness that lasted for months and having gestational diabetes. It’s not the babies fault.″
″I get that some women really don’t enjoy their pregnancies. Personally, I only had one and loved it. I do, however, wonder why someone feels the need to go on TV or any other form of media, to say this when they are just not enjoying their pregnancy when other women have to watch her knowing they will never be in that situation and so desperately want to be pregnant. Is this really a subject that is worth the coverage?″
I think you get the gist. And I was honestly left outraged at reading the ones like this… I probably could have wasted an entire day replying and arguing a case!
At no point was she saying that she didn’t cherish the fact she was pregnant, she wants her baby and she is excited to meet it, she is not even trying to get at those who cannot fall pregnant… she was merely stating a fact that needs to be spoken out about so more women can be prepared. I truly believed that I was going to love being pregnant and I had a romanticised view of how it would go… that went out of the window as did the ‘perfect’ natural birth. I do think there are far too many people who take too much of what is said in the media or on social media sites personally. This was not aimed at anyone else, this was merely her telling how it is so far for her. I mean, if I moan about where I live does that mean I am saying that I am not grateful for having a roof over my head? If I moan about Jake keeping me up at night am I, in turn, saying that I hate him? If I complain that my car has gone wrong again, am I getting at those who can’t afford to drive? Of course not! Sometimes things just bug me… Life cannot always be rosy and perfect. Let’s leave behind that 1950’s thinking and realise that having a slight moan or speaking honestly about an aspect of our lives is a perfectly normal way of venting our feelings, of reaching out to others and possibly making a difference.
We are now blessed to have strong women who can go to the media and speak up, who can share experiences and make viewers realise that they aren’t the only ones going through it. We have amazing bloggers who every day write brilliant articles on the tough areas of becoming a Mother and documenting their experiences throughout their own pregnancies and births. We are in a time when honesty should be valued by all of us. So, I applaud Chanelle for her open and honest interview and I encourage more of you to do the same, you never know who you may one day reach out to and help.
If you would like to read an honest article with information provided by some brilliant writers, please check out this post on the true symptoms of pregnancy.