Whenever you go through a big life experience, there will always be many willing to share their thoughts, opinions, and personal stories.
Pregnancy is certainly no different!
As a first-time expecting mother, I've had many people (strangers, even!) approach me.
"Once you hit three months, you'll blow up like a balloon."
"Once you hit four months, that's when you'll really put on the weight."
"Once you get to the five month mark, you'll just be so sick of all this."
"You'll crave meat. You'll crave candy. You're hungry for dinner? There's a pregnant woman for ya! You'll crave cheeseburgers. You won't be able to resist these cravings!"
"You're going to feel so sick; you'll just be tired all the time. Your back is going to hurt. Your feet are going to hurt. Your stomach is going to hurt."
And the favorite, most commonly repeated phrase of all... "Oh ... you haven't felt that yet? Just you wait."
My new response is... "Is that a threat?"
Why are we so anxious, in our society, to offer cursings over our friends instead of blessings? Why do we rush to speak death instead of life? Why do we offer negative pessimism instead of hopeful optimism?
"Oh, you want to deliver naturally? Trust me, you'll want the drugs."
"Oh, a midwife will be attending? Listen, my friend had a midwife and this is what happened..."
Every pregnancy comes with a unique set of sensations, experiences, feelings, emotions. These are all beautiful, scary, fun, exciting in their own special way. Every woman's own individual experience is valuable and precious and should not be downplayed, ignored, or trivialized.
But they are not all the same!
I shouldn't assume that because I experience something, you will, or if I didn't feel something, you couldn't possibly have felt it.
I want to hear stories - I love to hear them, I enjoy them, I could sit and listen to them all day. But I prefer to hear anecdotes this way: "How wonderful that you are pregnant! When I was expecting my first, I craved Chinese food - I wanted it every night! My husband sure got tired of General Tso chicken and fortune cookies."
This is so much more interesting to me than a dire look of gloom, a groan, and, "Trust me, you'll crave Chinese food or fast food or something ... You'll eat it every day!"
Before you speak words over someone's life, whether it be about their upcoming wedding, their trip to the dentist, their pregnancy, their pending labor, their first move across country, their new venture in college or work ... Please, consider wisely the words you are going to share. Are you going to terrify a kid on their way to get their wisdom teeth pulled? Maybe you should save that story for after the fact!
Will we offer blessing, encouragement, hope, faith and life? Or will we speak death, cursing, doom, and tragedy into somebody's life?
Considering my own words today,