An Open Letter To Mothers Who Call Their Babies "Parasites"
Dear Mother Who Calls Her Baby A "Parasite",
I saw your comments as I was browsing around the What To Expect forum and they made my skin crawl. My first impulse is to punch you in the face. My second is to say "You don't deserve to be a mother."
You see, mothers are supposed to love their babies. Unconditionally. Without limits. Mothers are meant to nurture and protect. Your pregnancy is a miracle of life and not a sequel to the Alien franchise.
Your baby is an innocent harmless human being. It is a part of you. It hatched from your egg and half of its DNA is made from yours. So, when you say your baby is a parasite, I cringe and wish you were never blessed with this miracle that's happening inside of you.
Only after my initial rage of how-dare-she-say-that subsides, can I start considering your side of the story. I think up scenarios that would bring a human being, with an advanced brain and ability to reason, to think that their baby is a parasite.
She must have been raped, is the closest I can come to a plausible reason. And unless you're ultrareligious or extremely pro-life, you could make the choice to not carry the product of rape to term. I know I couldn't. Personally, I side with those who believe a woman should have a choice but I am not going to delve into the politics of pro-life and pro-choice here. I'm just trying to understand you.
Maybe she is deeply depressed, I theorize. There's another motive that could push a mother to say her baby is a parasite. When you are puking your brains out and the nausea won't release its hold, it's easy to give in to despair. If you are depressed, please find the strength within yourself to seek professional help. It is available. There are people who WANT to help you heal. There are organizations that are made for struggling mothers. Depression is common both during pregnancy and postpartum but many women deal with it and eventually thrive and love their babies.
Maybe she's a drug addict. I'm not here to judge you as I am not familiar with your circumstances. But I am here to tell you that in this case, you ALWAYS have a choice to change your life. It's not easy but the option is there. And if all your efforts fail, there are also people who want your baby more than you could ever imagine.
Maybe she is mentally ill. You need serious medical attention and having a baby is probably a really bad idea in your situation. It's just not fair to anyone involved. In the last two cases, though, I wonder if you would even be motivated enough, or present enough, or able to comment on the state of your "parasitic" pregnancy in an online forum?
And, finally, there's this:Maybe she is just too vain.I know there are women out there who are simply too selfish and vain to give of themselves. Like the Space Barbie. They put such a high price on their prescious bodies that they condescendingly refer to their babies as "parasites". YOU are the ones I'm struggling to find even a modicum of compassion for.
True, pregnancy can be unkind to our bodies and no one said it would be a walk in the park. Ask any woman in her third trimester when was the last time she felt comfortable tying her shoe laces or shaving her legs. When waddling replaces my sexy and energetic pre-preggers gate, I'm sure I'll wail a couple of times, too.
WHY did you get pregnant? Obviously, your vanity didn't stop you from conceiving. Did you honestly want to have children? Why? To keep up with the Joneses (or Kardashians or anyone else?) What did you think it was going to be like? Was your ignorance so great that it overpowered your misguided vanity?
If you thought you could possibly get through this pregnancy where your unborn baby is "sucking the life out of you," how will you feel when your child is born and demands every ounce of your attention? This baby that will be 100% dependent on you, what will you call it then?
If you say your baby is a parasite, you were once a parasite as well. How does that make you feel? You, poor misguided self-indulgent woman, are a parasite still!
Where will your vanity seek solace when your baby keeps crying in the middle of the night and squealing for help because it's stuck with a loveless mother, a mother who has nothing to give, an empty shell of a mother?
Will you hate your baby so much that you'd go insane? Will your postpartum depression reduce you to a headline that reads "Mother Accused Of Murdering Baby"?
Or maybe, just maybe, you will choose to have a change of heart and look at this pregnancy in a more positive light. My hope is that you choose to open your heart and save both you and this amazing little one growing inside of you, waiting to be loved and cared for by a strong, beautiful and, most of all, deserving mother.
I urge you to seek support from women around you, whether it be women in your life, a local support group, a counselor, or even the WTE forum where you dared to write how you feel about your baby. I find that reading and educating myself about my pregnancy helps me deal with some serious fears of my own.
I hope you will find help and heal your soul before it's too late. You chose to carry your baby to term, so do it for YOU now, so your baby comes into a world that is safe and welcoming and not poisoned with thoughts of a mother who hates her baby even before she gets to meet it.
Mother-To-Be Who Believes Her Baby Is A Blessing
P. S. I wanted to share these articles with you:
1. Here's scientific proof that the mother-baby relationship is reciprocal and not parasitic in nature: Unborn child just a ‘parasite’? Cutting edge science shows fetal cells heal mother for life
3. Now that you're pregnant, pray that both you and your baby will be okay: Learning to love my baby
Natalia is a Personal Trainer, Professional Ballroom Dance instructor and soon-to-be FTM. She lives in NYC and blogs about women's lifestyle, fitness, healthy nutrition, pregnancy and some random thoughts and events. You can find her blogs at Sassterhood.com and CoachNatalia.com.