Unbearable: How Am I Empathizing With ‘Pregnant in Heels’?

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When I first saw previews for Pregnant in Heels, I was determined to dislike it. My original conclusion was that it should be retitled “Real Housewives of Gestation.” In truth, the show is advertised as crazy, rich ladies being crazy. Not a program about pregnancy. Rosie Pope has a wealthy, clueless and obnoxious list of clientele.

However, I have to admit, grudgingly, that I’ve enjoyed watching Pregnant in Heels.  But my enjoyment hasn’t come from the hormonal preggo princesses with too many demands and not enough common sense. I’ve grown attached to this show because I feel a connection with its main character, the maternity concierge. No, I don’t hire “fabulous” personal assistants or design dresses that no one actually wears. What Rosie Pope and I have in common are our struggles to get pregnant.

Rosie and I have built our careers around children, pregnancy and motherhood. We talk about motherhood. We think about motherhood. We come home to motherhood. We do it all while failing to get pregnant. Having a child but experiencing difficulty in conceiving again is normally referred to as secondary infertility. Our situations are a little different, in that it sounds like she used IVF for her first pregnancy as well.  I have to admit, I had my first the old-fashioned way. But no matter what our differences are, I relate to how difficult this issue is on a very personal level.

So when Rosie announced her pregnancy on this week’s Pregnant in Heels (just in case all those flowy tops were fooling you), I felt an odd sense of hope and excitement. After all that loss and turmoil and heartbreak, Rosie and her husband have their miracle. No matter how a child comes to be, when you’ve been trying for months to conceive, they are all miracles. I know Mrs. Pope’s situation was a rare one, but every child conceived through IVF is just as miraculous and wonderful.

No matter what I think about the premise of a TV show portraying pregnant women as narcissistic and needy morons, I have to appreciate that it shows its main character going through a very difficult experience, an experience not normally discussed or shown on television. Rosie Pope, no matter what else she does on this show, speaks candidly and honestly about fertility treatments, IVF and the loss that follows when it doesn’t work. She sends a message to women everywhere that sometimes, we’ll do whatever is necessary to grow and expand our family. And that’s a good thing.

I write about motherhood because it’s the most amazing and rewarding experience of my life. I’m pretty sure that no matter how crazy Rosie Pope’s business seems, she does it because she simply adores pregnancy and the miracle of bringing children into this world. Whatever else our differences, that’s something on which the maternity concierge and I can agree.

(Photo: Bravo TV)