I’ve been contemplating that for a while now.
Like 6 months.
Pretty much since we announced that we were pregnant.
It’s easy to focus on the worst – like some man exclaiming to you, almost in horror, at 13 weeks, “You’re showing already!!?!!”, or someone laughing as they say “You sure are getting big! Are you sure there’s not TWO in there?”, or constantly reminding you, oh it’s gonna get worse, you’re going to feel terrible and even more like a whale, and your feet are going to swell, and you’re not going to get to sleep for the next 20 years, if then. Or how about the cliche’, your relationship with your husband will never be the same, breastfeeding is a 24/7 job so good luck having a life again, and the 7 times you get up every night to pee already are nothing compared to what’s coming soon.
Let’s just say it can be overwhelming. And disheartening.
BUT, I’ve decided I want to focus on the good things it brings out in people too. Because there really are so many things, and if I don’t, I might haul off and wallop the next person who laughs and points out how I don’t walk normally anymore. 😛
So here are some good things I have been blessed with these last 35 weeks:
I have had so many people genuinely happy for me, genuinely excited and over-joyed that we have a little one on the way.
I’ve had the chance to talk to more people about a much bigger variety of things that being a young person without a growing belly doesn’t encourage. Pregnancy opens you up to advice and questions and true, real concern. That range of things include childcare, birth settings, vaccines, home-schooling, marriage, natural care, breastfeeding, age-related growth, attitudes and disciplining, personal care and personal experiences from men and women alike. Most times those discussions have left me enlightened and uplifted and encouraged.
I’ve gotten to meet and know people I never would’ve otherwise. I have an amazing midwife who is supportive, encouraging and fun. I have a doula who loves what she does, and is so excited about labor and delivery that it takes some of the trepidation out of it. Her energy is contagious and I’m so thankful she is going thru this with me. She has an adorable little girl and a husband very alike mine. They spent hours upon hours talking excitedly about mutual likes, thoughts and beliefs. And she’s due with her second baby only weeks after me!
Generosity flows from people. I have been floored more than once by family, friends and most especially my sweet patients. The financial aspect of having a baby is huge and overwhelming at times, but God has used the hands of those dear to us and me to provide so much for this baby already.
People’s true colors show around a pregnant woman. You’d think they would be more gentle or kind or even just quiet, due to common knowledge of the emotional nightmare of a roller-coaster we’re on, but really that’s not the case. If someone has a tendency to be rude, they’re going to be just as rude, if not ruder, to you. But if someone has a tendency to be kind, nurturing, caring, loving, and/or supportive, pregnancy only brings out those traits more. I know this because I knew my patients before getting pregnant, and after. It’s a fun, and sometimes hilarious experience.
So… all in all pregnancy is a wonderful, terrifying, special, insulting, precious time to enjoy. If you’re going through this with me, try to have an extra sensitive sense of humor. Often you can (nicely) bite back and save both of you the humiliation of them making you bawl in the middle of your workplace (although I’ve heard it does work in certain situations! 😉 ). So make sure when someone says something body-conscious to you, like, “You’re showing already!!!” be ready with a bold response like, “Or maybe I’m just bloated.”. It tends to stop them in their tracks, AND prove that pregnant people don’t always lose their ability to laugh. 😉