Pregnancy can teach you many things. Things about your body, what’s important to you, your limits, your hopes, your psyche…
And the longer the pregnancy continues (and we all want a healthy full-term pregnancy), the more you learn about these things. So once again, I’m over here dropping some pregnancy truthiness.
1. Control is an illusion. I learned that from other life and work experiences. However, you may have thought you had at least a smidge, if not more. Pregnancy laughs in the face of your control needs, making you keenly aware that you really have little, if any, control whatsoever. You have control over how you care for your body as it grows new life, but that’s about it. You cannot control what is happening inside your body, how your baby will grow and develop, or the date and time at which your body and baby will work together on baby’s exit plan.
2. You will want to have on hand whatever your favorite hemorrhoid remedy happens to be. Apparently no pregnant woman escapes unscathed.
3. Be mindful of what you say to a pregnant woman. Especially as she nears–and even more so as she passes–her due date. For starters, due dates are a joke and essentially meaningless. Babies come when babies come. To that end, a woman is likely to hear from countless people asking about whether the baby is here yet. Each time she has to respond with a “no,” is a reminder that she’s still pregnant and might be forever. (We all know that being pregnant forever is not real, but when you’re in it, if feels like it.) If you’re going to ask about the baby, take care to ask about the mom, too.
4. Pregnancy is more than a physical and emotional experience. It’s a mental game, too. As a woman approaches her “due date,” she begins to get in the mindset of birthing the baby. Even more so if her plan is a natural birth. And every day the baby chooses to stay inside is another day of mental readiness then downgrading only to gear up again the next day. It’s exhausting. So if you’re going to ask anything of a woman past her due date, probably the best question is, “How are you holding up?”
5. Do a better job than I have of planning ways to fill your time while waiting for baby. Plans can be changed or broken. If they are, it’s because you’re having a baby. Who can argue or be upset by that?!
6. I still really really really really really really REALLY miss beer and working out beyond getting on the elliptical and doing a few sets of upper body exercises. And I’ll continue to wait for the day I can get back to both, just like I’m over here waiting for this baby to arrive.