Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Sisterhood Through Pregnancy


I am pregnant! 
Yes, and that's the reason why I hadn't posted in a while. The nausea and lack of energy for the first three months was brutal and overwhelming. I could barely survive doing the minimum! (Not complaining, it's just a fact!). I found out almost at the very beginning, I was around five weeks in. I have always wanted to be a mother and now, in my early thirties, life is granting me this amazing gift. I'm four months in and I still can't feel my baby move and I am so happy that sometimes it's still hard to believe that it is happening. I am now experiencing the usual "inexpiable feeling" of love and cannot believe it will only grow from now on. 

This post is not to talk about my baby, however, but something else that pregnancy has brought with it too. The connection I can feel with women. Not other pregnant women or mom friends around me, but in my community, in the country, in the whole world, and all the women that came before me, throughout history, and all the women that will come after me, in the future. 

When I knew I was pregnant, I went and downloaded a famous app for pregnancy and motherhood. I really wanted to see how my baby would grow as time went by when he was in my womb. This is my first pregnancy and well, I knew nothing about it and taking care of a baby. I wanted more information. I am a big reader and also looked for pregnancy books. After reading a lot of the articles in the app with basic information such as exercises and foods to avoid or that were safe/unsafe during pregnancy, name ideas, recommended items to purchase for the first couple of months, etc. I kind of didn't feel like reading any books about the subject. I definitely didn't think I knew everything there is to know about pregnancy and taking care of a baby and all the do's and don'ts (how would that even be possible!) But I felt confident that at least I knew the most important things to me at the time: following the recommendations for having a healthy pregnancy so that both me and the baby were safe and healthy. Also, I knew I could always contact my doctor if I had any questions or concerns. Being an active reader, I was very surprised I had no desire to read any books that would tell me how to prepare for childbirth, for caring for the baby the first few weeks, etc. I ended up not buying any pregnancy books! 

*Side note: I am currently reading a book that I knew I wanted to read ever since I saw it and before I was pregnant: Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. But it's more about parenting, specifically French parenting, than pregnancy. Also, I plan to read Connoiseur Kids, coming out this summer, by Jennifer L. Scott, one of my favorite authors, because I like her philosophy in many aspects of life and would love to hear her insight on, again, raising children, not necessarily pregnancy.*

I think a lot of you that may have kids know that pregnancy is also a time where you hear all kinds of (unsolicited) comments and advice. Well, it happened to me too and I'm prepared to keep hearing them for the rest of my pregnancy and probably all through parenting. And yes, of course I've had questions! This is a life-altering event that is happening to me for the first time. And I have consulted a couple of my friends that have been mothers, my mom, etc. Even after many kids, I'm pretty sure no one would know everything there is to know. 

But after the superficial questions and normal concerns, something had risen in me that I hadn't expected. Even though I had an enormous desire to be a mother, before I got pregnant I would think that during delivery I would freak and when the baby was born I would have no idea what to do next. But as the days go by and as I can see my belly grow, a confidence in me is also growing. I feel confident that I will know what to do when the time comes. That, with the help of my nurse and/or doctors, I will be able to get through giving birth when it happens. And the confidence that I will know what to do when I have the baby in my arms, how to carry him, how to change his diaper and what to do when he cries those first few times of his early life. I'm not saying I will know everything there is to know about babies and children, raising and taking care of them, but I trust myself in knowing the fundamentals. And I am very happy about that! 

Where did this confidence come from? I don't know exactly. But I trust that my body will know what to do when the time comes for birth by instinct. My body is making this baby all on its own without me having to think about it or tell it how. Of course it will know what to do to bring the baby into the world. I truly trust that I will know how to carry him and feed him and care for him by instinct. I am a woman, and we do this naturally, by instinct. All the women that came before me, throughout our history, have done it and I am sure it came from this same confidence and trust in their instinct. Otherwise, we wouldn't all be here. All the women that are now mothers and have given birth and are raising their children have this inner knowing deep inside. And all the women that will come after us will have it too. 

How wonderful it is to know that, in this way, all mothers in our past, in our present and in our future are all connected. And now, I will join this natural web of female wisdom. It is a pretty darn special feeling to have and I feel extremely grateful and fortunate to have been given the opportunity to experience it, it is truly a tremendously beautiful gift. May this reading bring you closer to that web of women in time that have been mothers and with those that will be mothers for all the years to come and build a sisterhood with those around you, in the present, that are mothers just like you.

Artwork by Claudia Tremblay

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (Now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting)
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