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The pregnant priestess

“I can tell you’re pregnant because your face is filling out.”

“My cousin’s sister’s friend had a 12 lb baby and let me tell you what it did to her girl parts.”

“You need to get the epidural the minute you get to the hospital.”

“Are you sure you can handle natural birth, sweetheart?”  (actually said to me)

Have you had that baby yet?” 

And the not-so-subtle, “Whoa, you are HUGE!”

And don’t get me started on what care providers say to expectant women.

People really should be required to take a class before they interact with pregnant women.  Really.  Pregnant women are in an entirely unique hormonal state.  Even tiny comments can feel very personal and hurtful to an expectant mama.

Now, certainly I’ve messed up, too.  I’ve said really dumb things.  But I do take my dialogue with expectant women seriously.  I know that they will likely remember words spoken to them near term or during their birth.  I know, particularly, that they will remember how they are made to feel during their birth.  Ask a 90 yr old woman about her births and she will probably give you some very specific details about how she felt. 

I have a fantasy.  I imagine a world in which pregnant women walk about veiled like priestesses.  They are surrounded by vestal virgins who buffer them from harmful comments and TLC baby shows.  People stop and give a nod of honor when they pass.  Maybe throw flowers at their feet.  Or chocolate.   

Likewise, postpartum women are in a unique hormonal state.  I wish we still had “lying-ins” for new mothers.  They could spend 40 days being served nourishing foods and massaged daily.  Their only job–to nurture and discover this new soul given into their care.

Now nursing moms–well, in my fantasy for them, they are not veiled.

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6 responses »

  1. It’s such a dichotomous experience. I felt fawned over in some ways, and happy that the world still celebrates babies. And yet, I often felt I was doing something wrong since it took Jack for.ev.er to be born. I have a theory that people get tired of your pregnancy around the 7th month! I used to dread even going to church at the end, fatigued of the youhaventhadthatbabyYET???? – is this the way it should be? 🙂

    Reply
  2. I must knit one of those hats immediately.

    Reply
  3. i like your postpartum dream :o)

    a couple more “not-to-says” to add:

    “you could pump/nurse in the bathroom.” – ok, do you prepare and eat your meals in the bathroom? i think not; therefore, i won’t do that for my baby.

    or how about when you’re holding your new born baby and someone sees your postpartum belly and asks: “when is your next baby due?” don’t even get me started on that!

    Reply
  4. Thank You.

    Reply
  5. Victoria, have you seen this Australian breastfeeding commercial? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnReJeQrK0k

    I’d send that to anyone who said to pump in the bathroom!

    Reply
  6. thanks for the link! exactly!

    Reply

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