I’m not sure there is a right answer for how to talk to a pregnant woman about her body, unless you fully understand your own relationship with that woman, or her own relationship with her changing body. In all reality, the worst offenders don’t come from my well-intentioned friends and family. They happen out in the world when I’m least expecting it.
Here’s how not to talk to pregnant women about their bodies…
Post-pregnancy people and new mamas: have you heard about this trick to help soothe vaginal trauma post childbirth? The irony of using pregnancy prevention methods to make your vagina feel better post-baby isn’t lost on us. Apparently filling the condoms with water and having them on hand is just a tricksy way of having a perfectly shaped ice pack at the ready.
Are you planning to fill up some condom balloons to soothe your downstairs parts post-pregnancy?
Three days before I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, in an example of worst-timing-ever, I quit my job. Now nine months of being pregnant, broke, and bored loomed ahead. After the first (but not last) major panic attack was over, we realized we would have to become money-saving ninjas, embracing the second hand, the cheap and the wonky, and we would cope.
So now I’m in my second pregnancy, I’d like to share how we managed to keep down the costs of preparing for a newborn…
My partner and I just can not keep a secret. The excitement for new things is just too much to hold in and inevitably leads to early Christmas gifts and disclosing information possibly too prematurely. We have never waited to tell our friends and family we are expecting. Our children know within days of a positive pregnancy test and share in our excitement and wonderment the entire pregnancy. It was no different when we found out that we were expecting our fifth child on my birthday in 2011. Our family celebrated welcoming a brother or sister while I blew out my candles.
It was never going to happen to me like it did with those parents who hit the one-year mark, watch their little baby toddle around and say, “Oh… I want another one!” After a terrible pregnancy that ended in an emergency C-section, I decided I was done for good. Or at the very least a good looooong time. I wrote myself letters throughout the pregnancy to remind myself that YES it was that bad, the same way I kept track of the (still ongoing) night wakings, issues with breastfeeding. Finances have been kept under strict supervision, and baby expenditures can be easily totalled.
I was tired of feeling like I was letting my partner down. It didn’t matter that I knew he was disappointed in the situation and not with me. I still felt responsible. I didn’t need him to say anything, I needed him to act. So I gave him a responsibility: I asked him to do something for the nursery-to-be. Whatever he wanted. What I was really looking for was reassurance that he thought we’d get there eventually.
Before I had my baby, I had a lot of plans and expectations based around an unmedicated birth and high hopes for a water birth. This didn’t seem unfeasible as the pregnancy had been entirely uncomplicated. I hadn’t bought a pram, preferring a Kari Me sling. I was planning to wear the baby all the time, breastfeed all the time (after all it’s free and if you’re on limited finances that’s pretty important) and was overall looking forward to it.
Even before trying to conceive my husband and I had discussions about how we might handle another pregnancy emotionally. We expected to be ravaged with anxiety and dread most days. We expected to live in anguish for nine months, fearing the worst. I’m happy to report that isn’t the case, for either of us.