A few things I learned about pregnant women
Living with a soon-to-be mom taught columnist Jill Ellsworth a few things about pregnant women.
With Mother’s Day sneaking up on us I thought this would be a little reminder of just how much we put our mothers through…even before we’re born.
My journalism internship sent me to Toronto for the month of April and I was lucky enough to stay with my cousin Katie. What we didn’t know when we originally planned the visit, was that she would be six months pregnant.
Like most people, I’ve known my fair share of pregnant women, but they’ve always been extended family members, or friends of friends; no one as close to me as Katie is. So I had no idea what to expect when a soon-to-be mom took me in for the month.
Here are a few things I learned about pregnant women during my time crashing at Katie’s:
Pregnant women are strong: When I was growing up, I always assumed that pregnant women could only do one thing — be pregnant. I remember being shocked when I found out (in middle school) that there were pregnant women going to the gym, and hiking, and doing just about everything a non-pregnant woman can do. To be honest, it still blows my mind. If I was carrying around an extra 20-30 pounds I think I would be doing a lot of sitting, and not a whole lot of anything else. Every day Katie walked to and from her office and still had the energy to take me on walks around the city to adventure.
Pregnant women are fiercely protective: Not just of the baby, but of themselves, you, and anyone else who happens to be in their circle. It’s like their maternal instinct has been kicked into overdrive and they’re not willing to let anyone around them take any crap. The term momma bear definitely made a lot more sense after this month.
They don’t always know how big their belly is: This was a particularly entertaining realization. I can’t count the number of times I had to answer “Can you tell I’m pregnant, or do I just look fat?” to a tiny woman who was clearly only growing in the middle. It was also funny watching her adjust to a new level of depth perception practiced exclusively by pregnant women.
If you want the baby to move, they will not: Baby H made a point to move only when Katie and I were alone, with cellphones out of reach to ensure our attempts at videotaping were ruined. The second someone wanted to feel him move, he would fake sleep. I swear it’s the first signs of a troublemaker and I’m convinced he’s enjoying himself in there. He did cave and do a little dancing when we played the Rankins (you can take the mom out of Cape Breton but you can’t take Cape Breton out of the mom).
Babies are aliens: Yes it’s a miracle etc. but knowing that something (with fingernails!) is growing inside another person’s body is strange. And living with a pregnant woman who agreed with that was refreshing. Baby H will always be my little alien, but I think I’ll like him a whole lot better when we meet on the outside.
I lucked out: I know that each woman’s pregnancy is very different, but I feel lucky to have spent a month with Katie during hers. There were no mood-swings or temper tantrums, only a welcoming place that felt just like home.
I hope you got a laugh out of this Mother’s Day preview. Don’t forget to thank the momma bears in your life a little extra this week!