A few things I learned about preg­nant women

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - Jill Ellsworth Gen Y-Not? Jill Ellsworth is a full-time writer liv­ing in Cape Bre­ton. She can be reached at jil­

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!

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