When I was pregnant, for me, it was ALL about the baby. I was a simple by product of the new human that the world was yet to meet. I was secondary in the care of my pregnancy, everything I ate or drunk, every activity I participated in, every emotion I felt was considered first for my baby, if it wasn't safe for my baby then it didn't happen. I gave up the cheeses, the pates, the cheeky midweek wine, any stress or sad emotion and strenuous exercise (which was a pregnancy bonus, and unnecessary as it turns out).
This idealism that my pregnancy belonged to my baby, that it was only about the baby came about from how I was treated by outside influence. Friends and family only ever asked about the baby, midwives only showed concern for the baby, and another major player in the 'you are nothing in this pregnancy' was the wording used in pregnancy books.
Imagine for a minute if the pregnancy manual that has become your day to day bible, your all knowing font that you have become to rely on so heavily, changed the way they worded things.
Instead of "and this week your baby is the size of an avocado' they replaced it with;
"Holy cow, your incredible life giving body has just feed your little human so adequately that it has hit the avocado milestone! You are truly awesome, have a cream bun in celebration" (yea, I know, it's not prosecco but it's a solid runner up right?).
Imagine if everything in pregnancy was written in a way whereby you could equate all your baby's milestones as a massive, stonking, you're the bomb, preggo high five to yourself and your amazing body that has worked silently and unquestionably 24/7!
How much easier would that make the long days, the abstinence and the fat ankles?
Mamas, it' totally time that we all started applying this awesome movement of sisterhood that I'm seeing more and more of to our own pregnancies.
We need to reclaim our pregnancies!
By reclaiming our pregnancies, it doesn't mean we love our little person any less, it means that we understand how important we are to our little person and so we have to nurture us to in turn, nurture them.
We all know that we are blessed and should be eternally grateful for what we've been given, and we are, but, we should also know that this pregnancy wouldn't happen without us. That we are an integral part in this whole new human being joining the planet, and that means that alongside all our gratitude and thanks we should also be considering ourselves as strong and capable and instinctive and pretty darn stupendous. And darling girl, that shizzle needs celebrating!!
So make sure that you make your pregnancy about you, gift yourself with loveliness that's just for YOU (don't feel bad, the baby gets loads of gifts) for each trimester that you fumble your way through, for every wave of nausea, for every pang of birth fear and for every lifelong stretch mark (or as I like to refer to them, tiger stripes).
Empower yourself so that you feel stronger and more aligned with your journey (and so when the birth comes you totes smash that too). Educate yourself on all things pregnancy and birth from your perspective, so that you have better understanding of why you're feeling like you do (irrational hormones and weird cravings anyone?). Book the manicure, the pedicure, the pregnancy, massage, the yoga, the reflexology, book it all.
Make this time all about you.
Spending some time on YOU during pregnancy is sacred, it's not self indulgent nor selfish PLUS if you get the hang of it in pregnancy, by the time you become 'Mum' you'll have full understanding of your new role and how important YOU are in that role too. We as individuals are often lost somewhere between the birth thing and that moment were we lock eyes with our perfect little avocado, and as much as that's understandable, it's not sustainable for a healthy life of parenting.
Mama, YOU matter too!