Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Pregnancy Cult

When you get pregnant, you sort of join a cult. Other pregnant women gravitate towards you, and you towards them. And then there are the people who have fond memories of being pregnant that gravitate towards you (we hate them in the first trimester when you feel like crap, because they don't remember how bad it was and keep saying "It will get better and be worth it.") Those people do nothing for you while you feel like you just want to crawl into a hole & die.

Then there are the people who have not-so-fond memories of being pregnant and feel responsible to tell you every last gory detail of the misery they went through. We grow to hate these people too. I mean - Come'on! We're either just trying to make it through the first trimester, or then we get into the happy phase in the second trimester and they are just making things worth. And if you are a first time mom, the last thing you need to hear about is all sorts of yucky things. Don't these realize first-time moms are anxious enough.

So, us pregnant ladies gravitate towards one another. We provide each other with support and can see each others bellies getting bigger (even if the rest of the world around us thinks we aren't showing). I know I see my belly as getting bigger, but when the NP's (non-pregnants - this includes guys as well) say you aren't, then you just feel like you must look fat. It makes you wonder, how fat did I really look before if they can't see that I am getting a pregnant belly.

It's nice when a multiple-pregnant mom joins your cult (you know, is already on her 2nd or 3rd kid), as she can give you those tips that no one else tells you about. The tips like buying stool softener before you go into labor or the right absorbancy of pads to buy or places to buy nursing clothes/bras, or how medications affected them in delivery.

But as a first-time mom, it's nice to have other first-timers as part of your cult. You are going through this together and can compare notes on what helped (or didn't) with your nausea, which pre-natal exercise videos are decent and which ones blow, when to register for baby classes, having to take that awful glucose drink (although the fruit punch wasn't bad - which came as a recommendation from a first-timer who is just weeks ahead of me), or finding your daycare, starting to get into maternity clothes, and worrisome first-time daddies.

I am not sure what happens to this cult after the baby is born. I suppose some of us may join the same mommy cult. As any single or child-less woman knows -- those cults are out there and you are almost squeezed out of lives because you don't possess membership. I wonder if daddies have these cults as well. I kinda think they do, because daddy has been seeking out support from other parents/pregnant ladies/guys with pregnant wives. Those people without kids sit there looking at you like you are crazy that you could have that much to say about your child. I know - I was there. And those parents just say - "you will know when it's your child or when you become a parent" - that's kind of the parent cult anthem. I am beginning to realize you just don't know - until it's your own. And then you seek out your exclusionary cults for support.

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