GaGA! Growing and Getting Awesome… the Official Loving the Pregnant You Blog

Don’t listen to what others might say! You’re doing it your way.

Young Woman Covering EarsLettie made a choice that others might judge negatively. During her second trimester, she hosted Thanksgiving for more than 20 family members while her husband was in the hospital, and she had just moved into her house three weeks earlier.

While most would see that choice as an incredible burden, Lettie wanted, in that space and time, to celebrate with her loved ones. She had put in a lot of time and effort to make her vision of the holiday possible. On Thanksgiving Day, she suspected that she might crash once everyone had gone home, yet during that evening, she felt the pride that accompanied such a task. It had looked insurmountable earlier in the week and some of her family members were concerned that she was overdoing it. Yet, Lettie had somehow known that she would get it done and she felt so much peace in the moment. As she reflected, she realized that her journey to that day had been filled with moments of peace. She had known she could do it.

The day after Thanksgiving, Lettie did indeed surrender and she sat on her couch for two days. Lettie gave herself permission to take the rest that she needed. Her eight-year-old and six-year-old got their own cereal and watched mom on the couch. By Sunday, she was back in action and participated in prayer and got the emotional hugs she needed to complete her rejuvenation.

It’s easy to judge that a pregnant woman shouldn’t push herself to a point where she needs two days to recuperate. However, the only one who could say what was right for Lettie was Lettie herself. For her, it felt good to “push” herself to move into their new home and host a big celebration while her husband was in the hospital. That’s what brought her the most joy during that time. She didn’t want to sit around doing nothing thinking about how long it was taking her husband to recover. She wanted the love and celebration to christen her new home at Thanksgiving. This made her feel good and felt important to her family. At the same time, Lettie knew her efforts took a toll on her. She didn’t beat herself up about this. She didn’t turn her accomplishment into a failure because she crashed afterwards or because some people didn’t agree with her choices.

When Georgia was pregnant she noticed that many women wanted to tell her their labor and delivery stories. Georgia didn’t want to hear them. She didn’t want to “take on” aspects of other people’s deliveries. She wanted to create her own. Now Georgia is a caring, polite person, and it felt uncomfortable for her to stop the conversation when women started sharing. And the women themselves seemed surprised or shut down by her request to wait to tell her their stories about delivery until after she experienced her own delivery. I can imagine being geared up to share my personal story and feeling let down or even annoyed that someone wasn’t willing to listen. I applaud Georgia’s intentionality and willingness to make the “tell me later” request repeatedly even though it would potentially frustrate others (and even though it would’ve meant that she wouldn’t want to read sections of this book until after her delivery!).

There are unique decisions you may make that may trigger others to feel annoyed, uncomfortable, disappointed, or even concerned for you. This doesn’t mean that the choice is wrong. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take into consideration the impact of your decision on others. Your significant other (or the baby’s father), especially, is certainly entitled to opinions and requests regarding his unborn baby’s care. How he and others think and feel are important parts of determining whether a choice fully works for you. Yet, also know that when you have taken into consideration all that you feel you need to and are unabashedly doing what works for you, people may have strong reactions. Do your best to arrive at what truly resonates for you and accept that what works for you may not work for others.

Consider: In what ways are you being pregnant “your way?” Where are you conforming to approaches that are not fully your own?

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