i have always prided myself on being a bit out of the ordinary. doing things just a bit differently, but not so much so that it was strange...if that makes sense. I knew what i liked and even if others didnt, i still went with what i wanted. and that was ok with me. But i have never been so different as to really stand out. and by stand out I mean the kind of different that causes people to stare, or comment or offer disapproving looks.
apparently I have become that person. the person who elicits looks from complete strangers where ever i go. and more often than not those looks are accompanied by comments. comments that are for the most part pretty negative. I have concluded that it is one of two things. people just like to stare and be judgemental or i am not a normal pregnant person. I have complied a list...you be the judge.
1. classic/hard rock is probably my favourite type of music. nothing beats ac/dc on a sunny day, driving with the windows down, sunglasses on, hair whipping around my face, music cranked up as loud as it will go, me belting out the lyrics as loud as i can "Back in black, I hit the sack, I’ve been too long I’m glad to be back...." i see nothing wrong with this. its feel good music and sometimes you just want to feel good. but i have found that others don’t agree. i realise not everyone loves ac/dc, but i ask, what is wrong with me loving it? apparently a lot, or so I have been told. "silly rubbish for a pregnant lady to be listening to" what?! really?! "do you want your child to grow up and listen to that?" well...yeah i do, to be honest. I find it much better that the techno rave junk or the rap crap that is around now-a-days.
take yesterday for example. I drove into the mama's and papa's baby store parking lot, windows down, ac/dc blaring, me singing along. i got quite a few nasty glares from the mothers unloading their children from the car seat or pram. I even got a comment from a mom and grandma who were strapping the baby into the car. "young people today dont understand" hmmm....ok, lets review. I was NOT speeding, I was carefully watching the road, looking where I was going, and rockin' out to ac/dc. i did nothing wrong. when i got out of the car I made sure to point my heavily 8 months pregnant belly in their direction. I almost said something, but instead just smiled, shock my head and walked away. i decided it wasn’t worth it.
Fortunately not everyone judged me yesterday. Two construction workers were loading their van up when i pulled in. They smiled and did a mini head bang as i pulled into the stop almost next to them. and i wish i had a picture of their expressions when i got out of the car with my big pregnant belly. priceless, but appreciated.
2. the gym. not a place that would normally spring to mind as being full of disapproving and judgemental people. my gym seems to have an abnormally large number of, shall we say, plump people who are trying to get fit. which is admirable, but also leaves them no leeway to offer advice to me. at the risk of sounding obnoxious, if you are 150 pounds overweight, i will not accept any health advice you want to give me. so if i want to do low intensity, low strain work outs whilst 8 months pregnant, that is my choice. i do not want you to tell me that i should sitting at home with my feet up, eating for two. clearly that is what you did to get the extra 150 pounds that you are now trying to burn off!!
I know my body.
I was in shape before i got pregnant. heck, i ran a half marathon in my first trimester. so if i feel that i am up to water aerobics, 45 minutes on the cross trainer, of 50 lengths in the pool, than i am fine to do those things. comments such as "you really shouldn’t be at the gym in your condition" make me furious. since when is pregnancy a condition that incapacitates you, making you only competent for a couch potato life style? i will take health in pregnancy over obesity any day. apparently that makes me not normal.
3. giving up coffee, alcohol, soft cheese, etc... apparently giving up food that is not recommended for pregnancy makes me overly paranoid and a bit freaky. "everything in moderation" i hear often. "its ok to have the occasional pint, Guinness has iron in it which is good for pregnant people" true, but thats what vitamins are for, NOT alcohol. At the end of the day everyone has to choose for themselves what they feel is right and wrong. So just because i dont want to drink coffee and eats loads of chocolate, does not mean that i want to hear you say that it is ok in moderation and experts always change their mind about what is and isnt good. etc, etc....
One thing in particular is aspartame. in general aspartame is not good for people, let alone pregnant people. and it is in practically everything. candy, chewing gum, squash (UK juice drink) powerade, diet pop's and on and on and on. just because when you were pregnant 5 years ago the 'experts' never said anything about aspartame doenst meant that its ok to consume. 5 years ago aspartame was not in nearly the amount of products that it is today. not to mention, science has made quite a few advancements in the past years. we know more today about chemicals, the human body and how the two interact. Just because they didn’t perform advance neurological surgery 50 years ago doesn’t mean we shouldnt do it today. things change. times change. and as a result, how we treat our bodies should change.
my baby did not ask to be conceived. rhys and i made the choice to bring children into this world. a world that is often cruel and uninviting. therefore, i feel it is my responsibility, nay my duty, to do everything i can to provide my baby with the best start possible. if that means giving up alcohol, caffeine, aspartame, or whatever else...so be it. apparently this not only makes me paranoid, but also not normal.
4. birth stories. i have discovered that people like to share these with pregnant people. suddenly you start to show and everyone wants to tell you what labour will be like. except no one tells you that it is ok. or bearable. everyone wants to say that it is the most painful, worse experience of their life. but at least at the end of it, they got a cute little baby so it was all worth it. that is fine and all, but is their harm in me thinking that i can have a peaceful and easy birth? is there? i have been told that i am naive, foolish, setting myself up for failure, unprepared and unrealistic. seriously, i have been called each and everyone of those words. nice.
whilst I do not buy into the hyponobirthing concept entirely, i do think that there is something to be said about the idea that our mind and body is capable of a lot more than we give it credit for. Athletes can train themselves to focus the goal, regardless of conditions or pain. people have been known to perform unbelievable feats in times of need by refocusing their mind and emotions to the task at hand. why cant woman to the same in birth? why does birth have to be something so dreaded that it is feared? in normal, everyday situations if nerves take over creating anxiety and fear, then a situation becomes more difficult, focus is lost and tension is created instead. what about when one is relaxed and clam? Focus is easily maintained and tasks are completed fully and with an ease that is absent when anxiety is the primary emotion.
what is wrong with me wanting to view birth in the same way? so what if i want to think about it calmly, believing that i at least try to stay relaxed? so what if i am not planning on having an epidural? does that mean that you should have the right to say things like "good luck! just wait until you get in there, then you will see how stupid you are being" that’s not the positive response i am looking for. heck, i am not even looking for a response. but if you want to volunteer your birthing story/opinions then be willing to hear mine in return. (especially when you ask what my opinion is!!) my mom was in labour for under 3 hours with me. under 3 hours in total. why cant i follow in her foot steps? apparently thinking i can is stupid....and not normal.
ok...so its lunch time now and i am hungry. plus i have lost steam for my rant. basically i just wanted to write out my thoughts at the moment. and they are that i am either being judged or being abnormal. whatever the correct answer is, chances are i wont change. cause hey, i am stubborn like that. And for good measure I have included a picture of me happy, a bit chubby, and boiling hot at nearly 33 weeks pregnant.