Since in January, we're on the topic of boundaries, I thought this was the perfect time to shine a bit of light on this subject matter. Do you know what doesn't get talked about enough? The societal pressures that come along with pregnancy. There's so much to factor into your ten-month initiation into the greatest hood on earth (motherhood). And in the year of our lord, you are expected to showcase and share every single detail of your developing baby.
First, there's the epic pregnancy announcement either via ultrasound imaging or a budding baby bump. Next, you have the commemoration of the baby's gender via an event or photoshoot which is expected to be themed, on-trend, and unique for a potentially viral moment. Then there's the baby shower: an ever-so-glorious celebration that's complete with opulent decor fit for a benefit gala and a catering menu that's to die for. Never mind the belly-bearing majestic maternity photoshoot that captures all of the mommy's glowing beauty.
Now hear me out, I'm not saying any of the grandeur is a bad thing. If you got it, flaunt it. I'm just confused as to when it became everyone's standard. And when you object to partake in the grandeur, people take offense to your refusal to keep up with the Joneses. That does not have to be your experience if that's not your vibe. It’s completely alright to draw the boundary if you genuinely don't want to engage; that's exactly what I did.
Be the Contradiction
When I learned of my pregnancy, I made my intentions very clear: absolutely no gender reveal event, and maybe a baby shower... but only if my terms were met. I insisted on an intimate shower, which by today's standards would be considered boring and "old-fashioned". Failure to oblige would result in nonattendance by me, and the impending risk of stressing out the pregnant lady. As far as I know, nobody wants to stress out the pregnant lady. I also decided against sharing any pregnancy content until I was good and damn ready.
The emotional and mental preparation I needed to undergo for my little one's arrival made it necessary for me to have a low-key, stress-free pregnancy. I was only successful in achieving that goal because I stood my ground firmly and I wasn't willing to sway for a single soul. I prioritized my peace over anyone's feelings and that meant avoiding all spectacles while carrying. In return, I had the experience of my dreams and it was everything I could have imagined. My pregnancy was healthy and calm and my labor/delivery was uncomplicated, unmedicated, and unassisted.
The few times people asked to touch my belly, I stopped them. People inquired about the name of my child, I declined to share until her birth. Her father and I decided against sharing her photos with anyone. We wanted to have her all to ourselves, enjoying her first moments and evolving aura before introducing her to the world. A lot of this has rubbed some people the wrong way, as I anticipated it would. I didn't care. My intention was never to hurt people's feelings, or to shut them out. I was simply trying to be better to myself by following my intuition, honoring my word, and respecting the growing bond between my child and me. Even though pregnancy is a very nuanced and complex time in a woman's life, it was simple for me to implement these boundaries because I've known how to set them in other areas of my life.
Pregnancy is a sacred time. It's tempting to engage in the production of it all, but it is not necessary to include anyone you don't feel moved to include. Do your research. Know what you want, and know what you don't want. Advocate for yourself, and stand your ground. Don't follow the hype if it isn't your vibe. Even though these ideals are in reference to my personal experience they are applicable to other facets of life.
peace + purple