Pride … and Pregnancy

Back in the old days, early 1970’s, I gave birth to two of my four sons. I enjoyed my pregnancies — impatiently waiting for my belly to expand, which took six months with my first child. I loved the first time I felt movement from my developing baby and cherished every movement from that time forward.

MaternityClothes1a

© Google Images
1970’s Maternity Styles

Of course, things have changed dramatically since my first pregnancy, 43 years ago. At that time, women hid their “baby bumps” under loose-fitting clothes. I suppose the reasoning was to maintain some form of modesty as if being pregnant was something of which to be ashamed. I remember conversations between my aunts who would whisper, referring to a pregnant woman as being “PG,” as if it were sinful to be pregnant.

BabyBumpsStyles

© Google Images

My, how attitudes have changed since those times. Baby bumps are displayed proudly these days. Personally, I prefer the “styles” chosen and worn by Princess Kate during her pregnancies. She was elegant and tastefully dressed during her pregnancies.

Breastfeeding was also frowned upon during the time of my first two pregnancies, so, when the time came, I followed the crowd and bottle-fed my first two sons. By the time my third and fourth sons came along, breastfeeding was all the rage, and the fight was on for the rights of women to breastfeed in public. I was never confident enough to breastfeed in public, I’m a bit of a clumsy person and would surely have dropped the covering which shielded the act’s privacy, exposing breast, nipple, and dribbling milk. So, if we were going on an outing, I would pump, and bottle my breast milk.

MenWaitingRoom

© Norman Rockwell

Back to delivering the baby in the early 70’s… Men were not allowed in the delivery room, they were confined to the Maternity Ward’s waiting room, with other fathers-to-be while their wives were going through multiple procedures, the worst of which, in my opinion, was the mandatory enema. Ugh! There was enough pain and pressure from contractions, and more pressure was introduced to the bowels from an enema bag! A wild rush to the bathroom to expel bowel contents, timed between contractions, was fearful while hoping to make it to the toilet without a fecal explosion beforehand.

dilationchart1

© Giving Birth Naturally

After the enema, the mother-to-be could settle back in her bed, waiting to dilate to 10 cm. This is where the “pride” part of pregnancy really kicks in, as though having a tube shoved up ones anus wasn’t enough, it seemed as though every hospital-garbed person was coming into your room, spreading your legs and shoving their fingers inside you, “No, not yet, only 5 centimeters.” It could be likened to stuffing a turkey with all those hands being shoved inside oneself!

Pride was long gone. Private parts were no longer private, and the closer it came to being wheeled to the delivery room, I wouldn’t have cared if I were naked as a Jay Bird or who was touching my private parts!

rosnethmikepuppy3

©Swoosieque
In Loving Memory of my son, Michael
1978 – 2015

Yes. Pregnancy changes a woman’s attitude toward pride, but we continue to have children and learn to care about what is really important — the healthy delivery of our newborn. Pride is transferred to the product of our pregnancies — our children.

BAR_LINE

Advertisements

9 responses to “Pride … and Pregnancy

  1. Excellent…As a man these are new insights.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My son turned 47 this year, so we are both of “an age.” I loved maternity clothing because it was so COMFORTABLE. It never crossed my mind to worry about whether I was fashionable. How fashionable can you be with a huge belly? I got big very quickly … and despite dire warnings by the doctor, lost it all almost immediately after giving birth. I wanted to nurse, but was foiled by really bad information and my ignorance. There wasn’t much support for nursing mothers back then and the available “knowledge” was often WRONG.

    I wasn’t trying to hide being pregnant. I enjoyed it. I really think look clothing was intended less to disguise and more to make breathing easier, don’t you? I can’t imagine wanting to wear anything form fitting. I was hot and sweaty the entire time I was pregnant. Tight clothing doesn’t really seem to go with that, at least not to me.

    I don’t know about any one else, but the idea of having that husband in the delivery room? No, thank you. I’d rather do it myself. I would have preferred more drugs. And fewer hours of labor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Yes, I agree about the looser fitting, more comfortable clothes. Pregnancy can be so uncomfortable and it was nice having comfortable clothing.

      Insofar as having the husband in the delivery room, my husband was there for the third and fourth child. For the third child, husband said, “…I forgot my glasses! I won’t forget them next time.” I wanted to punch him out!

      Never used drugs, was too afraid of all the hype about damage to the baby, did it all natural, even my 10 pounder. Thank God I was young and in terrific health!

      Like

  3. Your son was beautiful. Thank you for sharing that picture. It made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a bittersweet post, Swoosieque, amid all the interesting ‘facts,’ if you will, about pregnancy in the 1970s. Once again, I’m so sorry you have to mourn the loss of a child. I feel confident, though, that Mikey had a good life of love, music, and laughter before getting sick (having the love & support of your mother is like having the world in your pocket, I think the director Mel Brooks once said; or something along those lines). Best wishes and take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Leigh. The first year anniversary of his death is seven days from now. I’m mulling over what to write, will try to focus on how thankful I will always be for having him as my son, as well as reflecting on how life has changed without him. Life is all about learning and growing.

      P.S. Love that quote about moms and the world in your pocket. I’ll never forget the last hug we shared. 🙂

      Like

Thoughts on this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s