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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.