Natasha works at Boutique Bummis. Her first baby is due for the end of August.
My first thought when I was asked to write a blurb about how it feels to be pregnant being a doula was how I am not different than other first-time moms. I am also not a seasoned doula, I have only followed a couple of women but not that many, so I have done the training but in many ways that is it. Yes, I do have lots of information as to what is normal but at the same time everything is new. I, like probably many of you, spend endless hours googling random questions that pop into my mind.
There were a couple of things that did relatively surprise me and I will share those. I am warning that I will be blunt as to bodily functions so if someone does not want to hear/ know about them, they can decide to stop reading. But our bodies are wonderful and there is nothing shameful about this whole process. I think it is important to be real with each other as to see that it is normal for certain things to happen.
The first thing that I was surprised about was my self view as a pregnant woman was that I always thought that pregnant women looked glorious and so voluptuous (as we are!). But there are so many changes that it is hard to wrap one’s mind around our ever changing bodies. I am small framed and I was aware that I would gain weight and that my body would change. But I was not prepared to shop for new underwear since my thighs are huge compared to what they were, and there is the ever lingering thought that will I never feel normal again. Sometimes I have to remember that being pregnant is not forever and is only for a small amount of time.
In this line of subject, I had never spent as much time thinking about my bikini line as I have being pregnant. In many ways I don’t really care what goes on down there but I have always tried to keep things tidy. But when you don’t see anything, the idea of bringing scissors in the mix does not sound like a good idea. I did try once to shave blindly. After the shower I looked at the mirror and laughed at myself: it looked like a monkey or child had done the job. It was so blotchy and uneven, I said never again. So since then a forest has been – very unevenly – growing and I don’t care. I have been considering going to get waxed but I might not take the time to do that, who knows.
Vaginal fluids, there I said it. Lots and lots of it, all the time.
Little things that usually would not bother me about other people infuriate me. Here is an example: I was traveling with baby daddy and he had this tick of constant sniffling that I had never noticed before. I asked him passively aggressively if he needed a tissue, he replied no and continued to sniffle away. I was so upset with him that I wished he would just stop breathing for a bit so I could get silence. I am usually a more patient and kind person even in thought. But now every feeling is so heightened that it takes me by surprise every time.
The floor has never looked inaccessible as it does now. I have to plan my way down, and my body tells me quickly what it can and what it can’t do. But I have become an excellent floater in the pool, which I never was before, that is nice.
I think that every woman is apprehensive about labor, but I am a little afraid to be cerebral and analyze everything as this goes since I know so much about it. I, like everybody else, have to learn to let go and ride the contraction waves. I am planning on having a home birth with a midwife but I have already been training my mind to not have a set of ideas of how it should go, as no one knows and no one can predict.
A very vivid memory of my childhood was how my mom would ask me if I could pluck her chin hairs. I promised myself that I would never ever have that. Well, my body had other ideas and, when pregnant, I am certain that I could possibly grow a small beard if I let things grow, which I don’t.
There are no words to describe a baby kicking inside, it is fun, uncomfortable, amusing and weird. I enjoy every movement as it reminds me that a being who already has a personality is being formed as I type.
Last but not least, I never thought that I would already love so much this small baby that I have not met yet. It is a little scary to think that I will love him more than I do, but I know that when I will meet him and get to know him my love will be exponential. It has been fun and I am looking forward to the future and life as a mom.