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I am a social worker, mother and respiratory therapist who loves to read, write and create. I just finished my first novel, titled, "Airborne" and am hoping to publish next year.
I am originally from the beautiful state of New Mexico, raised at 7,000 feet. Snow and the mountains are my fortress.
A black inkwell spills on the clean cement Trails of words the bread crumbs mark Splattering across the delicate cracks Deeply soaked in the dark underground Never forgotten A long lost tale so simple and elegant morphology.
As I sit pregnant and writing, I can feel my 32-week-old making her presence known by gently nudging my belly button further outwards, a thermometer ready to pop. I think she's already a fan of essay's, which is lucky for me as a non-caffeine drinker and writer of the night. In experiencing pregnancy for the first time and at the age of 32, I'm living the tale I've seen visually portrayed in the media and from my closest social circle for years, and I'm taking notes. Now pregnant, I've paid closer attention to woman around me experiencing a comparable experience- as we tend to do as social beings gravitating towards the similar. Yet, coming from a life as a social worker, I have been programmed to question social norms- however necessary and wonderful they may appear on the surface. This journey has surfaced two tacit rules people follow or believe while expecting, sometimes unbeknownst to themselves. I come to these rules as a non-judgmental observer, engaging in some and decidedly staying away from others. Tacit rules aren't necessarily bad, but it is often empowering to understand their dynamism over the way we think. I am a huge proponent being non-judgmental of other women through the time of pregnancy and within our daily lives, knowing our personal perspective gives us the special opportunity for differences in decision making. However, it is powerful to know that when pregnant, you have a right to your own voice without feeling shame that seems to leak out of even the tamest of how-to books. Tacit Rule #1: You must wait to tell people you're pregnant I think it is important to understand that telling people you're pregnant is not information that is owed to your third cousin on your dad's side the second you pee on the stick. If you want to tell the world, tell the world. For me, keeping it from others was at times exhausting, especially at my sickest. A weight was lifted when people knew, it was suddenly more acceptable running to the restroom every 5 minutes or devouring a cheese stick every time I opened my drawer. On the flip side, there was a joy in having this knowledge just to myself and my husband, a time to process our feelings privately before the world took storm. Alec Baldwin's wife, Hilaria Baldwin, in an act of wonderful heroics has started to discuss the nature behind miscarriages and often the crumbs of stigma left scattered behind, especially while debating when to tell others. Experiencing a miscarriage herself, she wrote a beautifully written post on social media, part of which she stated: “I have no shame or embarrassment with this experience. I want to be a part of the effort to normalize miscarriage and remove the stigma from it. There is so much secrecy during the first trimester. This works for some, but I personally find it to be exhausting. I'm nauseous, tired, my body is changing. I don't want to have to pretend anymore.” Whatever your reason for telling people around you, make it a choice you make for yourself, not those around you. Tacit Rule #2: Pregnancy hormones only effect you physically, not mentally. In having a conversation with one of my closest friends, we realized we committed a fallacy. It started with me stating, “I think I have pregnancy brain sometimes.” We both exclaimed that we didn't know pregnancy brain was actually true as people throw the term around so readily, but then paused to think. In our society, woman are often linked to moments of hysteria and emotional outbursts are “just being a woman”. It is unfortunate that people often discount this large part of pregnancy and how difficult it can be to cope with the forgetfulness or fog your mind is enveloped in. The contrast is even more stark as people rarely question the physical effects of a pregnancy. If I am using the restroom more often or state that my feet hurt, no one queries it, it's a biological process, after all. Yet the moment I place my keys in the fridge and blame it on pregnancy brain, suddenly it is an excuse of natural womanhood, something I should be able to control. According to an article in Medical News Today from 2018, they found that general cognitive functioning, memory and executive functioning were significantly poorer in pregnant woman, especially in the third trimester. What I take away from these tacit rules are this: if a pregnant woman says she's feeling emotional in any direction, don't discount it. Support her. Pregnancy can sometimes feel as if your body, of which you have learned its detailed intricacies, is suddenly swapped with another. It doesn't react like you are used to, it is learning a new law that you've taken decades to learn and memorize. If a woman decides to tell the world she's pregnant day one, support her. If someone waits until the eight month, be there. Pregnancy is often a beautiful, amazing process, one that is utterly incomparable. Yet, in those mornings of utter sickness and moments of pure exhaustion, let's lift each other up.
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