Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Performing Pregnancy

Performing Pregnancy

Ridiculous or Very Real?


One of my favorite authors and one of the few ladies in the world who can say her speeches and works influenced Beyonce is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Turns out this stellar woman recently had a baby...and no one knew.  The reason why no one knew, I particularly found to be very interesting. She not only wanted her child to have privacy for herself to have privacy. She did not want to "perform pregnancy." Men certainly don't go through the belly pictures, numerous celebrations, and antics that sometimes accompany 9 months of carrying a bundle of joy, so why should she?
“I just feel like we live in an age when women are supposed to perform pregnancy. We don’t expect fathers to perform fatherhood.”

I admittedly was really disarmed by this. Do people really consider belly pictures and baby showers a method of performing pregnancy? While I respect Chimamanda so much, I was really perturbed by this. Can I not respect a pregnant friend who does not want maternity pictures or a baby shower and yet rightfully want those things myself? Can I not enjoy those aspects of pregnancy for the simple reason that I love this journey and I think those events are fun. It kind of felt that it was a strange moment of mommy shaming. In the ever-consuming "mommy wars" is this another thing that we need to worry about? Do people perceive my baby showers and Mother Blessings as ridiculous? There was a joke in the comments that if a mother doesn't post weekly belly updates, it means there's a chalkboard shortage. Does that take away from Jennifer Garvin's beautiful chalkboards that she used to commemorate her pregnancies?

Honestly, I think that's just so lousy. I can support a friend who is pregnant, adopting, fostering, got a new job, moved to a new city, etc. in whatever way she wants to celebrate or not celebrate those things.

Then there's the crappy moment where one feels judged. In a time in my life where I am so excited to have a baby, especially having lost my first baby last year, I want to feel true joy. When I'm exhausted after work and lie down for a little bit and Will is kicking like crazy- I just know that I am so madly in love with this tiny human who will soon join us earthside. If I want to celebrate that with the people who mean the most to me, that's what I'm going to do. 

For a brief moment, I felt so judged and then I didn't care. I can't wait to meet Will and to celebrate with family and friends who are just as excited to meet him.

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