When you visit the hospital on an ante-natal day, of course you would see women in various stages of pregnancy waiting to go through their routine check, but if you take a closer look you would see that their faces tell the story of their experiences.
Motherhood is a journey which starts at pregnancy. And the experience is not exactly the same for all women; even each pregnancy experience is not the same for a mum. Every baby comes with its own story, as we often say.
From my experience as a mum of three and also in working with women over the years, I have come to learn that pregnancy and motherhood has a way of changing the life of a woman completely.
Some women when they become pregnant have to stay in bed for most of, or all thorough the period of their pregnancy until baby is born. Some lose the energy and zeal to work and just stay at home – not sick, yet not well. Some can’t control the urge to spit or vomit and have to take along a container when they leave the house. Some crave weird food and other stuffs, others can’t stand certain aromas and fragrances and so can’t cook and can’t use some cosmetics or wear perfumes or stay close to someone wearing any.
Some lose weight others gain a lot of weight that require a change in wardrobe and foot wears (even after delivery), and other physical changes that leave marks on the bodies to show that we have ‘been there’. And there are other very lucky ones who don’t even know they are pregnant until they are close to delivery because they don’t notice much change in their lives. Different strokes for different folks.
But beyond the physical change, some women also experience behavioral changes due to the psychological impact of the physical discomfort, pain and limitation associated with pregnancy. Some women tend to avoid sexual relations and begin to consciously or unconsciously ‘hate’ their partners for ‘putting them through so much trouble and feeling very good with themselves’.
Some women have said that pregnancy and motherhood took away the drive and passion to work, build a career, and pursue their dreams. Some women have had their personal lives take the back seat, and this is evident in their appearance and how they live everyday lives – as though they live only for their kids and nothing more. Little wonder later on in life we remind our children over and over how we didn’t have a life because we ‘gave’ our lives for them to become somebody.
Times have changed and women are beginning to think differently. More women are showing us that it is possible to have it all – career success, good looks, etc despite the life-altering experience of pregnancy and motherhood.
The Russian super model Natalia Vodianova who ranked No. 5 on the 2015 Forbes list of highest earning models and has walked in more than 200 runway shows for American and European based designers’ collections and is also a mum of five. In her interview on TV she said, “Pregnancy gives me energy!” And she shared her story getting back on the runway three weeks after having a baby.
Pregnancy and motherhood can truly be overwhelming, and no two women experience it the same way. Take a break if you must, Natalia took a five-year break at some point in her career. But we must begin to see pregnancy and motherhood as an experience that gives us energy and not one that takes life out of us.
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