Observations From a ‘Pre-Mom’ at 38 Weeks Pregnant

I’m getting close to the finish line of pregnancy (AHH!), and I thought I’d share some of what I’ve experienced so far as a first-time pre-mom (It’s hard for me to call myself a mom yet, since I don’t feel like I’m inhabiting the role when the little guy isn’t out of my womb yet…).

Pregnancy has been more of an education than I ever expected. I’m learning so much about the human body, health care politics, cultural differences in pregnancy and so much more. It’s been an all-around education; it feels like I’m getting a Masters degree in human life.

Here are some of the more surprising things I’ve learned:

— Babies cry in the womb. Scientists have even seen them making that little lower lip quiver. Is that insane or what? Who would have thought?

— Reading the master book on hypno-birthing has been the best thing I’ve done to calm my fears and my anxious brain about labor and delivery. Basically, the idea is that self-hypnosis can help relieve much of the pain of childbirth without drugs. Simply reading the book has been such an amazing experience, mainly because it’s all about how birth can be more of a spiritual journey, rather than a painful, dreaded “event to get through.” While I’m not doing a full hypno-birthing by any stretch (epidural please!), just reading the book has proved to be very calming.

— Maybe women don’t really need to “push” to get their babies out. I feel like a looney-toon even writing that sentence because it goes against everything I’ve learned about pregnancy, but according to what I’ve read in the hypno-birthing book, most babies would naturally make their way out, if allowed to by medical professionals. One of the pieces of evidence to go along with this is that women in comas have given birth.

— I’ve become more of a mama-bear than ever before. I stand up for myself a lot more. And sometimes in strange ways (like doggedly pursuing the contact information for the CEO of Human Touch, a massage chair company whose customer service department won’t help us get our damn chair fixed. It’s been two months and my husband has a bad back.)

— Along those lines, I trust myself and my education and choices about my pregnancy and birth. I’ve chosen to drink the occasional glass of wine during pregnancy and I’ve come to not care what other people think about that choice.

— C-section rates are pretty high across the board but I was shocked to learn that in Brazil and 50% of all births are by cesarean.

— I’m thinking about a mid-life career addition/shift and apparently, this is very common among new moms/pregnant ladies, according to my therapist.

— Fetuses can use up much of your calcium, and if you don’t get enough of this vital nutrient via your diet or supplements, you can possibly end up with lots of cavities because the baby is sucking up calcium from your teeth!

— The US government states that your health insurance has to cover breast pumps for new moms (be it a rental unit or a new one).

There’s so much more that I’ve learned, but these are some of the most surprising discoveries.

I hope to share my own labor and delivery story once the big day happens!

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