I’m nearing the end of my first trimester with my first pregnancy. It’s a beautiful process to sink into — the changes I’m experiencing in my body, the intimacy it’s creating in my marriage, and everything I'm learning about the pregnancy and birth experience.
Of course, there’s also been a lot of unsolicited advice from countless friends, family members, and yes, even strangers.
Once I became pregnant, it seemed like everyone I encountered became an oracle, whether it was a mother sharing her stories or a woman who has never been pregnant divulging all her hypothetical scenarios (along with the tales of her best friends, cousins, and sisters-in-law). You know, all the things you can’t do and need to avoid, lest you and your baby develop mercury poison and he’s born with a unicorn horn.
Please don’t mistake my playful sarcasm for ungratefulness. It takes a village, and I truly welcome the support of my communities to bring an amazing human into the world. I also understand that the advice comes from a deep place of care and sincerity.
Sure, some of it is fear-based, but that’s just the context through which we see the world based on our own experiences. Understanding that is what ultimately keeps me from getting irritated or caught up in the cautionary tales. It also allows me to receive the love underneath it all and reframe the fears in a way that serves and empowers me.
Here are the top four warnings I’ve heard during pregnancy, and how I’m choosing to let go of them: