On a late summer drive to Berry Patch Farm, my friend Sareena said she couldn’t wait to have her baby, Lydia, who’s now as sweet, wonderful, and healthy as can be. She said this because pregnancy is hard work topped with a lot of changes.
And the girl just wanted some wine, chocolate cake, and a girls’ night. Not too much to ask for after 9 months of pregnancy, right? Later she approached me with the idea of a “We’re Not Pregnant Party.” What?! That’s not something you expect to hear from most pregnant women. Maybe they’re all thinking it, but how many are brave and honest enough to actually say it?
We’ve all heard how challenging pregnancy can be. Fortunately for Sareena, her pregnancy went relatively smoothly. Nothing at all like some of the traumatic experiences had in the recent movie adaptation of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which we did view together. We loved it, commenting on almost every minute of script.
But not all women are so lucky, and even though Sareena’s pregnancy went swimmingly well, she still had her fair share of changes to adapt to, physical sacrifices to make. But I find that strong women don’t bemoan discomfort, physical or emotional, and neither did Sareena. She handled everything with so much grace, and today as she continues to re-adjust, she continues to stay positive about all the post-pregnancy changes she’s encountering.
And not all women are so lucky in getting pregnant. So to be clear, this was in no way an anti-pregnancy party. As I write this post, I keep wanting to use the word anti-pregnancy, but it doesn’t capture the celebratory sentiment we had. None of the women attending this celebration were, to the best of my knowledge, anti-pregnancy or childbirth. Rather, we were happy to celebrate our individual situations, with child or not.
Really, this party was a celebration of all women’s reproductive situations. Those who can have children, and those who can’t, and those who choose not to. I think this is particularly important to my friend circle because in academia it’s not uncommon for women to miss their “fertility window” while attending to other priorities–i.e. grad school, gaining tenure, writing articles, and running writing programs. But this doesn’t mean that pregnancy is or isn’t desirable. It’s about accepting and celebrating where you’re at in life. Appreciating how you arrived at that place and the other little wonders that came your way–be they children or something else.
Here’s to wonderful friends.
Here’s to my party-themed contraceptive cake! (Recipe here.)
And here’s to whatever comes next.
- Party Idea: Parfait Bar (collegiateculinaire.wordpress.com)