Acknowledge, praise, celebrate YOU!
In many cultures around the world, the pregnant mother is revered and her pregnant condition is celebrated. The kinds of celebration and ritual are as varied as the cultures in which they reside. They range from reserving the best foods for the pregnant mom and having extended family assist with housework to decorating an expectant mom’s hair with flowered garlands.
Regardless of whether your culture or your family has engrained customs for honoring pregnancy or not, I invite you to consider consciously how you’d like to acknowledge the phases of the process for yourself. There are many ways to celebrate throughout a pregnancy. Do you want to capture your experience with a pregnancy journal or photo album? Marcy, for instance, had her husband take a picture of her every 4 weeks and she wrote down the key baby-related events that took place that month and the primary thoughts and feelings she was experiencing. She didn’t want anything elaborate, yet she did want to remember. This seemed to her like a simple and meaningful way to honor and celebrate the experience.
Do you want the focus of the celebration and acknowledgement to be on your baby? Maybe it feels good to have friends and family join you in the process of setting yourself up with equipment and nursery decorations and babysitting to best nurture your child.
Do you want to celebrate certain kinds of milestones? Susan, for example, decided she wanted to acknowledge the completion of each trimester. By marking the date and doing something to specifically recognize the transition, she was able to appreciate what she – and her immediate family – had accomplished and to consciously begin to declare what she’d like the next trimester to be about.
Joleen took a more comical route. She picked some milestones along the way such as “the first day in maternity pants” and “time to buy a bigger bra!” and “the day the belly button popped” as events to mark and celebrate. These, for her, were opportunities to reach out and commiserate with girlfriends and further solidify her journey into motherhood. She celebrated with her typical self-deprecating humor and found that these light-hearted milestones helped her keep these seeming “inconveniences” in perspective. She was on her way to becoming a mommy to a newborn baby and bigger pants, bigger bras, and a bigger belly button were part of that journey. She was glad that she marked these milestones with some fanfare.
How do you want to acknowledge yourself during pregnancy and/or celebrate the process?