- Women's Health
Pregnancy and Motherhood - The Code Of Silence
What You Don't Learn In Prenatal Classes
With my first grandchild on the way I am of course, wanting to add my advice to the litany of advice my daughter is and will be receiving. In thinking back, way back, to my own experience with my first pregnancy, which just happened to be when I was carrying her it seems to me that there is a Code Of Silence that women have either knowingly or unwittingly been party to for centuries. With the internet and all the books on the subject and every second star in Hollywood reproducing or adopting, my daughter already has far more access to information than I ever did. With that being said, I have noticed that the Code Of Silence, “Why didn’t somebody tell me this would happen?” that I distinctly remember calling out to whomever in the big beyond answers questions such as these is still very much in play.
A Code of Silence is a program that is meant to hide, deny, distract, bury,
obfuscate or trick another or a group of others into going to agreement with an
image or a vision of one’s self or the group in order to have another or others
view one or the group in a certain way. Families
and organizations and businesses have lots of these things running in the
background to ensure that they will be viewed only as they want to be seen and
not as they are. A Code of Silence is absolutely
necessary for example when one is “Keeping Up With The Joneses” or when a
company wants to project a certain “Corporate Image”. Herein I will address the Code of Silence surrounding pregnancy.
Nobody ever told me while I was pregnant:
- That morning sickness is a misnomer – it doesn’t happen just in the morning
- That raw turnips and pomegranates taste good together – who would have thought?
- That you will get the bust line you always dreamed of having – BUT!!
- That you will wear flip flops regardless of the weather because – your feet GROW
- That you will stab your nephew in the back of the hand with your fork when he reaches for the last piece of whatever left on the serving plate - someone should have warned both you and anyone who ventures between you and a plate of food
- That the first thing you will greet someone with when you go somewhere new is, “Where is your washroom?” – HOW RUDE
- That any heartburn you may have experienced prior to pregnancy should be called something else because – IT ISN’T HEARTBURN!
- That a store manager will follow you around the store the entire time you are in there simply because when he asked you your due date you answered “Today” after you had grabbed onto a shelf to steady yourself only because the baby’s heel was pressing on your sciatic nerve.
- That people you have never seen before in your life will want to touch your belly.
- That people you do not even know will call you mommy – GROWN PEOPLE!
Then there is the BIG FAT SECRET SILENCE - AFTER THE BABY IS BORN.
The Code of Silence continues through the birth of your first child. It is not enough that there is a pregnant pause in the vital communication one would hope to receive the Code of Silence is the gift that keeps on giving!
Nobody told me that after the baby was born:
- That regardless of the state of my self esteem or self worth or self anything else prior to giving birth that once you have you feel like in all of creation NOBODY has created a miracle such as the one you just produced!
- That any angst you may have put yourself through getting changed for gym class was an utter waste of time and energy.
- That even though you stretched like some huge elastic in places that you didn’t even know would or could stretch that unlike an elastic, your body does not snap back into its former shape (I feel this one is added to by the fact that there are Hollywood mums on the front of numerous magazines wearing next to nothing, snuggling their new born infants and looking just like they did BEFORE!)
- That diapers evolve leaving the ones you put on your younger siblings as “a thing of the past” and you don’t have a clue how these “new fangled” ones work.
- That when you go to the hospital nursery with the “new fangled” diaper hanging half off your baby who you have held out in front of you like Simba you will get some very stunned expressions from the nurses if your raised arms are stuck through the slits of your nursing gown while the sleeves lay lifeless at your side.
- That soon after above the above stated episode the doctor advises you that you will be staying in the hospital an extra two days and hot on his heels are the nurses telling you that they will be teaching you “a few things” before you take your baby home – like how to dress maybe?
- That your sit me down place definitely feels as though it shouldn’t be sat upon at all - nobody says anything at all about the "doughnut" - NOTHING!
- That your milk doesn’t just “drop” for your own baby rather it “drops” for any baby within earshot
- That your expanded rib cage remains forever expanded
- That there are a few other body changes that I can’t bring myself to break the silence on here except to say that your partner notices them – but any man worth his salt says NOTHING!
This leaves me with a further step and that is to collect data as to why this Code of Silence exists. Why ladies have we gone into agreement with not passing these valuable insights on to the generations of mothers that will follow us into the Mother of All Hoods? My theory is the reasons lie somewhere between Immaculate Conception and Hollywood!