Monday, July 7, 2014

I climbed a motherfucking mountain

Since we told people about the tiny seahorse (that's what I've been calling it) a few weeks ago, I've gotten a lot of positive responses, but a lot of them have been peppered with unsolicited advice, or unnecessary commentary.  I think the most frustrating thing about people knowing you're pregnant is that it becomes all you are.  You're no longer an individual to some people, you're suddenly just grouped together in this lump called "pregnant lady" and suddenly that's all you can do.  People will start telling you what/how to eat.  People will start making comments about what you can or cannot do.  People will start telling you should find out the gender, or you shouldn't.  The breastfeeding zealots come out of the woodwork to shame you if you're considering bottles and formula.  If you mention names you're considering, people will feel totally content to tell you how much they hate them.  And don't consider doing anything remotely strenuous.  It's like you're supposed to sit around and do nothing but grow a human, as if that takes all of your attention and concentration.  Last I checked, that thing seems to keep growing all on its own without too much effort or prompting on my part.  I think we're good.

I feel like I'm already slowly getting sucked into my worst nightmare about parenthood.  All along, I've been terrified that I'll cease being a person and suddenly I'll just be "So-and-so's mom" as if that's the entire defining feature of my identity and I did not exist as a person prior to being assigned that identity.  I feel like being lumped in as "pregnant lady" is just the first step in that.  It's sort of paralyzing to think about, because there is so much more to me than growing this fetus, and that already seems to be something that is slowly forgotten by my peers.  Just this last week, I heard a friend say several times "She can't, she's pregnant" as if that has taken away my ability to do normal things.

It's put me into this mental place where I want to defy those people.  I want to do what I feel like doing, regardless of whether there's a fetal parasite living off of me at the moment.  It's only been a few weeks and I'm already tired of being told things I can't do.  So, I decided to say fuck it and do what I wanted.  While we were on vacation last week, the national park we were in had a 500 ft cliff face that you could climb.  It was almost entirely vertical, with ledges no more than 3 feet wide in most places.  The cliff face itself was all granite, and in some places they had put metal bars into the granite to help you pull yourself up from one ledge to another.  I wanted to climb it.  Actually, everyone in our group wanted to climb it.  I decided if everyone was going, I was going to go too.  I did have a panic attack at the base, because all of the "you can't do this" voices popped into my head, and all of the stupid paperwork from my OB that said "consult your doctor before beginning any new activity" kept flashing in front of me and making me worry that by doing this, I was somehow going to just kill the kid on my way up.  I sat at the base for about 5 minutes trying not to cry, arguing with all the voices in my head, convincing myself that if I would have done it 3 months ago, then there's no reason I shouldn't be doing it now.  I'm healthy.  The seahorse is still really small.  My whole body is protecting it.  I'm not slamming myself into the rock face, or jamming anything into my belly.  There was no reason I shouldn't make the climb, except that I was letting everyone else get into my head and push the "me" part out so they could replace it with "pregnant lady".  So I did it.  I climbed the rock face.  Not only did I do it, but I kept up with everyone else pretty easily, and I made it all the way to the top without any real struggle.  14 weeks pregnant, and I scaled a mountain.

Who else wants to tell me I can't do something?

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome!! I think the only scientifically proven things you shouldn't do while pregnant is smoke and drink. Other than that, DO IT. People will always have their crappy advice, ignore ignore! ;)