This post is a part of my personal project, Bag Lady series. To see what it’s all about, please start here: A PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT. With each Bag Lady post, I will either share my thoughts, quotes that relate to it, the subjects thoughts or a contributors words. In this particular post, I’m pleased to share the subjects thoughts…
What were your first thoughts when asked to be a part of this project?
“You said you hoped we would learn something from this process (as you have). For me, pregnancy has been one of the most rich & rewarding learning processes I have ever been through! I tend to be more practical than “woo-woo” (although I love my fair share of woo! Haha!), but pregnancy has helped me experience both more fully as I had to learn DAILY how to support my changing body. I am definitely more than just my body, but I can honestly say that pregnancy has taught me what a rich resource my body is for me. Full of wisdom & information just waiting to be tapped into!!!”
What kind of expectations do you believe society places on you as a woman?
“All the expectations. As if there is only one right answer on how to be a woman, instead of a million options that we should each be able to navigate with support & kindness from our communities. Be a working mom…but if you really loved your kids you’d stay at home, right?! Be equal to men…but also be soft, sweet, & a little subservient if he can’t take your strength. Have a killer body…but please don’t be TOO obsessed with diet & exercise because that is annoying.
For every issue, there are opposing viewpoints that are literally enough to rip a woman in two, emotionally speaking. The noisy blast of messages we receive every day can become confusing…unless we can learn to block them out & hear our own inner messages more clearly.”
What unique parts of you do you feel society tries to remove in order to make you fit their mold?
“As an entrepreneur, I feel like I am supposed to buy into the image I should be projecting to hustle & “get business,” rather than just being myself & allowing the perfect clients to find me. I need to build a list, say the right things, follow the formulas that are proven to work. All of this is fine…but it leaves me feeling very “cookie cutter.” My greatest successes have always come from the decidedly UN-cookie cutter things I have done. The ones that had people saying, “I have never seen anything like that before!”
We are not meant to be like everyone else…we are meant to find our unique expression of life and then to LIVE IT!! As a soon to be mom, I really hope I can bring this belief into my parenting to raise a free thinker that finds his or her own unique expression of life & surprises us all with things we’ve never seen before!”
Anything else you would like to add on this subject?
“Being “the pregnant one” on this project, I have clearly been focused on that aspect of being a woman lately. While I had originally planned on a hospital birth, upon reading, researching, & hearing other women’s birth stories, I realized how much we have turned giving birth into a mechanical process driven by machines & a predominantly masculine OB/GYN field. Gone are the days of supporting the mother & her unique body to give her a positive birth experience. Now we rely on fetal monitors (which get more eye contact than the mamas these days), timed phases of labor, & drugs to move along the process &/or eliminate any feeling of pain. Birth is becoming cookie cutter so it can be neatly planned & reduce some of the variables. Because we as women would hate to inconvenience anyone, right?!
While all of the tech & medical advances are amazing & in some cases life saving, we have lost touch with the fact that no two women are the same…and so why should their birth experiences fit into a neatly packaged process that minimizes inconvenience?
Because of all this, I COMPLETELY surprised myself by deciding to do a home birth with a midwife. This was NEVER something I dreamed I would do, but over the course of my pregnancy became the obvious right path for me.
The main reason was because while my doctor said on my first visit, “Just so you know, you will probably need a c-section,” my midwife believes in allowing my body & my baby to set the time table for when to deliver, as intervention free as possible. I can snack during labor to keep my energy up, I can have the people I choose around me to support me thru the pain that accompanies the joy…basically I am empowered to create the experience I want!!
I am both excited & terrified to give birth this way. Excited because I have heard so many positive stories about home birth being a peak experience for feeling empowered as a strong, vibrant woman! Terrified because what if I can’t tolerate the pain. Or that if anything goes wrong, not only will I blame myself, but others will shame me into thinking I should have taken the “normal” path (i.e. the “right way” for a woman to give birth).
But I refuse to let my fear overpower my excitement. I want to experience every ounce of what my body is capable of as I bring my baby into this world. For me, that is the first step of raising a strong, curious, free thinking child that will grow into an empowered adult!”