Readers — I just loved this comment to the “Driven Crazy by Pregnancy Perfectionists” post. And her phrase to describe the over-the-top precautions mom-to-be are advised to take — “mindless acts of pointless martyrdom” — is so wonderful, it deserves to be embroidered on a million Baby Boppies. Voila:
Dear Free-Range Kids: I literally threw What to Expect When You’re Expecting across the room after I cracked it open for the first time to a random page and read, “We don’t have any evidence that coloring your hair harms the fetus, but we don’t have any evidence that it’s GOOD for the fetus, so sorry, Mom, but it’s just one more sacrifice you’re going to have to make.”
My blood pressure shot up so high reading that, I’m surprised I didn’t go into pre-term labor. The only thing that saved me was knowing that the book was a hand-me-down and I hadn’t contributed to the personal fortune of its author.
So we preggos are supposed to give up everything that has not been proven to be beneficial to the baby even if there’s no evidence that it’s harmful? I refuse. The amount of love I feel for this little guy kicking my bladder is better measured by my determination to raise him to engage intellectually with the world around him than by mindless acts of pointless martyrdom.
“If we haven’t proven it’s good, you have to stop doing it” is the easily the most incredibly irrational, anti-intellectual, anti-scientific, anti-common sense rationale I have ever read for ANYTHING and yet I think that it’s the keystone philosophy for the pregnancy police. Inherited wisdom from a society ravaged by lawsuits. Never mind that we happily ignore the risks of things that it would it just be too damned difficult to give up, like car travel or walking. Life is full of risk! Brimming with risk! Suck it up! Put on your big girl panties (and maternity panties are indeed big) and deal.
You can babyproof your entire house top to bottom and then have it be hit by lightning two hours later. So put the knives out of reach, install smoke detectors, and lock up the Drano when the baby starts crawling, and then just do the best you can.
I’m 26 weeks pregnant and last night I drank the first beer of this pregnancy and watched the Saints win their first ever Superbowl and my baby merrily kicked before, during, and after. Still kicking this morning. And I don’t feel the least bit bad about it. Sorry, What To Expect. By the way, if I feel like coloring my hair, I’ll do that, too. I’ll stop short of drinking the dye if it’s any consolation.
Besides, I can’t prove that reading What To Expect is good for my baby… and the 30 seconds of elevated blood pressure it caused might actually be harmful. I’m afraid that chucking it is just one more sacrifice that I’m going to make. — Christine