21 weeks and healthy

I’ve read in numerous books, online forums, and blogs that women often remark that they have never felt more healthy than when they are pregnant. Writers, by sharing this sentiment, are implicitly acknowledging that pregnancy is not accepted as an inherently healthy condition. In online forums women write: “I’ve never felt healthier!”–as if they were expecting to feel unhealthy.

In contrast, the only feeling I would share on an online message board would be: “I’m not feeling healthy. What gives?” This time in my life is naturally my healthiest time. I have never been more focused on my body and its health. No alcohol. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Extra protein. Emphasis on whole grains. Exercise. Lots of exercise.  Happy. Excited. And this is all easy for me because, at the risk of sounding self-righteous, I am not doing it for myself, but for a completely vulnerable human being.

I recognize, of course, that I am in an enviable position. I work from home on my own schedule  thereby minimizing my daily stresses. I have a supportive husband. We know that we want this baby. We are ready for this baby. I felt far from healthy  in my first trimester, but now, well into the second trimester I feel great.

The same cannot be said for other women. They may be uncertain if they want a baby. Perhaps they are single or in an unhealthy and unhappy relationship. Nausea and feeling uncomfortable may persist throughout the nine months. Money may be an issue, creating stress. I understand that many women many not feel healthy during pregnancy for a variety of reasons.

What I don’t understand, however, is the widespread belief that a healthy pregnancy is an exceptional pregnancy. Pregnancy is not a medical condition. It is merely a  stage of life that many women experience in many different ways, but automatically viewing it as unhealthy or as a challenge does not need to be the conventional wisdom.

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5 responses to “21 weeks and healthy

  1. Not that I would know, but I don’t think most people are suggesting pregnancy is an unhealthy condition (unless they’re men), as much as they’re saying pretty much what you concluded. Most people don’t feel well during at least some part of their pregnancy, between morning sickness, swollen ankles, the brat resting on their bladder, etc. So if they feel good, it’s a surprise. Maybe it’s just a matter of semantics.

  2. I’m thinking the same as Renee. I can’t relate, but try as some may (healthy lifestyle and even wanting the baby) they might just not be able to physically keep up. Hopefully things hold up on your end and all the best in the coming months!

  3. And now I’m thinking of what both you said and am trying to convince myself that this is the “honeymoon” trimester. I’ll give an update in, oh, two months when I’m lumbering around, clothes don’t fit, can’t get into a comfortable sleeping position, etc.

    I think what I was thinking about yesterday when I posted is that it is much more common to read and hear about the problems that women have with pregnancy and childbirth and much less common to hear about all the wonderful aspects of the process. Right now (again, ask me in two months!) I’m feeling pretty wonderful and it’s hard to find that kind of shared opinion.

  4. It’s not that it’s a ‘medical condition’ but any condition you do develop is taking so much more seriously. I had a ‘mystery cough’ that kept me out of work for three weeks and had doctors and specialists worried and befuddled. It was nervewracking for me and then once it cleared up I started mysterious spotting for several weeks in the 2nd trimester that had everyone all freaked out again. It’s great that you’re feeling good and are healthy. To be fit going into pregnancy will great help you to lose the baby weight afterwards. Enjoy this time now.

    Oh, and the 3rd trimester, though I was huge and slow, was my favorite trimester. I was finally free of nausea and all the ‘mystery’ conditions.

  5. Pingback: a “medicalized condition” | Philawriter

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