“God damn she looks fat.” “Why are you letting your f-ing child scream in the middle of Target.” “She’s a terrible friend she never calls me.” “This party isn’t good enough.”
Pregnancy does a lot of funny things to a woman. She might go batshit and be crying one minute and raging the next about how the dogs never have any water in their bowl. Or maybe she just vomits multiple times a day for days on end. Yeah, just. Or maybe she’s one of those lucky b’s that breezes right through pregnancy with that glow everyone talks about (and secretly envies). The funniest thing that pregnancy does is allow for a lot of introspection.
About four months into pregnancy, basically when the morning sickness began to recede, I saw myself with new eyes. It was not just about coming to accept and appreciate my new body that was rapidly dividing cells into fingers and toes. It was also about realizing what a judgmental person I often was. This came as a bit of a shock to me. I had always considered myself a nice person. But here I was, hearing mean-girl-style thoughts cross my brain waves that were unsolicited, and I realized that I wasn’t as kind as I wrote myself off to be. How disappointing. It was time to start mentally changing, since the physical part was already underway.
As my belly grew, so did my newfound softness of heart. I softened around many topics, but none so much as my attitude towards others. Especially women, it seemed. I judged less and cared more. Instead of judging that curvy girl running, I silently cheered her on. Instead of rolling my eyes at the mom with the out of control two year old, I prayed that wouldn’t be my baby one day and empathized with her. Instead of shutting out my friend that never called, I started calling her. Instead of being ungrateful that not enough was done to celebrate, I appreciated that people even cared that much about me in the first place.
Unfortunately, being a little softer means that you also are a little a lot more susceptible to getting your feelings hurt. Instead of firing back angrily, I found myself, to my surprise, reflecting on the words said about me to make sure they weren’t true. When I found them false, as I usually did, I felt pity for the angry heart that the words came from, instead of letting those words define me.
Pregnancy did a lot of things and caused a lot of changes, but I am so grateful that it did. I like the person I have become: a softer, kinder, gentler soul. Not that I don’t still have a lot of ass-kicking vibes. They’re just redirected a lot more productively now.