During my recent birthday shopping trip to Burlington, I stepped into Earth Prime Comics. As I was skimming titles, my wife says “You have to buy this one.” Which, by the way, is never something I thought I’d hear from her in a comic book store. But, she was so right (she is right about 99% of the time, I listen to her about 33% of the time, this is something I am working on). So now I am reading this…
I know this book is a couple years old. I know there are articles out there, published when it was released, but it was news to me. A superhero that is pregnant!? I love the image. I love the idea. I love it. And here’s why:
- I am a woman (won’t go into the complicated asterisk here, but stay tuned, it could be a future topic).
- I have been pregnant, twice.
- I don’t believe that being pregnant and being active are mutually exclusive activities.
One of the things that bugged me the most about being pregnant was people contantly cautioning me about doing things. Don’t paint the bedroom, don’t climb the ladder, you’re going to have to quit running, stop moving the furniture, get someone else to mow the lawn, take it easy. STFU. People seem to think that women are particularly delicate when pregnant and cannot do things. A ridiculous notion. You can be pregnant and do things. Physical and mental things, all kinds of things.
Disclaimer: This is not to say that at a certain point during pregnancy there are no physical limitations, in my experience there are. Nor is this intended to offend anyone (really, truly, honestly, everyone has a different pregnancy and birth and postpartum experience and all of those experiences are valid and worth large amounts of respect). Also, this is entirely my own opinion and not to be construed as medical advice (please seek the advice of your medical provider when determining the appropriate level of activity during your pregnancy).
To illustrate my point… I have been pregnant twice. During my first pregnancy, I ran the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World. I even used a couple of photos of me during the race, sporting my “Running for Two” shirt to come out of the pregnancy closet. During my second pregnancy, we were rushing to finish a home improvement project before the baby was born and I was tiling the bathroom floor at 35 weeks, painting after that, and moving furniture, etc. During both pregnancies, I worked full time until either the baby came out or I was past my expected arrival date. All the while, I was literally making another human being.
Side note, the superpowers don’t stop at making the human because at some point you have to get that human out of your body and (if you choose to do so) feed it by turning the food you eat into baby human food… WOW. Let’s just think about that for a minute.
Zooming back out, the great thing about pregnant superheros is that being pregnant and becoming a mother is not their everything. It’s not their defining role.
Motherhood does not have to be your defining role.
That is the take home. No one part of yourself is your defining role, not even motherhood. I identify with many labels: wife, mother, leader, advocate, writer, artist. But none of these (or any other parts of myself) solely define who I am.
Looking back on my childhood experiences, this was likely a contributing factor in my tenuous relationship with my mother. Though I have spent many years processing and coming to terms with this part of my life (and this is certainly an ongoing process for me), I’ve learned to frame my experiences as lessons learned. That way regardless of how shitty things may have been or seem now, I’m getting something positive from it. Something I can translate to my own parenting. Something that will make my kids’ experience better.
What’s your superpower? If you are or have been pregnant, what’s your pregnancy claim to fame?