While pregnancy is quite obviously related to the personal development of both the mother-to-be and father-to-be, it’s a little bit more difficult at times to see how pregnancy can be related to the process of building a vibrant community. After all, how can such a personal and intimate experience be shared one’s entire community?
It feels like there are some boundaries that can’t and maybe even shouldn’t be crossed. Some of the aspects of pregnancy are just for the mother to live through; others are just for the mother and the father. Still others are just for the parents’ immediate family—the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. But that still leaves a lot for the community as a whole to be involved in.
For one, there is the joy of pregnancy. Just like with engagements, there is a unique joy to the announcement of a pregnancy that spreads like wildfire within a community. The tighter the community, the faster the joy seems to spread—even if said community is a world-wide one (thank you, internet!) This is all the more interesting seeing that pregnancy isn’t unique as a state—how many millions of women are pregnant right now, how many billions have been since the beginning of time, and how many billions more will happen in our common history? And yet every single pregnancy is unique as an experience, and the joy of a community at an announcement seems to be a reflection of its appreciation of the uniqueness of the experience and of the human being that will emerge (literally!) from it.
Another aspect might be the way people come together around a pregnancy to protect the yet unborn child. I have been spoiled in so many ways since the announcement and it’s been quite humbling. After all, however amazing the experience is and however miraculous the process, I am technically not doing anything more than taking good care of myself spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I feel like being spoiled as a pregnant woman is a reflection of an innate respect for the miracle that is life, even from the most cynical of the bunch. There is just something about the body of a woman being programmed to incubate a new life that touches something deep within us and that brings us together around the experience.
A third aspect seems to be the mental and emotional connections between parents and the parents-to-be. I feel there is an immediate “light” of sorts that passes from those who are already parents to those who are becoming parents as soon as the announcement is made. There is a special, strong connection over this (potentially) universal experience. And sometimes there is nothing more to be said; you know that you have the other parents’ love and support just by that light in their eyes.
Pregnancy seems to be an amazing period of life not just because of the miracle happening automatically in my body. It is also an amazing period filled with potentiality during which a community can become stronger through a tightening of bonds of friendship witnessing a miracle it might never get tired of—or be able to get tired of. It’s been interesting being the recipient of this kind of attention; I think that previously, as the giver of this attention, I didn’t realise how much of a positive effect it can have on a couple expecting a child. I look forward to seeing, hopefully, the positive effect on the community, and can’t help but wonder what role the parents-to-be can play in this regard.
This post is part of the brand-new
Friday Family Focused Feature
on Sahar’s Blog