32 weeks pregnant and hellbent on buying myself a DSLR camera, I set about the work of listing everything I could come across on Craigslist. The most difficult of these items was my own street bicycle, the palest shade of pastel pink. I bought it soon before getting pregnant with my oldest daughter, and got in one good riding season before I realized the risk of riding while gestating. Four years later, carrying my third child, I accepted that it would probably be a while before I could block off 2 hours at a time to ride.
It wasn’t long until I got a text from a buyer. Scheduling a meet up proved difficult, because this buyer apparently had their hands full with several children of their own. Eight to be exact. I assumed this was a harried mother, running from school pick up to sporting events.
A late model Honda Pilot parked in front of my house, and a 40ish year old man in business casual opened the passenger door for his 11 year old daughter to clamber out, all legs and blonde hair. I was shocked – although that should reveal something about society right there – that it was a dad who had been texting me. He had four children in the vehicle with him.
He was cool and collected. He spoke respectfully to his daughter, and made sure she was comfortable with the height of bicycle that he intended for her. The family was pretty active together, he explained, and it showed in their physiques. He asked me why I was selling, and I patted my obvious belly and told him I just couldn’t find the time to ride with my young children anymore. He nodded understandingly.
“How far along are you? About 7 months?”
Wow, did a MAN just guess how pregnant I was…and he was right?
“Yes, I’m due in a couple months.”
“You look well. You must be taking good care of yourself.”
“Oh really? Thank you.”
He paid me and loaded up the bike.
“I hope you have a beautiful birthing.” Then he got in and drove away.
Did he just wish me a beautiful birthing? I didn’t know men knew the word “birthing” anyway. He certainly didn’t seem the crunchy type, like myself. Or, as my husband would say, hippie. Nope. He was reserved and well dressed. No hemp necklaces or long hair in sight.
I’ll never know if this man was a physician or just a man who had been around enough birth to know (remember, eight children). But he sure knew the right thing to say to a girl.
This man got it. As a culture, we need to know how to talk to pregnant women. How to treat this complex and intricate state of being with the right amount of respect and awe. It’s time to stop asking women the same questions about how they are feeling and what they are having. Stop commenting on how big or small they are. Focus on what matters so much in a mother’s heart, this pivotal, spiritual moment they are about to undertake. It’s so simple.
Have a beautiful birthing.