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Pregnant & Proud


Alice C. Bateman

{originally published under Lilly Rotunda}

Here I am, Lilly Rotunda, pregnant once again and growing as rapidly as a machine-inflated balloon. A few days ago I was still arguing with the 'what if' symptoms - faintness, nausea, leg cramps, assorted aches and pains. Must be either some dread disease - or, oh my God, I can't bend over, I must be pregnant! This time, it will be my sixth child; my eighth pregnancy, but sadly two were lost by miscarriage.

Yes, this is 1999, and yes, there are still a few women like myself who believe that God deems when a child will be. Some who still believe we are truly blessed and deeply privileged to be entrusted to carry the innocent and defenseless new human to a point where it can breathe and function outside the housing of our body.

It is truly a miracle. A whole new human being, on this planet for maybe a hundred years, for a few months of pain and sacrifice on the part of the mother. From womb to whom? The burning question for the expectant mother.

People endlessly subject themselves to self-inflicted pain from alcohol and drug abuse, but when you ask a modern woman why she doesn't want to bear children - they are actually given 'choices' in this century - they say "it hurts too much," or "I don't want to ruin my figure."

Get real, folks. Did you read the Reader's Digest article about how the tigers are being killed off by certain selfish elements? Well, if we do not resume reproducing as a race, multi-generational Canadians could cease to exist as a viable entity fairly early in the next century.

Then there would be merely fringe elements of the multi-generational builders of this country around, a minority, classified and government-regulated, because there may be few enough of us left that it will be possible for them to do so.

Is this how we want our grandchildren to be living? Alone among strangers, isolated in a country that we built from the earth up?

Sorry, I didn't begin writing about this sacred event in order to lecture or shout, but to share the details and rapid development of this marvellous process. Many things I had forgotten, and this is not new to me. At this stage, of course, I am praying every moment that I will carry this child to full term of health and vitality.

I will turn forty before the birth. This alone scares me, although women are having first children later and later, so I am trying to relax about this small factor. We can't dwell in our fears when pregnant, we must visualize a strong, healthy baby, and do everything we can to help ourselves achieve that goal.

The thought of holding a fresh infant in my arms brings to mind two things about current child-rearing practices that seriously annoy me. The first is the common habit of isolating the child in a cold plastic carrier. In order to truly bond with your child, you must have physical contact. Infants need to be carried in your arms, or the arms of their father or other loving family. Families bond with each other through direct, warmth to warmth, loving contact.

We are depriving our babies of basic human acceptance by carrying them around in plastic - you are, I have always carried my children in my own two arms. God equipped us with arms for holding our infants, not cold plastic baskets. The other thing that terrifies me is the widespread use of the umbroller stroller, or similar, low-slung vehicles for transporting babies.

These are a fine thing for limited use inside a mall or in a park. But when I see so many children being driven down the sidewalks of this city in these things, face at exhaust-pipe level, I cringe and want to make the parent crawl just one block, keeping their face at the same level their child is at, and see how much they like inhaling the fumes of endless passing cars.

Does no one but me see the harm in the things we are doing to our children?

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