The midwife only had to ask one question to get the women in the room talking eagerly. Those who had already been pregnant told stories from their previous pregnancies and what they had learned, and even those who were pregnant for the first time like me pitched in with their experiences. I listened as they shared what they were dealing with, what solutions they had found to the problems they encountered, what questions they had. The midwife mostly listened, adding comments when necessary or asking another question to keep the discussion going.
As I walked out of the room, I felt encouraged. Somehow it was good to know that what I was going through wasn’t unique; that other women were also dealing with it and it was just a part of pregnancy. It was also good to hear their “can do” attitude, that pregnancy is normal and natural and something every woman can handle. They were realistic about their discomfort or questions, yet also upbeat and enthusiastic. I could see in their faces as well that this support and encouragement was deeply needed and helpful.
It made me realize how much we need communities in our everyday life. Too often in our modern, busy world, it is easy to get caught up in our day-to-day tasks and to ignore those around us. I go to work, come home to my husband, dash off to dance classes or youth group meetings, come home to start it all again. Until something like a group prenatal appointment reminds me of how important it is to share all of that with others.
As women, writers, Christians, mothers, wives, friends – wherever in life we are – we can benefit from other people who can share our struggles and our joys, tell us that they’ve “been there, done that” and pass on their advice.