Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, Kwaanza, the Winter Solstice, or all of the above, winter brings family, food, and ritual into the forefront of our lives. And this year, you're pregnant! Congratulations, and how wonderful! What better time to celebrate the beginnings of new life than during the festivals of light, rebirth, new life, a return toward warmth?
Yet alas, babe, the winter holidays ain't ALL joy, candles, and evergreens. Forget the fa-la-la-la-la. Being pregnant during the holidays can also present a challenge. From avoiding the "holiday cheer" punch bowl to deflecting questions about baby-to-be's sex and name, the winter festivities, from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, can keep the Expecting expecting trouble.
Here are some of the concerns and scenarios you—and other pregnant women—may face this joyful season.
The Emotional Double Wammy
Pregnancy hormones and family dynamics? Watch out! It's an emotional double whammy. Holidays and pregnancy both tend to bring out the desire for family togetherness as well as a keen awareness of the wonders and horrors of family life.
The winter holidays are rarely as peaceful and fulfilling as we want them to be. When Dad is acting up and the cousins aren't speaking, when things get really bad, you may feel newly disappointed all over again. This year, with those hormones surging through your body, your normal frustrations may feel overwhelming. I know a woman who spent a pregnant New Year's Eve with her parents—that is, she was with her parents when she wasn't in the bathroom, breathing deeply and silently apologizing to her unborn child for bringing her into such a dysfunctional family.
On the other hand, you may find yourself with a new appreciation for old family traditions. As you perform the little rituals you've performed every year you can remember, you'll imagine little Junior or Juniorette a mere year from now. Your baby will be between three months and a year old, maybe crawling, maybe walking, maybe saying a few words. As you light the candles this year, as you sing your holiday songs, you'll imagine a baby's gleaming eyes.