In the past few years, I've done a 180. I now see them as one of the few places where women come together to share their experiences and wisdom, to discuss pregnancy, labor, motherhood, and what it means to be a woman.
Women want a place to share their stories and laugh about the indignities they have suffered while in the process of creating another human being. They want to talk about their pains and triumphs, their questions and their profound concerns. They want to hear that they are normal and that they are amazing and strong and doing it all just fine.
On Monday, we gathered on my mom's deck to eat lasagna and drink wine and tell our tales of pushing and potty training, in celebration of a mother five times over. It doesn't matter how many babies you have, it feels important to celebrate the arrival of each of them, and to celebrate.
Watching my nephew's birth just a little over a week ago, reminded me how truly amazing and beautiful birth is. I was actually jealous that Claire was giving birth and I wasn't. And while at the shower, when women were discussing engorged breasts, I was utterly shocked to find myself feeling nostalgic for an altogether unpleasant experience.
I should probably rush to start a Go Fund me account to get Tom a vasectomy, otherwise I fear I'll be the next mother five times over celebrating under those umbrellas.