My husband and I recently finished watching the first season of the television series “Heroes” on DVD. We have found that renting TV series and watching them after the kids go to bed is really the only way to enjoy them. There are very few prime time shows that are suitable for children, and “Heroes” is definitely unsuitable. While we found the premise and storyline both interesting and entertaining, we were disappointed at how graphically violent the show can be. It was also overtly sexual at times. I find it shocking and amazing what they can show on network television at 8:00 at night. But that’s another discussion for another time, and at all not where I’m going with this post.
The story of “Heroes” involves ordinary people who discover they have extraordinary abilities, such as being able to spontaneously heal yourself, being able to hear things that are happening 40 miles away, even being able to fly. It got me to thinking about some of the extraordinary things that happen to ordinary women during pregnancy.
Besides the occasional uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach and the frequent exhaustion, there are some beneficial things happening to me as well. I may not be able to hear what is happening in the next county, but I can smell things that others cannot. Sometimes that can be pretty cool. Other times, especially when combined with that previously mentioned “uncomfortable feeling”, it can be nauseating. Either way, it’s extraordinary. And while I may not be able to instantly heal any injuries I may sustain, studies have shown that there may be an increase in immunity during pregnancy. A healthy baby needs a healthy environment in which to develop, so that stronger immune system helps keep mama from getting sick. Extraordinary! In addition, Miss M is amazed by my fingernails lately. I have never really had fingernails. They grow very slowly and weakly (and usually just get chewed off during a tense episode of “Heroes”.) However, they have been growing longer and stronger every day. Miss M and I both find this extraordinary.
I realize that a good sniffer, long nails and a heightened resistance to the common cold are not going to help me save the world. But I think that any woman who grows another person within her body is a hero. Not that I want to complain, but it does take a bit of work to make sure that little person is safe and strong in there. There are restrictions on certain foods, drinks and activities that would not otherwise exist. There's the weight gain, the heartburn, the mood swings, etc. (Don't you want to call and thank your mother?) Many women endure months of morning sickness, fatigue and even bed rest to make sure their babies have the best possible beginnings. If that’s not heroic, I’m not sure what is.
Now, if only I could get that flying thing to work.