Last Updated On April 11, 2014

 

Chris Lindhout Photography

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Invitation

My grandmother called me mamela. It’s a Yiddish term of endearment, meaning ‘little mommy,’ but her intonation had a clear message that being a mother was my fate. I had been groomed for this since I was four years old. When I finally settled down and became pregnant, I could see a clear path ahead of me. I had been well prepared for motherhood…or so I thought. What had started out as a normal pregnancy quickly turned traumatic. I was labeled high risk and sent to bed for five months because I had three monster fibroids, one of which was pressing up against my cervix, causing early effacement. I took this to mean my baby could fall out at any time. Was it my fault? Was this something I did? I needed answers, and, surprisingly, none seemed forthcoming. With nothing but time, I began researching online.

I discovered that over 700,000 women each year are placed on bedrest, suffering from complications that force them to basically check out of life as they know it, lie down, and wait. The facts I found online were only vaguely helpful, with one study even suggesting that bedrest does more harm than good. And not one of these articles prepared me for the actual physical and emotional strain of being bound to bed like a prisoner.

Yet very few people talk about this subject. Can you imagine if nearly one million men were asked to take off from their jobs and lie down for oh, say, three months? At the very least, there would be a national conversation about the benefits of eating Cheetos to alleviate bedrest-induced boredom.

I began keeping humorous journals about my experience and eventually decided that I had enough to turn these journals into a book entitled Womb Service. I wanted to get the word out about bedrest. I wanted to empower women as well as encourage them to advocate for themselves. Motherhood (and womanhood) can be a very lonely path, and when we discuss tough issues, whether it’s bedrest, infertility, or miscarriage, we rip open taboo subjects making them more readily accepted.

I have been writing this book for years. My son, who thankfully did survive, is now seven, and what I’ve realized is that we, as women, need to create more dialogue about the challenges we face, whether it is health, work, or family. In this way, we can come together, shed light on important issues, and make positive changes. (We can also begin the process of being kinder to ourselves by not feeling so guilty about every single thing!)

Once these topics become the norm, women will feel less isolated and more open to discussing the raw nitty-gritty around marriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. Innately we are nurturers, but rarely do we take the time to nurture ourselves, and because of this we often end up carrying around a huge burden of guilt. We need to crack open the door to broader understanding that will perpetuate real change.

Bedrest humbled me. Nothing could have prepared me for those days in waiting. It forced me, unwittingly, to face my demons around commitment, family, and what I wanted for my future. Ultimately, it led me down an unexpected path to authenticity and growth. Writing this book was a way for me to open up the conversation.

© Aileen Weintraub

Find out more about Aileen here: http://www.illuminousflux.com/?page_id=76

 

Last Updated On April 11, 2014

 

Chris Lindhout Photography

 

 

Invitation

My grandmother called me mamela. It’s a Yiddish term of endearment, meaning ‘little mommy,’ but her intonation had a clear message that being a mother was my fate. I had been groomed for this since I was four years old. When I finally settled down and became pregnant, I could see a clear path ahead of me. I had been well prepared for motherhood…or so I thought. What had started out as a normal pregnancy quickly turned traumatic. I was labeled high risk and sent to bed for five months because I had three monster fibroids, one of which was pressing up against my cervix, causing early effacement. I took this to mean my baby could fall out at any time. Was it my fault? Was this something I did? I needed answers, and, surprisingly, none seemed forthcoming. With nothing but time, I began researching online.

I discovered that over 700,000 women each year are placed on bedrest, suffering from complications that force them to basically check out of life as they know it, lie down, and wait. The facts I found online were only vaguely helpful, with one study even suggesting that bedrest does more harm than good. And not one of these articles prepared me for the actual physical and emotional strain of being bound to bed like a prisoner.

Yet very few people talk about this subject. Can you imagine if nearly one million men were asked to take off from their jobs and lie down for oh, say, three months? At the very least, there would be a national conversation about the benefits of eating Cheetos to alleviate bedrest-induced boredom.

I began keeping humorous journals about my experience and eventually decided that I had enough to turn these journals into a book entitled Womb Service. I wanted to get the word out about bedrest. I wanted to empower women as well as encourage them to advocate for themselves. Motherhood (and womanhood) can be a very lonely path, and when we discuss tough issues, whether it’s bedrest, infertility, or miscarriage, we rip open taboo subjects making them more readily accepted.

I have been writing this book for years. My son, who thankfully did survive, is now seven, and what I’ve realized is that we, as women, need to create more dialogue about the challenges we face, whether it is health, work, or family. In this way, we can come together, shed light on important issues, and make positive changes. (We can also begin the process of being kinder to ourselves by not feeling so guilty about every single thing!)

Once these topics become the norm, women will feel less isolated and more open to discussing the raw nitty-gritty around marriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. Innately we are nurturers, but rarely do we take the time to nurture ourselves, and because of this we often end up carrying around a huge burden of guilt. We need to crack open the door to broader understanding that will perpetuate real change.

Bedrest humbled me. Nothing could have prepared me for those days in waiting. It forced me, unwittingly, to face my demons around commitment, family, and what I wanted for my future. Ultimately, it led me down an unexpected path to authenticity and growth. Writing this book was a way for me to open up the conversation.

© Aileen Weintraub

Find out more about Aileen here: http://www.illuminousflux.com/?page_id=76

Last Updated On April 11, 2014

Chris Lindhout Photography

 

Invitation

My grandmother called me mamela. It’s a Yiddish term of endearment, meaning ‘little mommy,’ but her intonation had a clear message that being a mother was my fate. I had been groomed for this since I was four years old. When I finally settled down and became pregnant, I could see a clear path ahead of me. I had been well prepared for motherhood…or so I thought. What had started out as a normal pregnancy quickly turned traumatic. I was labeled high risk and sent to bed for five months because I had three monster fibroids, one of which was pressing up against my cervix, causing early effacement. I took this to mean my baby could fall out at any time. Was it my fault? Was this something I did? I needed answers, and, surprisingly, none seemed forthcoming. With nothing but time, I began researching online.

I discovered that over 700,000 women each year are placed on bedrest, suffering from complications that force them to basically check out of life as they know it, lie down, and wait. The facts I found online were only vaguely helpful, with one study even suggesting that bedrest does more harm than good. And not one of these articles prepared me for the actual physical and emotional strain of being bound to bed like a prisoner.

Yet very few people talk about this subject. Can you imagine if nearly one million men were asked to take off from their jobs and lie down for oh, say, three months? At the very least, there would be a national conversation about the benefits of eating Cheetos to alleviate bedrest-induced boredom.

I began keeping humorous journals about my experience and eventually decided that I had enough to turn these journals into a book entitled Womb Service. I wanted to get the word out about bedrest. I wanted to empower women as well as encourage them to advocate for themselves. Motherhood (and womanhood) can be a very lonely path, and when we discuss tough issues, whether it’s bedrest, infertility, or miscarriage, we rip open taboo subjects making them more readily accepted.

I have been writing this book for years. My son, who thankfully did survive, is now seven, and what I’ve realized is that we, as women, need to create more dialogue about the challenges we face, whether it is health, work, or family. In this way, we can come together, shed light on important issues, and make positive changes. (We can also begin the process of being kinder to ourselves by not feeling so guilty about every single thing!)

Once these topics become the norm, women will feel less isolated and more open to discussing the raw nitty-gritty around marriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. Innately we are nurturers, but rarely do we take the time to nurture ourselves, and because of this we often end up carrying around a huge burden of guilt. We need to crack open the door to broader understanding that will perpetuate real change.

Bedrest humbled me. Nothing could have prepared me for those days in waiting. It forced me, unwittingly, to face my demons around commitment, family, and what I wanted for my future. Ultimately, it led me down an unexpected path to authenticity and growth. Writing this book was a way for me to open up the conversation.

© Aileen Weintraub

Find out more about Aileen here: http://www.illuminousflux.com/?page_id=76