Pregnancy: Sharing Milestones with Long-distance Relatives
When you find out you’re pregnant, the most obvious person you want to share your pregnancy experience with is your partner. And I have loved sharing every moment of my pregnancy with my husband from the very first announcement. There are very few people who care as much as I do about how frequently my little nugget is fluttering around inside of me or how much my stomach is expanding. My husband is definitely one of them, though, and I’m so thankful that he is as engaged in this whole experience as I am. If there is anyone else out there who cares as much about these little updates as my husband and me, I would venture to say it’s my mom.
Sharing Pregnancy Updates with Far-Away Family Members
Living over 1,000 miles away from home presents a unique set of challenges in sharing the pregnancy experience with my mom, dad and siblings. For one, I haven’t even seen my parents since becoming pregnant, so they haven’t been able to see the changes taking place firsthand. I must say, though, technology has truly been a lifesaver in making 1,000 plus miles seem more like 100 miles. When sharing the news that we were expecting, my husband and I were lucky enough to be able to use FaceTime to do so. Being able to see a person’s face and hear their voice makes such a difference when sharing big life news such as this. I can still visualize my mom’s exact reaction, and it’s a memory that will be ingrained into my memory forever.
As my pregnancy has progressed, there have been other ways I have used technology to keep my parents in the loop. Starting around ten weeks, I have sent a picture of my bump to my mom every Monday, my “turn” day. Along with the picture, I text her the number of weeks and the corresponding fruit or vegetable size the baby is. For instance, this week’s text read, “Week 23: grapefruit week!”.
In addition to weekly pictures, I make it a point to update my mom after any doctor’s appointments I have. The first time the doctor was able to hear the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler, my husband couldn’t be there. Consequently, I took a video of it with my phone so that he could hear the sound. As you may have expected, this also turned out to be great to share with my mom as well. Of course not every appointment calls for recording video footage. But I update her with other details such as ultrasound pictures, the baby’s heart rate, my weight gain and most importantly, the reassurance that everything is going well.
Not every update I share with my mom is scheduled or happens as a result of a doctor’s appointment, though. Some of the best updates are the ones that happen spontaneously. The first time I felt the baby move, for instance, and the first time I could see the baby move from the outside. The former resulted in a response of, “Omg! That makes me cry!”, and the latter with, “I’m screaming! Isn’t that the coolest thing?”. With responses like that, it’s obvious that she not only cares but she appreciates knowing what’s going on with my pregnancy and her grandchild. Both of my parents are so excited to become grandparents and providing them with these updates has become a cherished part of the experience.
My mom and I have always been very close. And despite living so far away from her, this pregnancy has given us a chance to grow even closer. Obviously, she has experienced these same things before – three times to be exact. So, I value her insight into what’s going on during this time and the changes that lie ahead. As I continue to bond with my unborn baby and grow more attached to it every day, it also gives me a greater appreciation for her as a mom. I can relate more to her and understand her love for my siblings and me at a different level than I previously could, and I know that this appreciation and understanding will only grow deeper after our little one has arrived. So even though sharing my pregnancy experience with my mom from halfway across the country hasn’t been ideal, we’ve found ways to make it work. And every day I feel more grateful than the last for her love, support and involvement in my life – both during this pregnancy and the 28 years before it.