When I first discovered I was pregnant, I was newly married, very invested and successful in my career, and was equal parts terrified and excited. As I walked my mother to the car after sharing the news at dinner, she put her hand on my arm and said, “Just remember, Cory, you don’t need to do anything at all — your body knows what to do, all on its own.”
Over the next seven months, I prepared and celebrated in all the ways I thought I was supposed to: We bought and assembled a crib, took weekly belly photos, and I avoided runny eggs and blue cheese. When we were instructed, in prenatal yoga, to put our hands on our bellies and “connect with our babies,” I was never exactly sure what to do, or feel. I would feel her move and I’d smile, but honestly, I was in this for the baby, not the pregnancy. In my book, pregnancy was a rite of passage, and nine months of minor discomfort that I would endure for the gift of a child.