Pregnancy isn't always easy. Some folks have to battle infertility, while others experience miscarriages, or other losses via prematurity or stillbirth or SIDS. Parents-to-be might have endured different traumas prior to their pregnancy that make the experience more complicated. Whatever the case, if your pregnancy is difficult you’ll need to find ways to get through. One of my major outlets during my high-risk pregnancy was TV. I watched so much that I even have a list of TV shows that got me through a difficult pregnancy.
At first, I considered going with my usual binges, like the always-worthwhile Grey’s Anatomy. However, when you’re dealing with a complicated pregnancy, the last thing you need is to watch a hospital show where folks are frequently cut up, and people die, and emotions are always running wild. Suffice to say, my go-to show triggered a tailspin of emotions. I also considered about watching Call the Midwife, since I though maybe it could potentially prepare me for childbirth (even in some small way). But I believe within the first episode or two, someone ends up having a very difficult birth and I’ve been completely put off by the show ever since.
In other words, when seeking refuge from Netflix or the like, you have to carefully consider your options. So what shows did I end up watching, and which ones helped through this difficult time? Here's a "starter list," of sorts, to get you started:
Gilmore Girls has long been my go-to binge-watching show for many reasons. The quirky and intricate characters and fast-paced dialogue stand the test of time, even if some of the jokes feel a bit dated. Plus, it’s a show about a mom and her kid, or about many moms and their kids, or about many people and their moms. Basically, this is the quintessential show for mamas and it definitely got me through 10 months of a high-risk pregnancy.
"Orange Is The New Black"
What does this show have to do with motherhood? Well, sure, there aren’t too many moms on the show itself, and the ones that are present are rarely with their little ones since all the moms are, well, in jail.
However, it’s a damn good show and it's great for marathoning and it's filled with plenty of strong (and diverse) women who you’ll surely begin identifying with and rooting for.
Whenever I needed a light laugh during my rather complicated pregnancy, I knew I could always count on Tina Fey and the gang at 30 Rock. While this show made me wish I was a comedy show writer myself, it also sometimes made me (very, very) glad I’m not.
Plus every scene with Jane Krakowski is pure gold and will definitely make you forget all about your swollen ankles.
Mad Men was still on the air when I was pregnant with my son, but between long weeks of waiting for new episodes, I would revisit Sterling-Cooper (or Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price, or whatever else they wound up calling themselves) with a snap of my fingers and a flick of the Netflix button. After all, who wouldn’t want to stare at Don Draper’s dreamy face when they’re months deep into a pregnancy?
I’ll admit, I still haven’t finished the final season of Weeds. However, I did watch plenty of early season episodes while pregnant. I loved escaping into Nancy Botwin’s totally wild escapades as a widow-mom gone drug queen-pin, and it’s refreshing to see such a varied world of cannabis users.
"Once Upon A Time"
As a mama-to-be, it’s probably a good idea to brush up on your fairytales. I relearned the old favorites by getting hooked on Once Upon A Time. Sure, it doesn’t exactly follow the stories precisely, but they sure are entertaining. At the very least, it’ll inspire you to put your own spin on the fairy tales you read your child later on.
On the one hand, I recommend that basically everyone watch this show, pregnant or not, as the writing and acting are superb and the show is incredibly addictive. On the other hand, if you’re very, very pregnant, you might want to hold off until you deliver. I’m pretty sure one particular scene where a baby was taken nearly sent me into labor.
When you’re pregnant, you either want to watch shows about semi-functional families, or ones about completely single, care-free women through which you can live vicariously. Modern Family was the former, obviously, but it was not without plenty of laughs which are so greatly needed when you’re worried about your baby-to-be.
Mainly though, I enjoyed Sofia Vergara because, as a Latina, she reminded me of way too many people I’ve met in life. Side note: I know some folks feel like she’s frequently performing stereotypes, but I found her hilarious because of and despite that critique.
Remember how I said sometimes when you’re pregnant you just want to escape all thoughts of pregnancy altogether? Cue New Girl, a show about a young and beautiful and goofy Zooey Deschanel who lives with a number of boy roommates and hilarity ensues. I can’t get enough of Zooey, honestly, and while the show was sometimes not my style of comedy, I still thoroughly enjoyed it in my preggo days.
Now if you really want to escape the stresses of the pregnant body, go ahead and watch True Blood; a show about sexy vampires being, well, sexy vampires. There is one caveat to this recommendation, however, and I believe it's definitely worth mentioning. If you’re on pelvic rest (meaning you’re not allowed to have sex or even an orgasm) during your pregnancy, you’ll really want to avoid this show. That’s why I only watched it toward the beginning, and not during the rest of those unbelievably frustrating months.