I’m going to start a Twitter account called “things people say to me while pregnant.”
Call me a little sensitive, a lot vulnerable and sometimes so uncomfortable with feeling so big and uncomfortable but is it just me or does it feel like pregnancy gives people a license to say things to you that they wouldn’t otherwise say. If you are pregnant or have been pregnant you know what I mean. And know why I'm begging for a little more discretion in dealing with the pregnant woman please.
Now, I mean no offense. Really, I don’t. Please forgive me of all sass because I am, after all, pregnant, raging with hormones and about to make my 14th trip to the bathroom for today. But here goes, a (long) list of things people say to you when pregnant.... #1 – Anything said about weight gain by the woman who is not pregnant nor has ever been pregnant.
Telling you that you only need 300 more calories a day when pregnant. How soon until you can shut your piehole? There are things you don’t know. Being pregnant changes your body. That doesn’t mean that I am nose deep in ice cream every night nor going to stay “fat” for the rest of my life. It just means that there are things you cannot control in life and this is one of them. The body will do what it wants to do. If and when you get pregnant, we will see what your body will do. And I will be there to help you count those 300 extra calories a day.
#2 – Anything said by a man about his once pregnant wife.
Don't tell me your wife only gained xx (read: very few) pounds in pregnancy. There is no medal for delivering without drugs just like there is no medal for gaining the least amount of weight. Either way we all get the same thing at the finish line – baby. I gained her total pounds before week 20. I got there faster. Know what that means? I win.
#3 – Anything said by a man about your weight gain.
Things like – wow, you’re really getting big or wow, every time I see you, you are eating. I ask you though – when does he have to give up many things that he likes in life to become 25+ pounds bigger with a small mammal growing inside of him. He does not. And because of that, the proper thing to say is "wow you look beautiful" or "gee can I get you some more _____(what you are eating)."
#4 – Stories from your mom about how she finished her pregnancy at the weight you started at.
Nothing more needs to be said.
#5 – Stories from the woman who gained over 50 pounds while pregnant.
To some extent, she is my hero. She looked at the angry ocean of pregnancy, said fuck it and jumped right into a bag of chips, a gallon of ice cream and whatever the hell she wanted every single day. She knew she was going to be uncomfortable no matter what so might as well go at it full tilt. I have a friend who gained 75 pounds while pregnant. When I asked her how she accomplished that amazing feat she admitted it took a lot of Cinnabons and Oreo McFlurries. THAT takes balls.
#6 – People who say “If you keep ______, that baby’s going to fall right out.”
Let’s see: the baby falls out or I spend possibly 36 hours pushing it out while shitting myself. I’ll take my chances.
#7 – People who disagree with your attitude that as soon as you enter the hospital, a source of drugs should enter your veins.
It’s like talking to someone about god. Get ready to agree to disagree. I can’t say that I really care which way the baby comes out, just as long as it comes out. There’s a lot of things to feel guilty about in life (tapping into free cable from Comcast, eating the last spoonful of Nutella, blowing my nose on the indoor track at the gym when no one is around), taking drugs during labor is not one of them. There will be plenty of Mommy-guilt every time I want to take my eyes off my kid for the next 18 years.
#8 – Someone who doesn’t realize you are over 5 months pregnant until you tell them.
Is this an insult or the best compliment in the world? Happened to me the other day. I’ve seen this guy every 2 weeks or so since December. When he asked if I would be riding my bike outside this week, I told him I can’t do that anymore. His face turned white and he said “you aren’t?” Well, I have been for the past 22 weeks! Does this mean that he sat there for over 5 months thinking to himself, wow, she’s really packing on the pounds or am I hiding what has to be 8 pounds of placenta, 5 pounds of boob and 4 pounds of edema THAT well?
#9 – Once pregnant women who tell you that your _______(enter body part) will never be the same.
News flash: after gaining what feels like 100 pounds and watching the skin of your stomach migrate to the next zip code outside of your body, it will never go back to its original state. You mean – that 60 buck tub of cream from Pea in the Pod wasn’t blessed by magical anti-stretch-mark elves? Please let me believe that everything will just snap right back into place.
#10 – When someone informs you that “you are starting to show”.
I’m starting to show. Really. Funny because when I looked down today and couldn’t see my vagina I was thinking that I might be able to hide this FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS. Amen to showing – finally I can stop feeling like the chick who’s getting a little bit of chubchub around her waist and move on to the we-can-finally-ask-her-when-she’s-due-without-embarrassing-ourselves category.
#11 – Women who kindly inform you that being pregnant in the summer is hell.
Because I haven’t already lived through 25 summers in the ass crack of the Midwest summer, these women remind you that being 30+ pounds overweight, bloated and waddling through a 90 degree day with 90% humidity is not as fun as you thought it would be. Neither was the marathon at Kona but I still did that in a Boston qualifying time. Both times. Thankyouverymuch.
#12 – Incessantly being asked “how are you feeling?”
Imagine greeting someone every single time with how are you feeling. It’s not just that they ask you the question, they lower their voice and say it in such a way that you think that you might just look AND feel really bad. You think to yourself: am I dying? What you really want to say is: I feel f*cking amazing. How do you think I feel. I’ve already gained 16 percent of starting my body weight and I haven’t crapped in 3 days.
#13 – When someone asks, “are you sure you should be doing that?”
If I could walk around with freedom to say that to anyone in the world, imagine the responses I would get. To all smokers, fast food eaters, texting while driving drivers, people posting their workout stats as part of their Facebook status update: are you sure you should be doing that? One night, I took a sip of wine and someone said “are you sure you should be doing that?” Listen, if that’s all it takes to harm this kid then he’s in trouble. I've got a 10-lb killer chihuahua living at my house.
#14 – Stories about how labor is godawfulmostpainfulmessynightmare
Gosh, I was thinking that squeezing a watermelon through a hole that used to make me think – how will I ever get a tampon in there – will feel so good I’ll shove the kid back in so I can do it again.
#15 – “You look great.”
Really? Do I REALLY look great? Don’t lie to me. This is like when a spectator tells you that you look great at mile 18 of the Ironman marathon. No I don’t. I’ve been sunburned, pissed myself a dozen times and I am so desperate for salt I am licking my arm for the sweat. I look like hell rolled over me. Here's the deal: you don't look great, you just look pregnant.
#16 – Being reminded that I’ll never _____ again (sleep, go out to eat, have sex, take a vacation, live a normal life).
I would imagine that taking on the responsibility of another life involves sacrifice. This is why we waited 10 years to have a child. We’ll make the sacrifices. Life will change. Like most change in life, it will be hard. You telling me hard it will be doesn’t make me think it is any harder. I think back to the race course in Corner Brook. Everyone couldn’t stop talking about the EPIC climb on the course. Turns out that epic climb was something you could stomp up out of the saddle in your big ring. This will be hard but we’ll be the judge of how hard it is. If it’s really hard, I’ll bring my road bike. If it’s epic, I’ll put on my compact crank.
#17 – Stories about pregnancy from women who gave birth to twins (or more).
Nothing they she says is stupid, in fact it’s pure genius. Higher value wisdom than she-who-gained-50pluspounds. She says it’s hard, she knows hard. She says she breastfed – two at one time, she basically double-fisted it. She says she didn’t see her vagina after week 12, she’s a legend.
#18 – After being asked how you feel and told you look great it’s only a matter of time before someone asks “when are you due”.
I’m due when the baby comes out. He will come out when he’s ready to come out. It could be on a specific day but about 80 percent of the time it occurs after that specific day. So what this all means is that I have no idea when the baby will be born. You can now stop asking me. Every time you ask me it reminds me I still have ___ months to go before I can shed this fat suit. And when I tell you late July it inevitably leads to #11.
#19 – When your husband tells you that he'll still love you even if you don’t lose the weight.
I know he means well. But that doesn’t mean I want to hear it. Let’s pretend like I lose all the weight in 3 days and I go back to being me again. Tell me you will only love me then because I’m a pretty competitive person and I need a little fire under my ass. If you tell me you’ll love me no matter what that makes me feel like I have permission to walk around looking 6-months pregnant for the rest of my life. Tell me to nut up and get my ass back in shape or something. Call me Chubs. I’m going to need some motivation.
#20 – Strangers who ask “have you thought about names?”
Listen, I’ve had this child named since I was 12 years old. OF COURSE we’ve thought about names! But the real question is why should we tell? Chances are you’re going to tell me some story about a kid you knew in the first grade with the same name who stood in the corner eating paste while shitting his pants. Thanks for the visual. Now, what’s your kid named? Really? I knew a kid with that name who ate his own boogers every day at lunch.
Now, it's not all that way. Know that for all the crazy things people say, you get about ten times as many good things that make you feel warm beyond words. And, of course I write this with the sass and humor that you need to have when you realize that even your underwear doesn't fit you anymore or that you just got out of breath while bending down to tie your shoes. So, cheers to all the pregnant women out there. Carry on, no matter what they say and remember, the correct answer is always: I feel great. Repeat after me: I - feel - great.