in my limited experience as a pregnant person, i’ve started to notice some recurring patterns in the things people do to me since i started growing a person inside of me. and naturally, i started to realize how hysterical some of them were (at least to me, they might not be funny to you at all, now that i think about it). if you’ve ever had a baby, i hope this makes you laugh. if you’re planning on having one someday, i hope this little list helps prepare you for what will most certainly be done to you.
*if you have trouble distinguishing my sarcastic tone from my serious tone, or you just really don’t get my sense of humor, i would like to preface this by saying that all of this is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. also, please feel free to do any of these things to me next time you see me. it’ll be fun.*
1. judge your coffee drinking.
actually, if you’re like me, this will happen before you even announce you’re pregnant. it will come from all sides. your doctor might say something like, “well, i made it through med school without caffeine, so i bet you can do it for 9 months”, and everyone else
might will insinuate tell you to your face that the second you stop drinking coffee is the second they’ll know you’re pregnant. except joke’s on EVERYONE, because once you realize it doesn’t make you feel ill in your first trimester, you have no intention of giving up coffee. (yes, i moved to half-caf at home, and i only order lattes at the coffee shop because it’s controlled amounts of caffeine, but give it up? no sir, you’d be wrong about that, so take your judgey face elsewhere.)
2. touch your belly.
yes. this is most definitely a thing that will happen to you. and it’s okay to fall on either side of the touch is/is not okay spectrum. i thought i was firmly on the do not touch side, but want to know something incredibly unexpected that i found out about myself? turns out that now that i have a little bump, i am okay with people touching my belly. not strangers or co-workers, OBVIOUSLY, but i’m having some kind of out of body experience where i have subconsciously given the belly area to the baby, and i’m okay with people touching it! some ground rules exist: a) you must ask before you touch. b) flat palms at all times, otherwise i will feel like you’re squeezing the chub layer. c) YOU MUST ASK BEFORE YOU TOUCH.
p.s. did you see that my bump is totally popping out?
3. provide their opinion on your decision to find out the gender (or not).
you hate that we’re not finding out if we’re having a boy or girl until it’s born? oh, you were hoping we’d wait because that’s more exciting? too bad you totally missed the meeting between my husband and me where the decision was made, otherwise we would definitely have given you a say in the matter!
(we are waiting until baby z. is born to see if it’s a little lady or little gentleman. you may leave your opinion on this decision in the comment section below!)
4. raise their eyebrows when you say the word “waterbirth”.
i know this might freak people out, so the eyebrow raise is more understandable. careful though, if you make a face, i will be obligated to tell you about it in incredible detail. but yea, i might give birth in a bathtub! which also happens to be in a hospital, because i am a woman who likes to have options, and likes very much the idea of a healthy baby at the end of the ordeal, however that needs to happen. also, the idea of a natural birth without being surrounded in warm, soothing water gives me anxiety feelings.
5. tell you about the time they lost their mucus plug in a terribly horrifying situation.
firstly, i have plenty of horror stories i’m making up in my head right now about what could go wrong, i don’t need to hear about how your water broke while you were sitting at work in the middle of an important meeting with all the important people. secondly, i need time to come to terms with things like mucus plugs and broken water and the labor process, so you’ll forgive me if i don’t fully participate in the conversation. i’m trying to avoid getting ptsd BEFORE i give birth.
6. ask you if you’ve gained any weight yet.
this happened to me in the crowded bathroom at work a few weeks ago. it wasn’t so much asked of me as yelled at me. i blinked a few times before answering “nope, not yet.” can we just all agree that unless i volunteer the information to you, and i probably will because i am a great over-sharer, you promise not to ask me about how much i weigh? you know, like i’m still a normal woman with pride?
(4 pounds so far if you care, right on track, i’m the queen of gaining pregnancy weight, go ahead and punch me in 6 months when i hate myself for saying that out loud.)
7. love on you more than you ever expected.
see, i’m not a total cold-blooded people-hater. the few hilarious/shocking/rude things that may happen to you are far outshadowed by the amazing love that is bestowed upon you when people find out you’re pregnant. i can’t count the amount of times i’ve been surprised by a card or a gift or just a “happy for you” message that we’ve gotten over the past few months. this baby of ours is going to be so loved and welcomed and cuddled, that when i think about it too much, i get a little weepy. i mean, it’s not even out in the world yet, and it’s already loved! people are wonderful.
the moral of the story is this: people will say things that surprise (and maybe even shock) you…just like when you’re not pregnant. the key is to stay calm and not let the hormones win. and then you’ll see that most of it is done out of love, and at that point the hormones might win and make you cry.