I am not maternal. I am not a nurturer. When I talk to kids – I usually speak to them like adults. I have very little patience. Pregnancy has never been that exciting thing I looked forward to. Pregnancy, to me, seemed like a necessary evil if I wanted to have a baby.
Dave has a friend who just glows with positivity and so embraced pregnancy. She definitely had a glow about her.
I don’t glow. I sweat.
She once messaged me, ” I hope you are enjoying pregnancy as much as I am!” I didn’t respond.
The thing is – I wish I could be one of those women that loves their pregnant bodies and glows with excitement. That talks to their belly and floats around like a goddess with lush hair and rosy cheeks.
In my first entry, I said this would be my lesson in letting go. And boy, has it been. At Pre-natal Yoga, our instructor was responding to one of the ladies who mentioned she may need to stop wearing her heels. She responded to that statement by reminding us that pregnancy is a slow lesson in letting go. At first, you let go of the foods you once loved, wine, soft french cheeses, rare tuna, then you let go of your clothes, shoes, the things that once identified you. Then your body. Oh man, your body. Then sleep. And all this is said to build up so that when your baby is born – you will have let things go to make room for her. To focus on her. Her health, her sleep, her likes and dislikes. I am reminded in this class that slowly I am being taught to move from selfishness to selflessness.
But it is really hard.
Meanwhile, people have nerve. Here are some tips to those who may encounter a pregnant or seemingly pregnant lady.
1) If you don’t know her, don’t: assume she is pregnant, comment on her size, touch her, or tell her your own horror story.
2) Things people should get kicked in the groin for saying (that have been said to me): “Woah, you’re getting big!”, “Are you sure you’re not having twins”, ” You’re going to be so miserable being pregnant over the summer”, “Get your sleep now”, “Your life is about to change”.
These are my responses, to each respectively: ” Yeah, I’m pregnant, what’s your excuse”, *swift kick to the nuts* (I specify nuts because no woman has yet to say this to me), “I’m pretty sure once I’ve ballooned to whale proportions I’ll be miserable in any season. Also, they’ve invented this thing called air conditioning that really helps.”, “How do you know I’m getting sleep now?”, “No shit, sherlock.”
3) As a general rule, if you don’t normally touch me upon seeing me don’t touch my belly. If we are not close enough to hug we are not close enough for you to put both hands on my mid-section. And, no matter what, always ask me first.
4) If I don’t know you, don’t feel you need to make general pregnancy conversation if we happen to be stuck in an elevator together. Just like everyone else, let’s stare at the wall, scroll through Facebook, or discuss the weather.
As a counter, here are things that have been really nice:
1) People smile at you a lot. This weirded me out at first but now I’m enjoying it. It’s like I’m the pregnant grand marshall of life. Smile and wave.
2) People give you their seats. Or ask if you’d like to sit down.
3) People give you extra food and/or don’t mind if you literally order for two.
4) People want to help you. They open doors and pick things up that you’ve dropped.
5) People tell you that you look great. Even (I’m certain) when you don’t. I’ll take these little white lies, any day.
6) Getting to take naps/people suggesting or requesting you stop what you are doing to go take a nap.
So all in all, it hasn’t been so bad. I know that before I was pregnant I had no idea what to say to someone who is pregnant. I’m certain I said or did things that may have been offensive. And I feel remorseful. But now I know, I simply need to say, “You look great”. And leave it at that.