I could tell you that I'm a big The Office fan, but somehow, that description doesn't do my mild obsession with easily one of the best shows ever created, justice. I am infatuated with The Office. I love every damn character and enjoy every damn season (yes, including the ones after Michael Scott left the show). I can't tell you much the show and its fresh brand of humor helped me, especially when Pam was everyone's collective pregnancy goals. I had a difficult pregnancy, and lost one of our twin sons at 19 weeks. In my mourning and sadness, I turned to The Office and watched every episode of the incredible nine-season show. Pam's humor and honesty, especially when it came to her pregnancies, was everything I needed to get through my own pregnancy and see my way through labor and delivery.
Say what you will about idolizing a television show or the fictitious characters it highlights, but I think the writing behind The Office and, in particular, Jenna Fischer's character, shows the power of creativity and the ability for writers and actors and directors to create characters that the general public not only connects with, but sees themselves in. When pregnant Pam freaked out before heading to the hospital and having her daughter, I saw myself, freaking out when my water broke and preparing to go to the hospital to have my son. When pregnant Pam was suffering from morning sickness at the office, I saw myself, throwing up every morning and afternoon and night for the majority of my pregnancy. It was refreshing to see pregnancy depicted in such an honest, realistic yet uplifting way. It was refreshing to see my anxieties, insecurities and fears portrayed in a way that I didn't only relate to, but could laugh at.
So, with that in mind, here are the 15 times Pam from The Office was our collective pregnancy goals. Her character may not be real, but the truth she speaks certainly is.
When She Politely Asked People To Respect Her Morning Sickness...
Any pregnant woman knows that "morning sickness" really means, "all-day-long-will-feel-like-it-will-never-end sickness." Pam worked up until she went into labor and, during her first trimester, was experiencing the typical early-pregnancy symptoms. She wasn't afraid to politely ask her coworkers to refrain from eating certain foods around her, or refrain from using scented shampoo or really strong perfume, as all of the above were making her nauseous. When you're pregnant, you shouldn't be afraid to ask for what you want and/or need.
...And Threw Up In Front Of Them When They Didn't
And, of course, when Dwight refused to acquiesce to Pam's request and ate a hard boiled egg in front of her, Pam didn't hold back and threw up in a trash can, directly in front of everyone. Her vomiting set off a chain reaction, and the rest of the office started vomiting, too. Dwight was left with the ramifications of his decision, and Pam was able to make her point: be kind to pregnant people.
When She Shut Down Body Shaming
During Pam's second pregnancy, she wasn't the only pregnant woman in the office. Angela was also pregnant with her first child, and (to no one's surprise) didn't hold back from pointing out the difference in their baby bumps' sizes. Of course, Pam was quick to point out that not only was she further along than Angela, but that every woman responds to pregnancy differently. Preach, Pam. Preach.
When She Didn't Care About Being Pregnant Before Getting Married
I don't know about you, but one of my favorite story lines on The Office was the fact that Jim and Pam got pregnant before they were married, putting to bed (or at least combating) the idea that there's a specific timeline two people should follow and, if they don't, they're somehow "doing it wrong." Pam didn't let a surprise pregnancy upset her or deter her or let her feel anything other than excited for a baby she clearly wanted to have.
When She Was Calm During Early Labor...
When Pam goes into labor with her first baby, Cece, she is ridiculously calm about the entire situation. As a new-mom, you would think she would be nervous and anxious and quick to go to the hospital but, no, she is calm and timing her contractions and putting off going to the hospital as long as possible. She is perfectly happy to labor at work, waiting until her contractions are five-to-seven minutes apart, before leaving. (Of course, this was also because Jim and Pam wanted to take advantage of an extra, paid-for hospital stay, and prolonged checking in until midnight, but that's neither here nor there.)
...And When She Allowed Herself To Freak Out When "Being Calm" Went Away
At the same time, when it was ready to finally go to the hospital, Pam did have a freak out and she was vocal about her fears and her anxiety and her worry that she wouldn't be able to handle labor and delivery (fears that every new mother has). To see such a beloved character be open and honest about childbirth and how, even though her body is made to handle the experience, she wasn't sure she could, was refreshing, especially when I went through the exact same freak out when I went into labor with my son.
When She Demanded Her Labor And Delivery Playlist
Jim and Pam forgot to pack Pam's iPod in their go-bag, which had her labor and delivery playlist on it. Not only did she make a labor and delivery play list (I definitely suggesting doing the same because, wow, does music help you when you're contracting) but she demanded that Dwight go to her house and get her iPod, so she could have her playlist at the hospital. Again, a pregnant woman should never be afraid to speak out and ask for what she needs and/or wants.
When She Researched Routes To The Hospital With Jim
Jim is amazing, we all know this, but it was wonderful to watch Jim and Pam researching routes to the hospital, prior to Pam going into labor. I mean, not only is this just smart planning and pretty efficient, it's also just adorable.
When She Decided When To Tell People About Her Pregnancy, On Her Own Terms
Initially, Pam and Jim were going to keep their pregnancy a secret. The secret didn't last to long, however, when Michael Scott told everyone in the office that Stanley was having an affair, then attempted to cover up this very hush-hush news by spreading rumors about everyone else in the office, too. One of the rumors was Pam being pregnant, and while Michael thought that rumor was false, it was true. In an attempt to protect Stanley and keep his affair a secret, Pam decided to tell everyone that she was pregnant. While the circumstances were hilarious and crazy, the only way The Office does television, it was great to see Pam make that decision for herself.
When She Had The Best Comeback To "Losing The Pregnancy Weight"
Hell hath no fury like a pregnant, or postpartum, woman scorned. Dwight learned this the hard way when he responded to a request from Pam by saying, "I'll do it when you've lost the pregnancy weight." Well, that didn't sit well so, in true Jim and Pam fashion, the power couple learned Morse Code, and communicated to themselves by clicking their pens and blinking their eyes, talking about Dwight and, you know, annoying the hell out of him. Touché, Pam. Touché.
She Doesn't Get Defensive Or Upset When Others Help
A lot of new mothers have a hard time letting others help with their new baby, probably because society demands that they be the "primary care givers," even when they're co-parenting. Not Pam, though. During the episode where the entire offices goes to Kelly's to watch an episode of Glee, Pam laments about her inability to soothe CeCe. Dwight takes over and is able to get CeCe to sleep, and Pam isn't threatened or worried or anything other than thankful. Even if it is Dwight.
When Pam And Kevin Created "Ultra Feast"
Ultra Feast is the pre-labor and delivery feast every pregnant woman wants to have. Kevin and Pam planned the ultimate pre-baby meal that indulges every pregnant woman's (or any Kevin's) love for all things food. It was magical you guys. Just magical.
When She Faked Labor To Get Out Of Boring Meetings
This is one of the only reasons I am looking forward to getting pregnant again, because I am definitely going to use the looming possibility of labor as a reason to get out of every presentation and meeting and annoyingly boring conversation with a certain number of coworkers.
When She Got Real About Maternity Leave
"It rocked. It rocked my ass off!" Those were Pam's exact words when she was asked to describe maternity leave, and while she loved being away from the office and spending time with her newborn, she was also honest about being lonely and needing human interaction that didn't involve changing diapers. Those moments, like when Pam was more than happy to go to a party with her coworkers or show up for "picture day," were realistic depictions of just how lonely motherhood can be too, especially for first-time parents.
When She Called Out How Weird Pregnancy Is
I mean, sure, it's beautiful and miraculous and amazing, but it's also so weird. From people treating you like you're made of glass to people randomly touching your belly to people asking you inappropriate and completely personal questions, pregnancy does some insanely strange things to people, even the people who aren't actually pregnant.