I consider myself a reasonably sage adult, but since becoming pregnant, I have attained the new exciting status as a walking-talking vessel for a fetus and human who apparently needs to be questioned constantly. I feel sentient enough, but according to the bystanders who have weighed in on my pregnancy, I'm making dire mistakes as the robot incubator designated solely to carry this child. This baby is in charge in every way — it not only dictates when I’m gonna throw up, but it’s somehow so powerful, it controls everyone around me, transforming anyone who comes near me into a magical opinion-giver. I’m only 12 weeks along, so I’m sure this list will undoubtedly get longer, but I already have a list of four weird things people have already gotten angry at me about since becoming pregnant. People who I never thought would be opinionated sure do have some opinions, and it’s just getting started.
I appreciate very much that these people are worried about my health and the baby’s health and safety, but I've got this. Trust. I think I have Googled everything there is to Google about what I can and can’t eat or drink. I’ve talked to my doctor about being safe while exercising, working, and being on my feet. Hell, I’ve even Googled whether or not the loudness of the music at a metal concert will affect my unborn child in the womb (it doesn’t, and for the record, I stay in the back away from the mosh pit, thank you very much).
I know to listen to my body (I’ve been listening to it for 32 years), and if I feel like it’s too much or it hurts in any way, I can stop. In other words, unless you've got a baby gestating inside of you, I could probably have done without all of these screechy opinions lobbed at me as a pregnant person.
What kind of crazy daredevil do I think I am? How dare I walk down a staircase while pregnant to make sure my dogs aren’t getting out of the backyard or to switch a load of laundry?
I was literally eight weeks along and I was scolded like a child for walking down the steps. “And what were you doing walking down the steps?” my friend demanded to know.
First of all, I’m not showing at all yet, so my center of gravity is right where it normally sits. Second, if I felt in any way unsafe or insecure about my ability to walk down steps safely, do you think I would’ve risked my life to do laundry? I think not. I hate doing laundry.
I work at a healthy pet food store where we have to carry up to 50-pound bags of dog food, and 30-pound boxes of frozen raw food. When I found out I was pregnant, I asked my doctor what he thought my weight limit should be and if it was safe to stand on my feet for eight-hour shifts. My doctor said he would prefer if I didn’t lift more than 20 pounds, and that standing on my feet for eight hours should be fine for now. My dad, bless his heart, asked me what the doctor said my weight limit should be. When I told him "20 pounds," he said, “Well, you should definitely cut that in half.”
Because apparently my doctor, who has been delivering babies and working with pregnant women as long as I’ve been alive, doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I love you, Dad, and I know you’re just worried. But trust me, I don’t want to be slinging 50-pound bags of food anyway, and if there’s any discomfort when I am lifting anything, I will for sure ask for help — what else is the pregnancy card good for?
And I’ll listen to my doctor who has a medical degree. I don’t want to screw this up either.
This came from the person at work who literally yells across the store (in front of customers) every single time I come in for my shift, “What size fruit is the baby today? Hi, baby fruit!” So I should’ve expected this level of crazy from her, I suppose. OK, so I jammed my toe and dropped an F bomb. Sue me, we are all adults here, right? Well, except for my unborn baby.
My co-worker swatted me on top of my hand, “Don’t cuss in front of that sweet baby, it can hear everything you say!”
At nine weeks along at the time, I don’t think the baby even had working ears yet. And even if they did, I’m pretty sure they couldn't tell Green Day from Good Charlotte.
There’s nothing more annoying than when you’re already angry or annoyed, and some dude — or anyone, but probably a dude — says, “Oh, are you on your period?” Or “don’t mind her, she’s just on her period.” I’m allowed to have concerns, thoughts, and feelings about things without being fueled by bad period juju or pregnancy hormones. Maybe I’m angry not because of the hormones, but because you’re treating me like a moron. I cannot stand the idea that women are supposed to be quiet, calm, and collected, or otherwise they’re “crazy,” “naggy,” or “raging on pregnancy hormones.”
I will say, pregnancy hormones are certainly no joke, and I’ve done my share of apologizing to my husband for being a jerkface about things. But if I am telling you reasonably and nicely that I am OK and I know my limits, but I appreciate your concern, don’t say, “Oh, man, you must have pregnancy hormones bad, it’s making you irritable.”
So my fellow pregnant ladies, I now understand how frustrating it is to have people tell you what you can and cannot do all the time, and at least for me, how it makes you feel like people think you’re kinda an idiot and being reckless. You’re a grown-ass woman, hell you’re making a baby for God’s sake. It’s not cool to be talked down to and treated like you’re five. I know you care about your unborn baby and your health very much.
And dear bystanders of the world: pregnant women are already worried that the jalapeño popper we are about to eat will accidentally induce labor, we don't need to eat it dipped in an extra layer of judgement.
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