If you're like me, you've probably always thought of yourself as someone who's "considerate." For example, you'll eat tacos because your friend wants tacos even though you really want pizza. You're basically an exemplary beacon of selflessness. But then you become a parent and realize that your pre-kid life naturally lent itself to selfishness. That's not an inherently bad thing, but it is largely a thing that's over when you have a baby. That's why, my newfound friend, you need to relish the times during your pregnancy when other people's feelings won't mean sh*t. Bask in them. Celebrate them. Seek them out if necessary, because babies are needy and trash at managing those needs, so if you don't prioritize their needs over your own sometimes, they literally won't survive.
When you're baking a human life inside your body, you should feel extremely free to put your needs above everyone else's. (Well, I guess if your "needs" involve downing two bottles of wine, then maybe you should still put your baby's needs first, but that's honestly the extent of the selflessness you should feel obligated to roll out while pregnant.) Maybe you were always someone who genuinely goes out of the way to consider other people's needs and feelings, though, as opposed to doing so in the very superficial way I joked about earlier. That was me. I was superficially considerate. So becoming a mom and transitioning to being earnestly aware of someone else's needs and having that legitimately inform my actions? Yeah, that was kinda new.
But while I was pregnant? Being selfish? Throwing everyone else's feelings on the back burner the minute they stood between me and something my pregnant ass needed? I'd spent a lifetime preparing for it, and I killed it. So, if you're pregnant and not as much of a naturally horrible person as I am, just follow my lead. Here are a few times during my pregnancy when I didn't let other people's feelings rule the day — and I've never felt sorry about any of it since.
When You Eat The Last Of Anything & Everything
I permanently walked around with a very "dare you to say some sh*t" look on my face, too.
When You Ignore People's Advice
It's not like I didn't listen to it... at least, at first. I just didn't ever feel obligated to integrate it into my plans or let it significantly inform any part of how I approached pregnancy or parenting. And yes, at a certain point, I just tuned it out. It was... a lot of advice, man.
When You Kick Your Partner Out Of Bed
By the end of my pregnancy, I would swing back and forth between "rub my back the whole night, please" and, "Dear god, is it not enough that I have your massive seed ripping me apart from the inside — can you please drag your giant body out to the couch so I can breathe?!" all night, with all but no regard for his feelings. He handled it like a champ.
When You Answer "How Are You Feeling?" Honestly
You did ask. You did.
When You Make Your Birth Plan
Did my birth plan include no one being in The Room except my partner (and even he was at risk of getting booted if I felt like I didn't want him there at any point)? Yes, it did, in bold letters. Were both our mothers less than pleased about this? You guys, there are not words to describe how personally they took this. There are also not words to describe how happy I am that I didn't compromise on what kind of environment I would give birth in.
When You Don't Tell Anyone You're In Labor
Some people feed off the energy of knowing there are people in the waiting room pulling for them. For other people, the crowd of gathered loved ones brings with it a lot of pressure and mental clutter during a time when quiet and calm would be more helpful to get the job done. I was decidedly the latter type of person, so when I went into the hospital for what ended up being a three-day labor, I didn't tell anyone. The grandmothers were less than psyched about it when they found out the kid had popped out already, but it didn't make me doubt for a second what an excellent decision it was not to tell anyone.
When You Took Up The Whole Couch No Matter How Many People Needed Seats
It was not unusual toward the end of my pregnancy, in the middle of a hot Southern summer, to find my sisters and friends sitting on the floor of my living room while I was laid out magnificently across the length of the couch. To be fair, whenever any of them starts gestating a 10-pound human when it's 100 degrees outside, I'll sit my ass on the floor and sip my iced tea politely, too.
When You Order The Same Take-Out Food Three Times in One Week
Surely, the frequency of my ordering didn't hurt the feelings of the people who prepared and delivered my thai food, but it certainly must've incurred their judgment, and I didn't give a sh*t about that either. (Still don't, TBH.)