Last week, I wrote an article on the various ways being pregnant in February was the worst. Many women disagreed with my assessment, arguing that, actually, summertime pregnancies were the worst. Well, friends, I have also been pregnant in the summer so I can personally speak on the topic of being pregnant in winter vs. being pregnant in summer. Ladies who claim summertime is actually the worst: I feel you. However, let's do a side-by-side comparison of why each season could be considered the most miserable for those of us with child.
Now, I absolutely stand by every statement I made in the article I wrote: being pregnant in the winter sucks. But that's not to say being pregnant in the summer doesn't also suck. In fact, I even said in the original article, I think there's a good argument to be made for the two seasons tying. Trust me, I get it: I spent my third trimester in a New York City heatwave. However, and having said that, I find they suck for different reasons. Winter pregnancy is logistically sucky. The environment and your changing body are hurling all kinds of problems at you that you will need to out-wit, out-play, and outlast. Pregnancy in the summer is sucky because it's just so goddamn uncomfortable. Like, that's sort of it, but the discomfort is so tremendous that's all you really need to make for stiff competition between the two seasons.
But let's delve in a little deeper, shall we? What are the things pregnant people are up against during each time of the year?
If it weren't for ice, summer would hands down be the worst time to be pregnant. But ice is the worst for a pregnant woman (at least it was for me). It's bad enough under normal circumstances, but when you're clumsier than usual (which, in my case, is profoundly clumsy) and a fall can mean not just a wounded ego (and butt) but actual tragedy.? Well, it makes the season a lot less enjoyable.
And, like, it's summer, right? So temperatures are almost certainly going to be well over 72 degrees. So it's not so much "fear" as "constant state of sinking dread."
You see, in the summer, pregnant people feel 5 degrees for every non-pregnant person's single degree. So 73 degrees may as well be the surface of the sun for those with child.
You probably have to buy maternity pants and new shirts that will actually cover your belly. Your coat very well may not button properly, and if it does that button will absolutely be popping off within a month. Even though you're pregnant and know your body is supposed to be growing, it can still feel disheartening (if only from a convenience or economic perspective) that none of your clothes fit anymore.
Summertime preggos learned years ago to take this season as an opportunity to channel their inner Stevie Nicks and sport a wardrobe of large, billowing dresses, skirts, and tunics. So magical. So airy. So much whimsy. It's the best, and you don't even have to go in the maternity section! You just go in the regular store and get a size up, because everyone wants to channel their inner Stevie Nicks in the summer! (Because, duh. I mean, she's Stevie f*cking Nicks, you guys).
So many no-nos here. Schlepping around on slippery demon ice. Lifting heavy objects. It's just probably not the best idea.
But, still, if you don't have a landlord to do this for you, someone has to shovel your driveway or sidewalk or whatever. Hopefully you have someone you can rely on, but if you don't you either have to take your chances doing it yourself or you have to cough up however much money kids today are charging for such services. Boo!
Like, at all. It is too damn hot and you are too damn pregnant. Everything is sweaty and uncomfortable and the only thing making this even a little bit bearable is lying in front of an air conditioner and not moving a muscle.
Unfortunately, most pregnant women do not have the luxury of such inactivity. They have to, you know, work and eat and take care of their dog and stuff. So, alas, they have to move, and it's the worst.
This isn't so much a pregnancy issue, but I feel like between all the other winter inconveniences we've discussed (mobility issues, higher chances of falling, bigger risk when falling, coats that don't button and clothes that don't fit, and shoveling) snow affects pregnant people more than the general population.
Seriously, it permeates every facet of our lives, so it really cannot be overstated. All those songs praising the pristine and quiet beauty of a winter snowfall can suck my pregnant toe (and I wouldn't be able to see it happen over my enormous belly).
Chances are, if you have not been pregnant in the summer, you do not know WTF I am talking about. But believe me when I say that any woman who has been pregnant in the summer knows WTF I am talking about. You see between hormones, body heat, and the hot weather, strange, strange things happen to your nether regions when you are pregnant between June and September. Everything just feels, um, moist. Humid, sultry, and, well, let's say "fragrant."
When I was pregnant with my first (September) baby I was on a message board of other women due the same month, and we collectively referred to our sweaty, pungent vulvas as having "swamp crotch."
There's no shame whatsoever in swamp crotch. Like actual swamps, they are simply a fact of nature. Of course, that doesn't mean it isn't super uncomfortable.
Because it's dark, at like, noon. Making a bedtime to early evening feels like an accomplishment for anyone! And there's just a general, societal sense that we should all be hibernating anyway. So: it's winter, you're pregnant, you're exhausted, you go to bed within an hour of getting home from work and you feel awesome about yourself and your decisions.
It feels weird going to bed so early because the sun is still shining, the birds are singing, and the children are audibly still playing outside. Uuuuugh. Guys! Why do you have to make me feel like a lazy bum for going to bed early. I'm exhausted. Can't we just say I saved hibernation days from the winter and I'm using them now? Please! Is wanting 12 hours of sleep such a terrible thing?
This is a good and a bad thing for a pregnant woman. Everyone generally feels your surly malaise, but nobody can quite get the depths of your anguish. Plus, when everyone is prickly, you run the risk of getting into a bitterness spiral that you can't pull yourself out of because no one else is buoyant enough to break out of their funk. Still, misery loves company, so it's not all terrible. (Well, it is, but at least you all understand that.)
Some people look forward to the sun-kissed days of summer all year long. The sunshine, the vacations, the sangria, the warmth: people eat it up, but not your pregnant ass. No, you're sweaty, and uncomfortable, and done being pregnant and seeing other people so blithely felicitous only buries those seeds of loathing hatred deeper into your heart.
So, ultimately, which is going to be worse: winter or summer? There answer is that there is no answer: being pregnant can suck literally all of the time.