Think boredom is a choice? Think again. We’re all searching for things to do while playing it COVID safe, but searching for things to do in a pandemic while pregnant presents a whole new set of challenges; a set that Allie Hartwick is ready to take on.
Generally, it’s best to never assume a person is pregnant. This rule of thumb can save you from a potentially mortifying situation. I, however, am at the stage of pregnancy that leaves little to the imagination, and any passerby knows with 99% certainty that I’m growing a little human.
That’s fine by me, I’m not keeping it a secret, nor do I feel like making the public announcement that yes, I am creating life, each time I walk into Target.
I do, however, want to make a public announcement regarding pregnant-lady comments.
Thankfully the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prevented strangers from touching me or my very full uterus (yes, that’s what you’re stroking, my uterus), but it has not stopped anyone from sharing some… interesting observations.
I know almost all people mean well, but I encourage everyone to really ponder how their seemingly harmless words might be perceived by the one who’s got a roommate living inside their body at the time.
Here are just a few of the things I’m sure most pregnant people could happily go without hearing, forever.
1. Looks like you’re due tomorrow!
Listen, I know, I’m huge. Every day when I have to fat-ninja my way out of bed and pull on pants large enough to clothe a family of four, I’m reminded of just how large I am.
I’ve actually developed tendonitis in my wrists from pushing my body up off the couch.
And lucky me, I've got MANY weeks left at this massive size.
Yes, I am fairly certain I’m not due tomorrow, as I am counting down the days until I no longer have to haul around another person in my very sore pelvis.
I get it, I look a lot different these days, and if you don’t know me at all, I absolutely look nothing like your average non-pregnant person (excluding, of course, the demographic of men with impressive beer bellies), but you don’t have to remind me of that. I know.
2. You sure it’s not twins?
Yep, pretty sure. I’ve gotten a good look at my insides several times now, and some of those viewing opportunities were pretty invasive. If you aren’t already aware, let me be the first to tell you that the initial ultrasound, the one where they look for twins, does not happen externally. I know, on whatever sitcom you got all your pregnancy info from, they swooshed a litter scanner around her midsection, and there was the fetal blob, but in real life, this appointment involves a large wand, a latex barrier and a LOT of lube. I know your ability to size up my overall growth from a few feet away is probably way more reliable than any dumb ultrasound, but there’s just one kid in there, me and my doctor promise.
3. Are you thinking about kid #2?
I’m still pretty preoccupied with the first one, but I guess I’ll let you know? This question has always baffled me. I think people just like to ask about life stages and milestones in general, but I feel like asking about a second child before I’ve even finished the first is a bit presumptuous. What if this kid is a demon and I’m turned off the idea of ever creating another monster? What if labor is the bloodbath horror show I fear it will be and I’m forever traumatized? Who knows, maybe I’ll like it so much I become like those people on TV who have a classroom’s worth of children. All of these things are possibilities I suppose, but maybe wait a bit to ask about my thoughts on more children. Ideally, hold on to that one forever, but at least until the first one’s here would be polite.
4. I could tell because your face/butt/boobs looked different.
Everyone wants to feel like the Sherlock Holmes of pregnancy; able to detect a person who is with child before anyone else suspects. Good for you, you cracked the case! I figured it out when I peed on a stick and started barfing everywhere, but it’s nice to know you are observing my body and my actions so keenly that something like this couldn’t slip past you! Also, going back to number one on this list: I am SUPER aware that my body is changing, it’s not necessary for you to let me know that you’ve noticed it too.
5. Should you be eating/drinking that?
Thank whatever deity you pray to that no one has asked me this particular question, but I know it’s a common one.
Good luck finding a consistent set of rules on what you can/can’t have while pregnant. A nutritionist I follow on instagram puts it best, no one food or drink is 100% safe or unsafe during pregnancy, and doctors agree.
Whatever guidelines you think I should follow probably differ from what the person next to you thinks, and most importantly, may be different from what I think.
This whole parenting thing, even in the pregnancy part of the journey, is about following your instincts and doing what’s best for you and your kid.
Guess what, that may be different than what you did or do, and that's cool!
Just mind ya business, live and let live, and if you really need to say something, call a friend and complain about the pregnant woman you saw drinking coffee and gossip about what a monster she is. I promise, if you turn that shade my way, it will not go well for you.
6. You’ve got the pregnant walk
It’s hilarious the way some pregnant people waddle, isn’t it? OMG I can’t help but giggle when I think about the severe pain they are feeling in their hips and back, the pressure through their whole pelvis, the sore weakness of their entire core and their unstable joints! Hahahahaha **cry laugh emoji**.
Again, I know, I’m walking like a moron, but this sh*t really hurts sometimes!
My husband was the first to point this particular development out to me. I immediately tried to adjust my walk to something more “normal,” and holy hell was that a challenge. The reason why my saunter has become considerably less cool is because I got a lot of stuff growing and stretching and hurting. I’m just trying my best to stay mobile. EIther let me live, or commit to carting me around in some kind of adapted wheelchair/lounger for the next few months, alright?!
7. Enjoy this part, everything is about to change!
Sure, there are some upsides to being child-free for a few more weeks. I can still nap when I want, watch TV when I want, go to work without paying someone to watch my kid. But I’ve been doing all those things by choice for a real long time. I know how awesome that life is, and before now, I could do all that with a beer in hand and pants that didn’t have elastic waistbands. Also, I know parenting is no walk in the park, but why do people make it seem so bad? Everyone I’ve talked to has made it through the baby part relatively unscathed, but from the way some people paint the newborn picture, going to war would be a vacation by comparison. I find it hard to believe that nausea, torn rib muscles, constant pain and discomfort, shortness of breath and excessive sweating is the enjoyable part! If you’re trying to scare me out of having a kid, ummm too late. If you’re trying to help me prepare for what’s next, can I have a few more details please?
I get that the intentions behind almost all of these are good and not at all malicious. That being said, I ask you all to keep in mind you’re talking to someone that’s going through a lot, physically and emotionally, and your comment might be the straw that breaks the inverted camel’s back.
With love and high hopes,
Allie and the just one babe