This post is just a little different from my typical crochet patterns. I hope to share more of my ramblings with you about motherhood, some of my other interests and hobbies, or whatever random thoughts are running through my head.
I am now waddling, my belly hangs out of the bottom of most of my maternity shirts, I get winded walking pretty much anywhere, and I make funny noises doing even the simplest of tasks (which seems to provide my husband and kids with endless entertainment). At this point, I am questioning everything. What was I thinking 9 months ago when we were trying to conceive? I mean, we already have 2 healthy children. Why did I do this to my body again? I work so hard to be healthy and I’ll be starting all over again. Why am I going to give up pretty much all social interaction to nurse for at least a year again? I typically don’t drink (but I would give anything for one of those new Bud Light Raz-berr-itas) and being a stay-at-home mom, I don’t get much social interaction as it is – with anyone over the age of 5 anyway.
But I feel life moving inside me and there is truly nothing like it. Every kick, punch and hiccup reminds me of the miracle of life and how much I’ve wanted this child since before she was conceived. This may be my third pregnancy, but it has also been the hardest. I had morning sickness 24/7 for the first 21 weeks, and still do at times; I have sciatic nerve pain and severe hip pain (among some of the other more gross and disgusting side-effects of pregnancy) and we just found out that baby is breach; which more than likely means a c-section and adds the fear of the unknown for me since my first two came naturally. And someday, I’m sure that I’ll say that it all was worth it. 🙂
Have I mentioned that this is #3 for me? One of the most surprising things about this third pregnancy has got to be the comments I get from total strangers. And sometimes even from family and friends. And apparently, to most people it is completely unacceptable to have more than 2 children.
Here are some of my favorite things that people have said to me (and a few that my friends have added as well):
You know how “that” happens, don’t you? Ummm, obviously, I do. In my case, there’s evidence I’ve done “that” 3 times.
Was it planned/was it an accident? None of your business. You have no idea if I have been struggling for months or years with fertility issues or if I’m one of those women who gets pregnant just by my husband looking at me. Did your parents plan to have you or were you and your lack of filter an accident?
Are you on birth control? Again, none of your business. Even if I was, it obviously failed. Your blatant disregard for a perfect stranger’s feelings (and if this is how you talk to a stranger, how do you treat the people who know you?) is a total turn-off. You and your mouth are your own brand of birth control.
Are you Catholic/religious? I guess what you are saying is that non-religious folk are the only ones having 2 or less children??? I don’t think so. Also, I’ll light a candle and say a prayer for you at mass on Sunday.
So are you done now? or Which one of you will get “fixed” now? Wow. Seriously. I am not a dog in heat who had too many runts die in my last litter and need my insides torn out. My husband is not a feral stray impregnating the neighborhood with mutts and I’ve taken to the humane society to have his manhood cut off. But I am considering doing one or the other to you right now.
So were you trying for a girl/boy? (From a friend with 2 boys already, a friend with 5 boys already, and a friend with 5 girls already) And here we are again. None. Of. Your. Business. This is almost as bad for me as the birth control question. And actually, I was just hoping for another healthy baby.
You’re gonna have your hands full! Technically, they already are. I have two hands and two children. But my go-to response to this one is simply that my hands will never be as full as my heart. I know, I just made you gag. Sappy responses usually tend to end the conversation. Have a nice day!
I must add that looking back on my 2nd pregnancy, when people would ask me if I had any other children (yes, a boy) and if I knew what I was having (yes, a girl) people would say “Well, that’s nice that you’ll have one of each.” Hindsight being 20/20, I now realize that what they were really saying was “Now you can stop having children since you’ve had one of each.”
Other things we preggers don’t like whether it’s our first or fourteenth pregnancy:
Rubbing our bellies. It’s not a magic lamp, no genie will magically appear, and you will not get three wishes. Unless one of those wishes is to get punched in the nose.
Saying we look tired. That may be what you say, but what you really mean is that I look like s***. You’re not supposed to let on that it doesn’t look like I’m wearing clean clothes, that I probably didn’t shower this morning because I needed an extra hour of sleep, or that there is a strange smell wafting off of my ever-perspiring body.
Saying “Wow, you’ve gotten big” or “Wow, you’ve dropped” What was your first clue, genius? Is it the waddle? Was it the fact that I no longer can fit through a doorway frontways or sideways? Yes, I realize that you are probably only referring to my baby bump but my raging pregnancy hormones are telling me that you’ve noticed that my breasts and butt have also doubled in size, my arms now wave even when my hands have stopped, and the cellulite that’s collected on my thighs is probably stretching my maternity pants to their limits. (And I did split a pair of my maternity pants on Palm Sunday which erupted into a hulk-like level-5 pregnancy meltdown that lasted an hour; full of hysterical crying, incomprehensible babbling, throwing things, tearing the closet apart and ended in no one going to church. But how could you know any of that?)
Saying we can’t/shouldn’t do something. Please don’t tell me what I can and can not do. Maybe you weren’t able to or just didn’t want to when you were pregnant. I can lift that large package; I lift my son and daughter on a daily basis. I can help set up and tear down tables for the fair; I work out regularly (and may I add the person who said that to me fell and broke her arm doing exactly what she told me not to do). I can handle taking my kids for walks. And please let me be the judge of when I need to relax and just rest.
Now, I used to believe that it was simple ignorance on the parts of these people for saying these things but now that I’ve experienced it first-hand, I’m not so certain. I mean, haven’t they all been through this and had similar experiences? I’m now of the opinion that these nasty old biddies believe that it is their right to say these things. And maybe I should feel sorry for them. They obviously are miserable if they need to pick on a pregnant woman. Or maybe they really don’t see what is so wrong with what they are saying. Again ignorance. Or maybe I’m just hormonal and sensitive. The answer is probably D) All of the above.
While I have experienced a lot of negative comments about being pregnant with baby #3, there are also the people who say things that absolutely make your day. Most are deeply personal memories to me as well.
And here are some of the lovely things that have been said to me (and the stuff we pregnant ladies love to hear):
We look radiant or have “the glow.” Even if it’s not true, this should be your go-to compliment to a pregnant woman. Sometimes we feel absolutely beautiful while pregnant and sometimes we don’t. I haven’t at all this time around if I’m being honest. But I did with my first two and there is nothing like feeling and seeing “the glow” for yourself in the mirror.
Pregnancy looks good on us or we wear pregnancy well. That’s really sweet. Bless your heart. I know you’re probably lying but that’s ok. This is similar to “the glow.” And I’ll take it whether you mean it or not!
We look like we just stuffed a basketball in our shirt or that we are carrying all out front. Thank you! As mentioned earlier, my butt, breasts, arms and thighs seem to have taken on a life and caloric intake of their own. So I truly thank you for only talking about the most obvious place (and safest option to discuss) that my body has changed. Because for real, the only thing that runs through my head is the endless soundbite of “That’s a huge bitch” in the movie Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.
How well behaved our children are. If you really want to flatter a mother, praising her children and/or her ability to raise them is pure gold. I may not get a ton right in this crazy world of motherhood, but my kids do say “Please” “Thank you,” and “Excuse me.” Thank you for noticing that I’ve gotten that part right at least. And that there’s still hope for this one.
Whether a wonderful and easy pregnancy or a difficult and complicated one, all women deserve the respect and acknowledgement of what they sacrifice to bring life into this world. So this Sunday, tell a pregnant woman how beautiful she is and to have a Happy Mother’s Day. Or talk about “the glow” or even how well-behaved her children are. If there are none handy, say it to any woman. Mom, sister, aunt, cousin, or your Wal-Mart cashier. It really doesn’t matter. It will totally make her day. And from this fat, frumpy, tired, pregnant mama to each of you, have a very Happy Mother’s Day!