Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Pregnancy Police

One thing I've realized since taking this journey into Pregoland is that everyone – literally everyone – who has ever given birth even once in their lifetime is now the end-all-be-all authority on all things preggo. It really doesn't matter if said person gave birth and their baby boy is now 43 years old, she wants to recount each and every moment of morning sickness, or, worse, how great they felt the entire pregnancy, or how they only gained 12 pounds, and then regale you with a painfully long play-by-play of their labor and delivery.

I was somewhat mentally prepared for this as I know people (especially women) love to share their personal stories, particularly when it comes to the tales of their precious little cherubs entering the world. What I was not prepared for, however, was the barrage of know-it-alls to be cramming their opinions of what I should or shouldn't be eating or doing down my throat at a rate that is making my head spin… and my hormones rage.

When I first learned of my pregnancy I was determined to do things the right way: eat healthy, exercise, plan ahead for any potential problems, and mostly just have an overall game plan. It is also really important to me, however, to expect the unexpected and roll with the flow. I believe that a set of laid back, chilled-out parents will translate into a somewhat chilled kid.

Okay, all of you experienced moms out there, I know you are laughing at me right now thinking how funny it would be to be a fly on the wall at my house in 5 months when I have two screaming infants and the husband and I are stumbling around in our sleepless stupor trying desperately to grasp to our Zen-like states.

I get that it doesn't always turn out this way, but it has to be better for everyone’s mental health to chill out and try not to worry about every little thing you might do wrong to foster a little monster or a serial killer or worse not be able to keep them alive and breathing. Take a stroll through the aisles of Walmart and see how many rat-tailed, two-toothed, carney ride operating heathens of the world are actually raising children who are by all accounts still breathing and basically “thriving.”

Now, onto the Pregnancy Police. This particular species of women can be anyone who has previously given birth to a precious one of their own. They feel it is their duty to bestow advice, and especially admonish, any activity that you might be engaging in that is not up to their standards of the ultimate pregnant woman. The admonishment will almost exclusively come at a time when you are enjoying yourself and not at all seeking the opinions of any know-it-alls around you. I have a few examples of this in my own life...

First, I was enjoying a nice evening out with my husband and friends at a delicious sushi restaurant. Yes people, I realize that you aren't supposed to eat raw fish when you are pregnant, but, believe it or not, my physician actually has no qualms about me downing fried shrimp rolls with cream cheese and the like. There really is nothing more appealing to this pregasaurus than something fried and rolled in cream cheese. I made the mistake of mentioning that I had enjoyed a meal at this particular sushi restaurant and you would have thought that I had just mentioned I brought out a rubber penis on the playground.

Next, I have many friends who find utter joy in delivering their babies at home, with candles lit, soft music playing, and no drugs... doing what nature called them to do. All I have to say about this is: good for them. Seriously, more power to those women. I respect them for their courage. I think some of these lovely and brave ladies might take this to mean that I wish I had the strength and courage myself to throw on a little Stevie Nicks and shoot out several kiddos from my nether regions at home with nary a doctor in sight. Let me assure you, I do not have this desire. This gal here is going with modern medicine. I think its superdy-duper that pioneers and cave ladies popped a squat and pulled the little tot out and then continued on about their day, but those gals also didn't have airconditioning or hair dryers. I’m pretty happy I live in these times, where I can have a hospital and doctor and lots and lots of pain meds. The end result is the same, folks, and I'm very satisfied with my choice.

Third, I love to ride my bike. I am a huge klutz and I can fall just by putting one foot in front of the other, but my bike is pretty much a Cadillac. It is the largest beach cruiser anyone has ever seen. If I knew how to post a pic I would, but basically it weighs about 50 pounds and even a monkey (a really tall monkey) could ride the thing without fear of falling off. The seat alone resembles a chaise lounge chair. I rode my bike with my husband and step daughter the other day up to the local store only to hear friendly neighbors yell out that I really shouldn't be on the bike at all. I'm sure everyone means well, but really, if I'm free-basing cocaine off of a stripper’s back then feel free to voice your concern for my unborn fetuses, but I don't really feel riding my bike warrants any concern. [Neither does my doctor nor my husband, and the precious cargo I’m carrying are his, too.]

So, any Pregnancy Police deputies or sheriffs reading this little piece, if you see me out partaking in soft-serve ice cream, lunch meat, lemons, honey, splenda, laying on my back or – heaven forbid – the right side instead of the left one, or even... dum dum dum... taking a swig of my husband’s beer (don't call CPS, calm down, just a swig) you can keep your know-it-allness to yourself, thanks. Trust me, you don't want to go toe-to-toe with this incontinent, hemorrhoidal, evil pregasaur.

Besides, there will be plenty to lecture me on after they’re born.


  1. LOL -- glad to know things haven't changed since I have had the boys. Lets see -- I ate sushi.. and I mean the REAL, raw fish kind. Drink and entire bottle of wine during my 37th week of pregnancy (one glass at a time... over a week!) and worked out until the belly got to be too much... including holding sheets of sheet rock to the ceiling at 27w to renovate our basement. All with the knowledge and approval of my OB. Granted I am one of those weird homebirthers, but recognize my preferred birth is MY preferred birth and everyone should have their own ideal birth.

    It's truly amazing I gave birth to 2 kids with 10 fingers and 10 toes... I know. Anyways... I have the next 18 years to really screw them up.

    Glad you recognize people are stupid. Trust your body. If you do something "not good," it will let you know.

  2. Well said. I got tons of verbal abuse from all over about breast feeding. Beware the breastfeeding nazi's. They are a special elite Task Force of the Pregnancy Police.

  3. Oh my gosh, you need to write something every day! Hilarious and I totally relate to EVERYTHING you said. Just wait til you get to my stage and all you hear is, "ANY DAY NOW, HUH?" "Um, actually two more months, but thanks for assuming...."

  4. I ate real sushi as well, drank beer, ate feta and other "forbidden" cheeses and i didn't work out a lick. i say, do what you want, what you feel like and keep on writing it. kinda feel like a jerk telling you all this, i am pretty sure this part was addressed in the first paragraph. you know, all women telling you their 2 cents. sorry, couldn't resist!

  5. I actually love to get everyone's two cents. I didn't really convey it in the post but I love to hear about other people's pregnancies. Yeah, I've eaten the forbidden cheeses and had a few diet cokes (gasp). I love hearing that I'm not alone in getting staked out by the preg police.