In the beginning, I was somewhat shy about disclosing the big news that I was pregnant to anyone outside my family. Honestly, it didn’t even feel real at first, at least not until the dreadful nausea kicked in—I’m not sure what this “morning sickness” everyone talks about is, because what I had was definitely more of an all-day affair. The illness showed up out of nowhere and stuck around well into my second trimester. And because friends were getting worried that I was seriously sick due to my constant greenish pallor and absence from all social functions, I had to start fessing up.
The reactions to the news of my impending childbirth could be divided into three distinct groups: 1. Genuine happiness and excitement (the label most people fell under), 2. Wide-eyed silence, followed by a slightly horror-struck disbelief, and eventual awkward smile and obligatory congratulations (largely reserved for my single or childless friends), and 3. Over-the-top delight coupled with pitying compassion (my parent friends, mostly, because they knew exactly what was in store for me). The third group immediately assaulted me with a barrage of advice and were thrilled to unload their baby paraphernalia on me, some of which I’m still not sure how to use or why it exists in the first place.
Despite their differences, all three groups had one thing in common: the dreaded three questions. As of right now, I would die happily if nobody ever asked me the following ever again:
What is your due date?
Is it a boy or a girl?
Have you picked out a name yet?
Is this really the only exciting information that we as a society can demand of pregnant women? How about, oh, I don’t know:
How does it feel to have something the size of a watermelon growing in your belly?
Have you checked if you float, considering your new barrel shaped physique?
How do you tie your own shoelaces with that thing sticking out of your torso?
Does strolling around on those swollen balloon feet feel at all like cloud walking?
A final note: I also have two dogs and a cat, so another irritating question consistently emerged: Do your pets “know” that you’re pregnant? Some of my friends who have children swore that their pets acted differently while they were expecting, a notion supported by a flood of cutesy online videos where dogs are supposedly acting protective of their owners’ pregnant bellies or are affectionately resting their snouts against them.
Either all of my pets have exceptionally low IQs, or my friends are full of shit. I’m convinced that all those ladies had their bellies smeared in bacon grease for the sole purpose of internet fame—and that’s the kind of thing we should be talking about.