If you're a man, particularly one with a pregnant woman in your life, I beg of you, please read this. There is much you can learn from it.
I will try to keep this brief because a pregnant woman's attention span, much like her waistline and sanity, goes out the fucking window. Also, I have a shit-ton of laundry to do.
You know that book What to Expect When You're Expecting? The one that every first time mom races to the store to get? Yeah, this one:
Well, they recently updated it because, well, I don't know who the hell that lady in the rocker is, but I'm pretty sure she's never had sex. This is the revised one:
Meh, it's a little better because I can be convinced that this was not an immaculate conception, but it's still way off. The woman SHOULD look like this:
Some sort of combination of these would be ideal, but that would only solve the cover problem. As for the information inside, it's pretty much as inaccurate as the pregnant virgin in the rocker.
If you bought this book, use it for kindling, to prop up the leg of a table, or to bitch slap the next stranger who touches your belly and tells you that you look like you'll pop at any moment even though you're only 3 months along. Other than that, the book is pretty fucking useless. I'm about to tell you everything you need to know about what it's like to be pregnant.
I would like to start with a disclaimer here: I have three children. I'm lucky that I got pregnant easily and that I was only pregnant three times and never miscarried. I'm lucky that they were all born healthy. Most importantly, I know that these things are true and that many women, unfortunately, cannot say the same.
That being said, I would like to talk about the reality of pregnancy. It. Fucking. Blows. People like to say it's a "miracle," "blessing," "gift from God," blah, blah, blah. Sure, it's scientifically pretty goddamn amazing, and I can't imagine my life without my children, but for most women, though many won't admit it, pregnancy is the worst. thing. ever.
Oh, the italicized sections below include my notes, advice, and basic orders for the non-preggos, both male and female. It's like Cliff's Notes, Lucy style. Also, just to make it easier, I will refer to any couple having a baby as "mother and father" or "husband and wife" though I obviously know there are several other options for these terms. I'm just tired and lazy, and SO FUCKING TIRED, so I'm gonna use those.
If you managed to follow the directions on the pregnancy test while not urinating all over yourself and the bathroom floor, you found out that you're pregnant. You're either really happy or so, so NOT happy. Let's go with happy for the sake of this post, k? K.
Yay, you're pregnant! Congratulations! Your first thought: "Cheeseburgers." Your next thought: "Holy fuck, I'm pregnant. I have to tell someone!" Then you tell someone. Sometimes it's the first person you see, sometimes it's your husband, sometimes it's a parent or a sibling. Bottom line, someone has to know that you're pregnant because you're so friggin' delusionally happy, and you're convinced that you need to say it out loud to another human being for it to be true. Keep this in mind: NO ONE WILL CARE ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AS MUCH AS YOU DO. I like to think that most fathers care a lot, but statistically, men don't form any kind of emotional attachment with their children until after they're born. It can even take weeks, sometimes months after that. The same is true for many women. It's just how shit goes down sometimes, and that's ok. So, if you think you're gonna get all kinds of attention throughout your entire pregnancy, think again. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT. People have been having babies for, I don't know, THOUSANDS OF YEARS. You are NOT the first woman to carry a baby, so while you kind of need to get over it, it's nearly impossible to do so because of everything else you will read below. I just wanted to give you fair warning so that you won't be so upset when people want to talk about something other than your baby bump. Sorry. It's just how it is.
As you read this, keep in mind that the ONLY thing that helps a woman get through the 10 months of pregnancy she has to endure is the knowledge that there will be, quite literally, a baby at the end of the tunnel. Yes, I said TEN months. That shit lasts 40 weeks, each week with its own set of horrors. Let's talk about those now, shall we?
First of all, if you were taking any kind of medication before your pregnancy, for physical or emotional issues, you're pretty much screwed. Migraines? Sorry, try turning off the lights and TV. Debilitating allergies? Hey, here's a Neti Pot and a tissue. Mood stabilizers? Welcome to Crazy Town. Population: YOU. There is little to nothing you can do to ease the minor aches and pains of everyday life, let alone the awful ones, without the threat of an endless list of birth defects. So, suck it up, Buttercup. You're in it for the long haul.
If you know someone who is pregnant, your part is easy: Be nice. She's likely miserable and insane. Let her be miserable and insane.
You're also probably vomiting or at least nauseated all goddamn day. I don't know why they call it morning sickness because that shit starts the second you wake up and lasts into the night. If you're not generally a natural barfer, then you might even shove your own fucking fingers down your throat for just 10 minutes of relief. If you're lucky, sleep helps alleviate it, but so many pregnant women suffer from insomnia, that that obviously doesn't help. (Yay, you're pregnant! Congratulations!)
Try going to work or taking care of your other kids when you're barfing every half hour. It's awesome. Think about the worst stomach flu you've ever had. Now have it for 3 months straight, sometimes longer. It's impossible to imagine, right? Women have to block this shit out of their memories in order to procreate more than once. Every smell is nauseating, even smells you normally love. Gravy, sautéed onions, perfume, books, coffee. OMG, coffee. My favorite smell ever was enough to make me hurl in Target once. I ACTUALLY VOMITED IN TARGET FROM THE SMELL OF COFFEE.
When you're finally ready to taste food, you want the weirdest fucking things. Like tuna. You've been barfing non stop and the first time you think you want to eat something, it's tuna? AND YOU'RE NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO EAT TUNA. Friggin' shoot me.
Let's move on. So, a couple months go by, and you're either still barfing or you're ready to eat whatever crazy-ass thing your body is telling you it wants. Meanwhile, you pee every 15 minutes or so and you're either constipated or already pooping for two. Don't sneeze...you WILL wet yourself. Oh, and don't forget the gas. The constant. Fucking. Gas. It just comes out wherever and whenever the hell it wants to come out. Seriously, you could put your husband to shame. (Yay, you're pregnant! Congratulations!)
You've reached the point when your regular clothes no longer fit, but you're not quite ready for maternity clothes. So, your choices are your PMS sweatpants/pajamas or maternity clothes that you're swimming in. You don't want to waste money on things you may only wear for a couple weeks, so you usually just go with what you have. Either way, you're a hot fucking mess. If it's your first baby, you either feel insecure about your puffy belly and try, quite unsuccessfully, to suck it in, or you to stick it out as far as you can so that people will *hopefully* be able to tell that you're pregnant with an actual baby, not a food baby.
I cannot stress this enough. I feel like everyone should know this by now, especially if you watch Seinfeld, but never, EVER ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you are 100% sure. It's better just not to ask at all. Unless she is pushing that thing out AT THAT MOMENT, just don't fucking ask.
Ok, so let's talk about the really fun stuff. By the 4th or 5th month, you're (even more) exhausted and starving because the little parasite in your uterus is quite literally sucking every ounce of every single thing that you are. You're too big to sleep on your back or your belly, so you're stuck on your side. This is fine if you're already a side sleeper, but otherwise, good luck with that.
I challenge a man to sleep this way every night for 40 weeks with a ball of growing size and weight under his shirt, pulling at his back and hips, and eventually literally kicking (KICKING!) his insides. You'd be uber cranky bitches everyday too, guys. Just sayin'.
You'll start to feel the baby move around in there. If you're new to this, you either think every single slightly unusual thing happening in your body is the baby moving, or you won't notice it at all. Once you DO figure out what's going on, you're like, "What. the fuck." Then you feel it all the time. And it keeps you up at night. You start to worry when you don't feel it. Which also keeps you up at night. You may as well get used to the worry and sleeplessness because that shit gets sooooo much worse after the baby is born. You don't even KNOW. (Yay, you're pregnant! Congratulations!)
Once it's pretty obvious that you're pregnant (although this often happens WAAAAAY earlier than that), people tell you what you should and should not be eating. They ask you how much you've gained. They offer unsolicited baby advice. They talk non-stop about their own pregnancies. They tell you what a blessing it is to be pregnant and that you should feel lucky.
SHUT. THE FUCK. UP. Unless you are her doctor who is concerned for a specific health reason, don't you dare tell her what she can and cannot eat. If she wants 3 orders of fries, just shut up, smile, and pass the damn ketchup. Don't even THINK about asking her how much she's gained or how much she weighs. IT'S NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS. Would you ask a non-pregnant person that question? No? Why not? BECAUSE IT'S NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS. I don't care how you are related to or know the preggo. DON'T. ASK. No one gets a pass on this. If she wants to volunteer the information, then fine. Otherwise, SHUT UP. She's self-conscious enough. Leave her the hell alone to suffer through it as best she can. You care and want to help? Ask her what she needs or wants. Don't offer her a fucking apple and a walk around the block. If she says she wants ice cream, get her a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae and don't make a face. And she doesn't want to hear about baby gates, outlet covers, and drop-side cribs unless she asks you about them. She knows your pregnancy probably sucked too, and while misery loves company, YOU are no longer miserable. She currently IS. So shut up about your pregnancy from 15 years ago unless you have an absolute 100% scientifically proven cure for nausea that won't give the baby 9 heads. And of course she knows she's lucky to be pregnant. It's just hard to remember that when you feel like a enormous, gaseous planet that may somehow affect the actual orbit of the Solar System.
Phew. Ok. End rant.
Where was I? Oh, right, the miseries...I mean joys...of pregnancy. Have we talked about what's happening in your nether region yet? No? Well, let's! Your vajajay and surrounding areas are probably super sensitive. I'm obviously not a doctor, but I'm just guessing this has something to do with all the extra blood flow happening below the belt. So, it's common for a preggo to be super horny and want crazy, constant, awesome sex. (I'm not sure if it's better to be this way or the opposite. I suppose that's a personal opinion, depending on how you feel about sex with your husband in general.) There are a few different ways this could pan out: 1.) You actually have crazy, constant, awesome sex. 2.) You have awkward, mildy satisfying sex that basically gets the job done. 3.) You attempt sex and realize there is just no way you can physically manage it without wanting to die. 4.) You are completely disgusted with your body and therefore will not even attempt it. 5.) Your husband is completely disgusted with your body and therefore will not even attempt it. (Fuck you, husband.)
And no, guys, you will not poke the baby in the head with your dick. Don't flatter yourself. If she wants to have sex, but you feel weird about it for whatever reason, at least have a conversation with her. Straight up rejection is just NOT cool.
(Yay, you're pregnant, congratulations!)
By the time you're in your 8th month (or much sooner if you're me), you can't see your feet or bend over without turning blue. Painting your toenails, tying your shoes, or dare I say it, shaving your bikini line are pretty much impossible tasks that leave you sweating and gasping for air if you attempt them. So, there you are, quite literally pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, with a bush to rival that of a 70's porn star. So. Hot. Sure, you could go to the salon for a professional waxing, but because of all the blood flow and sensitively down there, the pain of a bikini wax during pregnancy is the equivalent of 30 minutes of bamboo fingernail torture.
So, there's that. (Yay, you're pregnant! Congratulations!)
Well, now you're almost at the end. It's been a long road of nausea, constipation, incontinence, diarrhea, exhaustion, incapacitating backaches, blinding headaches, confusion, butter fingers, too much or not enough sex, mood swings, insatiable hunger, and insensitive assholes EVERYWHERE. The baby is trying out for the Olympic gymnastics team in there, kicking your ribs, stomping on your bladder, and basically destroying you from the inside out. (Yay, you're pregnant! Congratulations!)
Oh, and if you're lucky like me, you'll enjoy a huge needle of Rhogam in your ass cheek that insurance won't cover even though you and/or your baby could die without it or some shit. If you're REALLY lucky, you'll get gestational diabetes. Good times!
Don't forget, you still have to either push that meatloaf-sized baby out of a hole the size of a carrot or get sliced up and have it removed for you. Awesome.
So, to all of you current preggos out there: Yay, you're pregnant! Congratulations! (And sorry!) You can complain to me anytime about any friggin' thing you want. No judgment here. Pinky swear. Oh, and those of you knocked up with multiples should get a goddamn trophy of solid gold. Or chocolate. Totally up to you. Just let me know and I'll make it happen.
To all of you former preggos: Your time has passed. Let her have hers. You know what it's like. So shut up unless she asks you for help. Knock it off with the judging, and for the love of all that is holy, she doesn't need to hear that you only gained 12 pounds with your pregnancy. She has every right to cunt punt you if you mention it.
To all of you who were never pregnant and are never planning to be (with the exception of pediatric doctors, nurses, therapists, etc.): Shut the fuck up about everything ever because you have no idea what the hell you're talking about. This goes for after the baby is born too. No one wants advice about children from someone who does not have them or work with them in a professional capacity. FACT.
Phew. I think that about sums it up. You know, they really should have consulted us real world ladies for that book revision. That shit'd sold out in minutes and would be way more useful than the one with Virgin Mary Soccer Mom on the cover. Just sayin'.