Top Ten Things That Haven't Changed Just Because I'm Prego

by - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

 Oh man, the second you find out you are pregnant, your head immediately goes to everything that is going to change. Even as a first time parent, you know that this is no small thing for your life, and just in case you aren't sure, everyone you know will remind you plenty. Lots of the changes are pretty surprising: I can't seem to concentrate like I used to. My teeth have miraculously gotten even more self-destructive. Other things, become part of the ever growing list of rules that chip away at your freedom, I am not allowed to jump, carry things, eat a freaking sandwich, or have a spicy hamachi roll.

If you google pregnancy of any kind, what you are really asking is what changes are normal and making sure you are changing in all of the ways you are supposed to. Everything about pregnancy is about change, and for that reason, I feel like I need to point out that some things mercifully have stayed the same. Let's linger on the stasis, shall we?

10. I would still really like a Mai Tai, thank you- We went out the other night, and one of the couples at our table both got Mai Tai's, and it looked so good. Maybe it is just that I want juice? Currently, there are no liquids in our house that can go bad (ah, fridge), but man I miss being able to just drink, eat, and do what I want. I have not turned a corner where I wouldn't still like these things.

9. I still benefit from basic privileges that everyone should have- I know my prenatal vitamins make a huge difference; everyone who wants them should be able to have them (kind of like birth control). I benefit from a supportive (and basically afraid) partner, and everyone deserves to have a support system around them while they are pregnant. I have access to helpful, supportive, and capable healthcare, and not everyone in the world has that. For goodness sake, I had the God-given privilege of getting pregnant easily in the first place, and some people, for so many reasons, need access to more help to have that happen. In my everyday life, I am so lucky to enjoy so many privileges, and even though pregnancy is an easy time to start feeling bad for myself (I mean, I can't stand up without feeling like I will dizzy fall down), this is actually a time to be as aware as ever of my blessings.

8. I still am perfectly aware of my limits and needs as a human being. I did not lose all my sense- I know some pregos get frustrated by strangers wanting to touch their belly, not respecting their personal space.  I can't say how I will feel about that, but I have noticed a pretty dramatic decline in my family members' trust in my ability to live since they found out I am pregnant. Because people are excited for the spawn, they seem to feel entitled to comment on all the things I am not doing enough- I am not eating enough (just like you, I can tell when I am hungry), I am trying to do too much (Again, my body is very honest with me when I am doing too much. Carrying this 5 lb box does not qualify), and I am not excited enough (can we all agree that we never totally know how someone else is feeling?). It's my body, and it and I have a long successful run so far. I know I am flaky, but I am functioning. Though I know that this concern is a manifestation of love for the person I am currently carting around, and I am happy and appreciative for that future love, I am totally perplexed by why people would take this as an opportunity to comment on my ability to fulfill basic functions as a human being. If you are worried, please, feel free to send me food (or visit, so you can actually be supportive in person and see how I behave for more than the 1% of my pregnancy you are witness to), but I promise, don't worry, I may actually be more responsible than you think. At the very least, I am way hungrier. It will be ok.

7. I still apparently don't know the difference between a onesie and a sleeper?- On the other hand, common sense apparently does not prepare you to know when your mom sent you sleepers not onsesies (why doesn't onesie just mean it is one piece? And wouldn't everything be a sleeper since babies sleep so much of the time?) I suspect I have many such lessons to learn.

6. I still fit into my old bras- Boo ya. Specifically, the ones from my curvier days, but they are still free, so there. Also, my old shoes. Enjoying this while it lasts. You can't surprise me oncoming puffiness! I have heard all about you.

5. I still don't have super strong feelings on breast feeding, birth plans, circumcision, or any other mommy war issue- I genuinely think that whatever each of my friends is doing is awesomely perfect for that friend. I have no desire to get in this fight, and the issues I do, I stay quiet about, because it is not helpful to anyone. I don't have a complete or definitive vision of what my child's infancy will look like. My goal is to be happy and flexible. That's it. Happy and flexible. I have basic ideas of what I would like, have heard more about every position than I ever need to know, and I am pretty open to whatever works.

4. I am still happy to just hear what you are up to- Being pregnant is exciting in almost exactly the same way going on an awesome trip is exciting. Sure, there are things you can talk about beforehand, all the tropical drinks you will drink, all the crazy late nights you will spend, about the real character you will meet, but really, you don't know what will be great and what will be less so until you get there. I am excited, but I am also perfectly happy to not talk about it. Really, there isn't much going on here, and I am much more tickled to know what is going on with you now and what you are thinking about now than to try to make our baby name debates seem like fresh material.

3. On the other hand, I still mostly don't want to hear about the horrors that have befallen your vagina- I love a good vagina story. I mean, who doesn't? But have you ever noticed that within 15 minutes of telling a mom you are pregnant, they have to tell you some really scary thing about their own pregnancy? Whoa, homie! I am still nervous about the differences in maternity jeans and finding an obgyn. In fact, I am still nervous about telling you, and it is over! Your stories of public pooping and vagina ripping and all sorts of other nonsense is just more than I need to know right now. I love you very much, but please, kindly remember that I am not actually equipped to appreciate the story you want to share. Whatever medal of appreciation you are looking for, I do not have it to give you.

2. Also, let's go on an adventure- I feel like when my girlfriends have been pregnant, they have varying levels of ability and desire to stray very far from their homebase. On some levels, I get that- pregnancy has certainly heightened some anxieties for me, and I know managing those emotions becomes an important part of staying a happy mama (I also know that by the end of your pregnancy, this is a physical necessity). I would like to go on an adventure, which is basically my answer to all of life's questions or trials. If anything, I feel this instinct really strongly right now, because I know that the end of 2014 will be travel-free. I am ready to see somewhere totally new, because to me, that is what freedom feels like.

1. I am still pro-choice-Way pro-choice. Maybe even more pro-choice than I was before I was pregnant. I have had more than one person insinuate or straight up say that the experience of being pregnant would Though I love my little parasite and enjoyed the phase where it looked gummy bear with ears on its neck, I have also come to appreciate on a whole new level what an incredible toll being pregnant takes on a person, how much it takes over (nearly) everything in your day to day life way before other people can see those effects (and I have had a supremely easy pregnancy). I have always believed that the choice HAS to be available for women, because taking it away just serves to punish and endanger women who couldn't afford a safe one in other circumstances. My simple take on it is this:

I cannot imagine making that choice myself with a few exceptions, but just because it isn't right for me doesn't mean I can dictate or even understand whether it is right for someone else.  My job as a Christian is to love them, and to me, that means making sure they have safe (both medically and from the crowds of nasty people) options and to respect their choices. This has changed not even the teeniest bit since I got pregnant, and I don't think it will.

What being pregnant has done is open my eyes to some of the realities women, and especially single mothers, must factor in while making their decisions. I am not sure how you make the decision between continuing a pregnancy and being able to take care of the children you already have at the level which they need. Though I am incredibly appreciative of the miracles that are taking place in my body, it doesn't mean I can't also respect that these changes may not be possible to take for all women. I am glad that I have feminist friends who do and will respect me for wanting to be a mom, because that is something I have always wanted, and I am happy to live in a world where it can be my choice to say yes, just like it is others' choice to say no. So no, being pregnant has not changed how I feel about this issue.

I hope if you are like me and recently became pregnant, this can be a comfort to you. I googled "things that don't change once you are pregnant" and literally nothing on that topic came up. Maybe it isn't as interesting to people, but I think it is important to remember that you are still yourself, and that matters too.

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