A little pregnancy rant

So here's the thing...I started this post sometime back in October, and then totally forgot that it existed. Why? Because pregnant. With that said, here's something that should have been committed to the internets several months ago.

I've heard it said that some women enjoy being pregnant. They feel womanly. They feel like they are participating in some higher calling. They feel divine.

Those women are fucking crazy.

Pregnancy, best as I can tell, is a nine months long slog of indignities, some subtle, some less so. Some are inflicted by your own body. Some are inflicted by assholes.

Okay, okay, let me caveat the term "asshole" here. In some cases (many cases?), the assholes I'm referring to are well-intentioned souls who somehow lose all sensibility the minute they spot a pregnant woman. Decorum either goes completely out the window, or comes out in some tortured form.

Probably the most classic example of this is the infamous belly touch. If you've ever been visibly pregnant, you know what I'm talking about. The casual acquaintance or total stranger who suddenly reaches out and pets your belly as though its some shiny inanimate object as opposed to a distended mound attached to a living, breathing, conscious human with boundaries. Just because I now have a bubble protruding from my abdomen does not mean that my personal bubble has ceased to exist, people.

But today, I'm here to complain about two specific pregnancy-related indignities. I refer to these things as "The Door Pretzel" and "Gestational Jeopardy."

The Door Pretzel is a phenomenon that occurs when someone in the vicinity of a pregnant woman and a door decides that all hell will break loose should that pregnant woman be forced to come into contact with said door. Thus, in an effort to keep hell safely contained, this good samaritan engages in what can only be described as great feats of athleticism and acrobatics in order to prevent this contact from happening.

Some sample scenarios from actual experience:

(1) A sprint across the lobby in full Heisman, followed by a stiff-armed thrusting open of the door, requiring me (standing on the other side) to leap backwards in order to avoid being knocked unconscious.

(2) A sprint to catch the door from behind me as I begin to open it, lest I should be forced to open the door the entire way.

(3) Being forced to duck down a good 18 inches while folding myself inward in order to awkwardly maneuver beneath the short-statured gentleman standing on his tip-toes, holding the door open with the fingertips of one hand and beckoning me through with the other.

People, I'm pregnant. I can open a fucking door.


Gestational Jeopardy is something with which you may be more familiar thanks to movies and television. This game happens when someone (usually a total stranger) attempts to guess how many months pregnant you are. This game is never fun, because they always, without exception, guess wrong.

During my first pregnancy, the "you're ready to pop!!!!" comments (from total strangers) began around seven months. When you're seven months pregnant and still barfing in alleys and trashcans and so fucking *over it*, hearing some man you don't know from Adam stop you on the street to casually tell you that you look huge is not endearing. In fact, looking back on it, I'm frankly shocked those men survived. It's only thanks to years of gender normative socialization ("be a nice girl") that a punch wasn't thrown. The placating smile is now reflexive. But I digress...

With baby #2, the comments started much earlier. This was a combination of second pregnancy (bigger, faster) and the fact that I gained about 10lbs less weight, making the contrast between belly and body that much more distinct. Beginning shortly after five months of pregnancy, the comments started to roll in.

"That's a big baby you've got there!"

"Growing a linebacker I see!" (I should have replied "yep, NFL's first female linebacker you POS.")

"Any day now, huh?" (how about three more months?)

"Looks like you're ready to pop!" (Yeah, how about I pop you... right in the nose.)

Of course, just as the comments started earlier, my patience wore out sooner. This reached its apex when a man in an elevator made some remark and I calmly responded, "oh, I'm not pregnant." I think I looked basically like this at the time:

I wish I'd had a camera to capture the look on his face.

By the time I was 8 months pregnant, I'd simply stopped responding.

So... in closing:

(1) Pregnant women can open doors. I promise.

(2) Don't assume gestation. Not worth it.

(3) I am so glad that I never have to be pregnant again. 


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