Okay, we are at Week 39 now. I’m officially on maternity leave, and the baby is due in a week or so. This will probably (possibly, hopefully) be my last post as a pregnant lady. I actually wanted to talk about something else, but it seemed like my last real opportunity to post about the pregnancy. I won’t say I’m sick of being pregnant, but I will say it has gotten incrementally less comfortable, and I’m ready to be done with it.
Maybe it’s fairer to say I’m ready to be done talking to people about it? I have spent most of the pregnancy, even these last days, honestly, feeling pretty great. But I have encountered a great number of people with a great number of opinions. MOST of them, I refer to as the Just Waiters. (The best group of people to talk to when you’re pregnant, it seems worth mentioning, are people whose children are grown. These are the people who glow with excitement and talk about how magical your life is about to become. This seems worth holding onto as a new mom. This seems ACTUALLY USEFUL.)
The Just Waiters do not care if pregnancy is going well or not, they need to remind you NOT TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT. If you are four months and feeling baby kicks, just wait, later you’ll see an actual foot — A FOOT! — slide across your belly. OR, just wait! Soon enough you won’t be able to tie your own shoes — YOUR OWN SHOES! If you are feeling crummy or tired, JUST WAIT! YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.
The people who tell me to “sleep while [I] can” are the worst. Here’s my sleep pattern last night: Fell asleep from 11:30-12:45am. Watched TV from 12:45-2:30am. Fell asleep until 4. Woke up, checked facebook (by the way, you guys need to be doing A LOT MORE on facebook in the middle of the night), walked around my apartment to loosen my hips up, watched for cars (two drove by), read a book. Fell asleep from 6-9am. Listen, I AM NOT COMPLAINING. I don’t mind it. It’s neat to be up at odd hours. But does it seem fair and right to tell someone with that sleep pattern to sleep while she can, because soon enough SHE’LL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN?
Furthermore — and I may regret saying this later — babies SLEEP. So can’t I sleep while the baby sleeps? I am quite adept at napping. (You want to do over/under odds on how soon into being a new mom I post about how I haven’t slept since the baby was born and you can, for your response, just link to this?)
But then! Last week, I went to a liquor store to buy liquor for a work event — I did not drink any of the liquor, thank you very much — and the clerk, pretty ballsy, I thought, made some comment about how I couldn’t drink any of my purchase. (Similarly, the waitress at Zola the other day chastised me for ordering a COFFEE, not decaf.) He mentioned that his girlfriend was four months along, and that she was constantly complaining about how uncomfortable she is, and how hard it is to go up stairs, and it took everything I had, Annie — everything — not to say OMG AT FOUR MONTHS? THAT’S THE EASY PART! JUST WAIT UNTIL SHE IS NINE MONTHS, GOOD LUCK, BUDDY, YOU’VE GOT A REAL PIECE OF WORK THERE!
AT ANY RATE, I have decided to try harder to just be excited for everyone, whatever they’ve got going on, just in general. That’s what people really want to hear anyway.
In your last post, you mentioned that you are “less inclined toward the polite pretenses that pepper a life spent servicing and socializing.” What are the Most Annoying things people say to single girls?
People need to SHUT UP! You are carrying an alien around in your belly and you DESERVE a cup of real, delicious, caffeinated coffee. In fact, the next time someone feels the need to chastise you for whatever you as a pregnant lady are eating, drinking or purchasing, you should respond with “Oh. OH. You haven’t read the most recent study, HAVE you.” And then stare at them pityingly. And then cram an entire sushi roll into your mouth.
And yeah, I never understood the sleeping thing either. I thought babies slept like, A LOT. Like more than regular humans. Can’t you just nap together? I mean I understand that if you’re a working mom and trying to keep a 9 to 5 or something, but if you’re just home all day? DUDE. Sleep whenEV.
The most annoying things people say to single girls, hmm? Well, I’m sure you remember some of this from back in your single days: it’s not so much specific things that are said, it’s the assumptions that are made. Instead of the Just Waiters there are the Well That’s Okays.
“Are you seeing anyone?”
“Not at the moment.”
“Oh. Well. That’s OKAY.”
I KNOW IT’S OKAY
“There’s still plenty of time”
OMG PLENTY OF TIME TO WHAT I’M NOT DYING OR ANYTHING
“It must be nice to have so much free time.”
YES I AM WHITTLING DOWN MY NETFLIX QUEUE QUITE RAPIDLY THANK YOU FOR MENTIONING IT
Obviously, to many, the traditional expectation is that such a single lady as I should be (or should long ago have been) getting married and making of the babies, but I think I’m fortunate to live in a time and place where the traditional expectation is less…well, expected. I don’t feel particularly pressured. This may be (probably definitely is) because I’ve cut or lengthened ties to anyone who has ever tried to make me feel like my anti-child/ehh-marriage stance is anything but appropriate and awesome. Also my parents are very understanding, and while they may secretly SEETHE inside at my reluctance to provide them with grandchildren they are very good about not showing it, or putting me on the spot at large holiday dinners.
And though it may not need saying here in the vast redundancy of the internet, I’ll say it anyway: happiness comes in all shades and sizes, and it is no one else’s place to be annoying and tell you differently. Being judgemental doesn’t help anybody, and I say this as a one who has often pronounced sentence on those who had babies when I didn’t think they should, or got married when I didn’t think they should, or bought a motorcycle when I thought they should probably pay rent instead, or got a fifth dog when they should have gotten divorced.
Anyway, these final days are exciting for me as well. I can’t wait to meet the little wonder who resides in your belly and start having uninformed opinions about how you should raise her.