There are lots of little injustices to pregnancy that no one ever tells you about beforehand. Like the fact that perfect strangers think touching your stomach is somehow okay. Or the fact that people ask “how are YOU?” as though there’s a greater level of significance to how you feel now that you’re growing a child. Or how your memory goes away entirely and leaves you looking like an idiot 30 times a day. Not to mention that you have to coordinate a very undignified roll to get out of bed in the morning because you can’t just sit up.
I’ve taken all of this with a grain of salt, tried to keep a sense of humor about it, and have even learned how to block my stomach from the onslaught of grabby hands.
The one thing I’m having a tough time getting past, though, is the number of people who insist on reminding me of the “joys” yet to come with our bundle of joy. Case in point: I am currently working 2 jobs (both of which have just gotten extra responsibilities added to them), trying to put the growing mounds of baby stuff somewhere in my house (why does a 7 pound infant need so many BIG things?), attend baby showers, write thank you notes, keep up with friends to prove that pregnancy does not have to kill a social life, find time to spend with my husband since our life is about to change entirely, try to understand the HR language of FMLA and figure out how to pay bills when I’m not working, tour daycares, read books about raising babies so I don’t accidentally kill him, not to mention keep up with all of the household chores. Many of these things have fallen behind, which drives me crazy. So, every now and then, when someone asks how I’m doing, “I’m tired” makes it out of my mouth before I can get out a cheerful “Fabulous!” There are very few things I’ve had to complain about in this pregnancy; I’ve been healthy, haven’t had many complications, and overall have had a very smooth ride so far. I feel guilty if I feel anything less than fabulous when people ask. But every now and then I’m so damn exhausted that I let it slip that I’m tired.
The response I get to this, from the oh-so-supportive-people-who-ask-how-do-YOU-feel-with-the-significance-of-someone-asking-about-matters-of-national-security? Every single time, it’s that smirk and “You don’t even know what tired is yet. Just wait.” If I mention that I’ve been busy lately, I hear, “You think so, huh? You’ll be so busy after the kid arrives…” Heaven forbid that I mention I’m a wee bit overwhelmed; then I hear, “Call me in two months when you learn what overwhelmed really means.”
What the hell?? When I ask how your day is going, and you reply, “Crappy,” I don’t look right back at you and say, “Suck it up, it only gets worse from here.”
Or “Crappy? Yeah, right. Your life is a cakewalk. Just wait for the apocalypse that’s about to come.”
Yes, I understand a baby in our lives will mean less sleep. I am fully aware that I will be busy when this child arrives. I don’t have delusions of a perfect baby.
But thank you for kicking me when I’m down just to make sure I remember.