Thank you, everyone, for your congratulatory emails and comments – both here and on Flickr. They mean a lot to us. It’s been a long three months. There were times I wanted to just scream, “I’M PREGNANT! That’s why I’m being such a bitch! That’s why I can’t stop spitting!” But I held back.
I’m starting to realize something about pregnant women and mommies. I hope this doesn’t get me into trouble with the Internet. I’m realizing that we’re really annoying. If you think about it, our bodies are doing something that is really outstanding and strange. Our bodies are housing an alien life form, a foreign piece of matter, something of which our bodies would like to rid themselves.
The strangest part is that this alien wasn’t stuffed into our vaginas while we were knocked out on the operating table of a spaceship. Our bodies, with the help from our male counterparts, created these parasites on their own. It’s weird, man. As natural as it’s said to be, the side effects are downright unnatural. It’s mind-blowing to me. The whole body thing is simply mind-blowing.
When I first found out, I was completely disgusted with myself. My body grossed me out entirely. I was afraid to let Toby touch me. I didn’t want anyone else to touch me either. I felt disgusting. I wore a look on my face that read, “What the hell did I go and do this for? I am a disgusting monster.” The hardest part was that nobody knew back then and so the time I found myself standing in a dressing room at Betsy Johnson, trying to squeeze my huge tits into a dress far too small for me while 3 of Toby’s coworkers stood outside waiting to see me, I couldn’t scream out, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PEOPLE. I JUST CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS!” But I wanted to. I wanted to explain to everyone that I had recently been injected with “monster”, that I was disgusting.
Eventually, I had a conversation with my mother about these feelings. I asked her, flat-out, “Is it normal to disgust yourself?”
She said, “You’re experiencing what all living beings are naturally put on this Earth to do. For whatever reason, all species procreate. That’s all you’re doing. You’re no different then a rat or a fruit fly.”
It was that last sentence, the one about the fruit flies that made me feel a little less disgusting. When I really thought about it, I decided that I might be gross, but I’m not as gross as the rat. And so I started to feel less like a rodent and a little more normal again. I started to warm up to the idea.
But then the physical stuff really started taking over. The pregnancy hormone called Relaxin began to move my hips and joints around. (Do you have any idea how disconcerting that is? And then do you have any idea how reassuring it is when the doctor tells you that you’re not actually putting on weight instead your hips are moving and those pants you wore when you were heavier than you are now don’t fit right because of said shifting?) And it’s weird watching your tits grow up to two times their original size, especially when you didn’t like how big they were to begin with. (I went from a 36 C to a 36 D in one month. And I’m told they will get larger during the third trimester.) And they hurt, oh boy do they ever hurt. (I wore a sports bra to sleep for 2 months.)
And then there’s the vomit. I was lucky, I don’t really vomit all that much but I have another really disgusting side-affect. I became what my doctor calls “A Spitter.” At first I thought this was something specific to my body, especially since everyone I wrote to at first or talked to about it had one response, “Huh? Spit? Umm, no.” I began producing an excessive amount of saliva, so much saliva I was unable to swallow it all. I chewed on salt-less Saltines. They turned into cement in my mouth, which made me feel sick. I chewed on Newman’s Own Ginger mints and that helped me ignore it for a few minutes. But there are only so many mints one can eat and then I got sick from all the ginger. I spit when no one was looking, into trashcans around the city, or onto subway platforms. And when I was at home, I tore up pieces of paper towel and threw them into a plastic bag, which I would use as a spittoon. I suddenly became the person that I hate, a public spitter! Friends and family would say, “Can’t you just swallow it? That’s really gross.” But when I swallowed the saliva I got sick to my stomach. Now, I just don’t leave the house.
But here’s the deal, I know my experience isn’t special. Even when I was on that table at the doctor’s office watching our little dude on the monitor for the very first time, I had to remind myself that while this might be special to me, the doctor sees it a hundred times a week, maybe more. I’m also keenly aware of the fact that when it comes right down to it most people couldn’t care less about my child. Sure, there’s the whole social contract thing – be kind to others, etc., etc. – but our kid isn’t going to be anyone too special to anyone but family, friends, and me. (Until, of course, he or she becomes the next world-renowned astrophysicist and disproves the existence of God as we know it using science. Then my kid will blow all y’all’s mind.)
So, I’m not special to you nor is my pregnancy and my kid probably won’t be special to most people either. What I’m going through is so not special on broad terms, which is what I think makes us so damn annoying. Because no matter how natural it is, and given the fact that millions of species have been doing this since the beginning of time, (some even lose their lives because of it), we think we’re special. And so we write about it. A lot. We use names on forums and blogs like “Karl’s Mommy!” or “SAHM in Idaho!” and we tell other future mommies how things are supposed to be, how babies are supposed to be born, how they’re supposed to be raised. (Incidentally, if I ever do this to you or you see me do it to someone – this offering of unsolicited information bullshit – you have my permission to kick me in the tits. Same goes for that whole vanity M.O.M. Internet license plate phenomenon.)
And so this is where it begins. The chapter where I drone on and on about what I’m going through, the stunts my body is pulling, the migration of stretch marks, the expanding cup size of my bra, how many new pimples I have, and how terrible it’ll be having my vagina torn to shreds. And I know being pregnant is as natural as natural can be but that won’t stop me from pretending that I’m the first person on planet Earth to have ever given birth to a human baby.
We’re not special at all, not in the slightest way, but until they figure out a way to start mass producing babies and selling them at places like Old Navy, McDonald’s, or Wal-Mart, where everything is made to look and taste exactly the same, we’re going to feel special. We’re going to be annoying. We’re going to feel entitled. We’re going to continue to write about it and clutter the Internet with hundreds of fairly meaningless pictures of unborn fetuses, zygotes, growing bellies, and eventually our kids. We’re going to continue to demand the attention and respect from acquaintances, loved ones, and complete strangers. We’re going to flick guys off when we’re driving because they continually honk at the back of our heads because we didn’t take that left turn fast enough. We’re going to come off as some snotty, punk ass pregnant bitches. Well, I am anyway.
Mihow, you are preggers…you are entitled to post as much as you want about what you are going through….Having been through it twice it is pretty much all you think about when when you are pregenant. I mean your body is doing some really weird stuff and you have to deal with it 24/7. So I say post away!!!
As far as the boob size, yes, you will get bigger once the baby comes and your milk comes in. It is kinda crazy.
Also as far as the spitting and such try Sour Lemon Altoids. I was never really sick with Isabel but I was with Aubrey. I can’t stand ginger but I had heard that citrus, especially lemon can really help. I found that it did.
Your kid will be special to me…
However, should you ever refer to your self in print as “So-and-So’s Mommy,” I will break up with you forever.
You’re not annoying to your friends and readers – and probably won’t be for quite some time.
However, you may become annoying to your husband. I don’t mean to say that in a mean way – but the only pregnancy complaints I’ve heard from the not-pregnant perspective have been husbands , who are woken in the middle of the night to rub bellies, give foot rubs, or get food.
Pregnant women go through hell , I won’t deny that. But some feel, amidst hormones, that they get to force their husbands through hell too—just to make their live a bit easier and so the men have some empathy. But they never consider that when they’re on maternity leave or staying-at-home with the kids, the husband is working all day and taking care of the kid in the middle of the night.
So be easy on TobyJoe, and know that he’s the only person you could annoy. Remember that he’s going to be going through hell once the kid is born because, well, he’s a good guy—and he’s going to be one of those 3am dads. You know the type: 20lbs underweight with huge bags under their eyes , looking half like a zombie and half like a homeless man because they fall asleep standing up on the subway.
Also, when you have a kid, please remember: your child’s first poo after each kind of cuisine may be momentous for you – but bringing in pictures of it to work the next day isn’t really not-annoying for your co workers. I think you’re a good 9 months from that being possible though. Just keep it in mind.
You guys have seen that “So-and-So’s Mom” shit, right? Online and off, right? I find it really strange. You totally have my permission to kick my tit then break up with me.
Oh, and nico, an aside, not that we’re having a girl or anything but your name was/is a top contender. :] We weren’t sure if that would freak you out too much, however so we decided to go with Vaginaless instead.
Edited to add: Jonathan, thank you so much for that. Our comments crossed. :] You’re right. I will try hard to be as nice as possible to TJ.
I would be honored, not freaked out. Also my name is conveniently unisex. I’m calling him/her Nico Jr. from now on.
Although Vagfree has a nice ring to it…
You know, we were told that you’re supposed to have a nickname for the creature when it’s in there. We don’t yet. So Nico Jr. works for me!
why are you supposed to have a nickname for the fetus?
I wish I knew. See, there are rules for all of this and if one were to actually try and abide by them all it would drive someone to total maddness. So we’re not following any of them, which is why I am drinking, smoking, eating raw meat, chewing on sushi, not naming my fetus, playing it cat poo, and hot tubbin.
In all seriousness, I think people do it who don’t want to refer to it as a baby just yet and who aren’t sure of its sex. But I am basing that on absolutely nothing. The only nickname I can remember off hand is “Blob”. So I’m led to believe that they’re used to be a little less warm than say, Little Baby Joey, and a little more warm than “Fetus”, which is what I’ve been referring to it as. Although, Spastic Monkey came out one day after watching it flip around like some kind of freak and Little Dude because I didn’t want to write “My Fetus.”
The extra saliva thing was a surprise to me the second time around. I was constantly drooling in my sleep and spitting on people at work. Fortunately, it has almost completely gone away in the past 3 months! I was always thinking to myself “Say it, don’t spray it” before I began talking. Didn’t help though!
I think it’s fantastic that you guys are having a baby. Becoming a parent has been terrifying, challenging, etc. but I feel very blessed everyday and I wouldn’t want my life to be any different. Well, except maybe not being a working mother. Best wishes and I hope you do keep us posted on the forthcoming events!
I just wander in for the TMI…..so umm, well…whatever you do, don’t stop [I’m seriously expecting running blog updates between contractions [c’mon Tobyjoe, start whipping out the software that will make this possible…snork]…..OH! OOOOPS! CONGRATULATIONS to well, all three of you.
Man, I’m never going to get to have a beer with you now. :( (Congrats!)
That’s not true! Unless, of course, you’re going to go far, far away in about 9 months. Because, dude, I am so going straight to the bar once this is all said and done.
Bravo! Love the post. All pregnant women become the center of the universe. Then after 9 months, the monster, er, baby takes over.
With the spitting thing, did you start sounding like you downed more beer than a frat boy on a Saturday night? When I had it, I was joking that I was drunk. It was so bad I was slurring. Nothing helped, not even lemons, but hey that might be your magic ticket.
This is a truly refreshing post.
As for the spitting, I NEVER KNEW! I never even knew that was an option!
And I have to say this, “But you’re OUR snotty, punk ass pregnant bitch”!! Hope that’s OK to say that! ;)
Please tell me I’m allowed to mail you a onesie that says “Vag Free and Proud to Be”
Sandy, oh dear lordie, yes, please do.
When Kerry was pregnant with Henry, we called him the “goat” as an abbreviation for zygote. I remember the first time we felt the goat kicking. I had cooked beans and rice for dinner (I don’t remember what month it was), and there were these distinct “pops” in Kerry’s belly. At first she thought it was gas (because of the beans), but we realized that it was just too deliberate and focused.
Curiously, we did not give a nickname to Owen or Pippy when Kerry was pregnant with them.
Another interesting change came after Henry was born. We had intended to name our son Henry but call him Harry as a diminutive (and in honor of my great uncle Henry who was also called Harry). It never took. So Henry is Henry and I can’t imagine him being a Harry, Hal or Hank.
What will also be really interesting to watch is how your attitude toward your cats will completely change. Kerry and I had three cats before Henry was born, and we doted on them to no end. We agonized over leaving them on vacations, and we preserved as much continuity and consistency in their lives as we could—feeding routines, play, etc. However, once the baby showed up, they became a distant second in priority. They were appalled, of course, by the little creature we had brought home that cried, smelled funny, and didn’t use a toilet or litter box. I guess the cats must have assumed that the whole household had gone downhill.
Charlie, what you said about the cats is so true. Before Isabel and Aubrey the cats were my children. Now, they pretty much do take second place in our little world, sad to say….
I think our cats would say that since we brought the babies home, our importance to them has diminished, too. We’re just not as interesting to them anymore.
‘snotty punk ass pregnant bitches’-sounds good to me. keep it real, yo.
My attitude is already changing towards my cats but that’s because the little annoying shitheads won’t get off the sofa, like, ever and we fight over whose suppposed to be there. They really take over the house. Before I got knocked up, I let them. But now they just bug me. I still love them, of course, but they’re bugging me lately. Granted this could totally be because I now work from home and instead of having people around to annoy me, I have cats. And they speak less English than most people.
isn’t there some thing about how cats have been known to try and eat babies ?
I believe that there’s a pic somewhere on the internets of a cat in a crib that has been photoshopped to say “Im in ur krib Eatin ur Babeee
Which reminded me of the one detail of the pregnancies that I really hated: litterbox duty. Apparently, toxoplasmosis is a disease that can affect pregnant women/unborn children and is found in litter boxes.
I have NEVER heard of a cat really smothering a baby—although I know of plenty of people who worry about it. I think it’s an urban legend
According to my doctor, since cats like warmth and enjoy snuggin’, they sometimes might crawl on a baby. If they do that, the baby might not be strong enough to breath below its weight. (And believe me, our cats are most definitely fat enough to crush a baby.) I am not sure that’s actually happened but who knows. Either way, they are getting nowhere near that back room where the baby will sleep.
My mother recently told me about a baby whose feet were chewed off by a puppy. Apparently the puppy though it was nursing and chewed the baby’s little toes off.
Can you f’in imagine that? Holy sweet jesus.
I just need a mailing address, man. I’m going shopping for the onesie this weekend (for real).
Alright, Sandy. Send me an email. mihow @ mihow dot com.