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.