So last post I talked about how being pregnant in public seems to give people the sense that it’s okay to approach you and either vent about their kids, or judge you for having your own. But I also wanted to add that the better part of being pregnant in public is that people will give you a lot more slack, and let you get away with a lot of what’s usually considered socially unacceptable behaviors. I call it the, “Pregnant card.” Whether you are pulling it yourself, or other people are pulling it for you, the bottom line is that you can pretty much pull the pregnant card for any reason whatsoever, and people will be understanding. Or at least they will pretend to be, because otherwise they look like jerks. Now, I try not to abuse this, but truthfully I am so grateful for being held to a lower standard when I’m pregnant. I really need the leeway. And even if some of us preggies don’t admit it, we all do.
There are just so many physical changes going on with your body, that you literally just can’t keep up. One example I can give is that when I was about five months along with my first baby, my left boob started leaking colostrum. It was my body’s way of preparing for breastfeeding. Just a non-stop drippy faucet nipple. Completely random and ridiculous. And for some reason, only the left. Well, it’s one thing when you start leaking through your shirt in public and explain that it’s feeding time for your newborn baby. But what the hell do you say when you are clearly still pregnant? Well, it’s happening, and there’s no stopping it. Pregnant card.
Another thing that happens to me right around six months along is that I get this really severe pain in my rib muscles right below my right boob. The doctors call it costochondritis, and told me that it’s basically inflammation in my ribs and cartilage from the rapid stretching and growing of my body. The only thing that helps for the pain, and that I’m actually allowed to take, is lidocaine numbing patches that I wear. To make sure these patches stick to my skin during the day, I wrap gauze around my ribs on top of the patch. So now with the patch and the gauze on, it’s kind of bulky to then wear a bra on top of all that. And it’s really just a lot of pressure and uncomfortable with the pain. But then I have to wear a bra so that I can stuff the breastmilk pads in there to soak up the colostrum from the leaky boob. So the solution to one symptom causes a problem for another. Thus, a pregnant hot mess. Pregnant card.
But best of all is when you don’t actually have to pull the pregnant card yourself. I was at the DMV, waiting for an eternity of course, and a man waved for my attention from across the very crowded room and offered me his seat. I was so incredibly grateful because I had actually been feeling kind of lightheaded and dizzy. I will never forget it. Also I have been allowed to cut in line in the ladies room a few times in these pregnancies, and I’m telling you people, it is hugely appreciated. Chivalry is not dead yet, but let’s all keep a conscious mind to keep it going.
And one last example of the pregnant card is that no one will get in-between a pregnant woman and her food. You can eat anything you want, any time you want, and anywhere you want. “No food allowed,” signs do not apply to you. And even if someone does try to enforce it, you just give them a look, (which is all you can do because your mouth is too full to speak to them,) and they think better of it and walk away. It’s really great. You know how they always have candy bowls in waiting rooms and no one ever takes any? Not me. I’m usually taking an obnoxious handful and giggling with delight. I once showed up to work not knowing that my lips and mouth were bright blue from eating candy on the drive there. Well, that’s easily explained with the pregnant card. You see, a pregnant woman with a craving is like a ravenous, scavenging honey badger who will stop at nothing until her craving is sated.
So like I said before, being pregnant in public is a whole different ball game than being pregnant in the comfort of your own home. People will judge you a lot, but they will also forgive a lot. It’s really interesting to navigate through this new circumstance, but I find it mostly hysterical and exciting. And all of this is just the journey 🙂
P.S. Here are some pix of Mav’s second visit to the dentist a few days ago. He had a great time, but Summerly wasn’t too happy even though the visit wasn’t for her. We shall see what happens when it’s her turn in a couple weeks. Wish us luck!