First time pregnant ladies are told a lot of stories. This is simply a proven fact. Stories of someone’s pregnancy, of their wife’s pregnancy, their friend’s pregnancy, their mother’s pregnancy. Most of the stories come with a heavy load of advice. Some simply come with a “you’re fucking screwed” chuckle.
Now, any pregnant woman would go insane if she fully concerned herself with everything that could possibly be taken from these stories - all the things that could go wrong or just go the way pregnancy goes - much less if she tried to follow all the unsolicited, and often conflicting, advice.
But, me being me, all throughout my first pregnancy there was also this little arrogant voice in my head that said, “Yeah, but THAT woman was a dumbass. I’m WAY smarter than she was.” Because, obviously, I’m smart. And spend far too many daytime hours reading pregnancy and health and science and baby and medical studies (all work-related if daytime hours happen to include work hours, of course.) So, it’s clear to me that I know more than the average preggo, and knowing more, am without a doubt treating myself and my parasite – er, fetus – better than all those “normal” women out there. Duh.
Interestingly, I haven’t gotten nearly as many of the un-requested stories or unwelcome advice this time around. I’d like to think people are keeping it to themselves because they know I’ve already been there, done that. More likely though, I’ve just gotten bitchier in the past three years. I’ve probably already forgotten that I ate an annoying storyteller or two and the rumor has gotten around. (I have the slightest touch of pregnancy brain – I walked two blocks past my bus stop the other day without ever wondering where I was going… So really, anything is possible.) Pregnancy brain and digested storytellers aside, it’s not like I don’t remember all the stories and advice from last time around. I do.
But dude, I’m SMART. Even smarter than last time. ‘Cause I HAVE been there, done that. And let’s face it, most of those jackasses were EXAGGERATING. Like…a lot. Scare tactics, you know. I'm almost positive I remember that.
But, while telling myself it wasn’t going to happen to me because I’m smart enough to….drink enough water/eat healthy/not gain too much/not gain too little/keep exercising/blah blah blah…I STILL freaked out about certain things. But it doesn't matte, because looking back, I clearly remember all those stories being way over the top. Swear to it. If everyone were perfect like me they’d be fine. Exaggerated. All of it. Not untrue, no. But definitely exaggerated.
Even my own stories.
See, I remember this ridiculously impossible story where I loudly cursed out my ever-loving Unsupportive Louse for his jackassishness of walking FAR too quickly up the GIGANTIC hill that was the grocery store parking lot.
This is a fantastically embellished tale. Must be. First of all, I don’t curse. Ever. Certainly not in public. Or loudly. And never at a loved one. Ever. Really. Just ask the Unsupportive Louse.
Secondly, and much more importantly, (and perhaps slightly more honestly) I’ve always walked fast. Significantly faster than my 6’5” tall husband. Enough so that sometimes he even whines about it. It would make no sense for me to have slowed down THAT much in just a few short months.
Third of all, after years of walking this same Meijer parking lot…there is no hill. At all. Maybe if you got down on your hands and knees and look at it straight on you could delude yourself into seeing a slight incline. Very slight.
So, as seems to be the case with all pregnancy stories, this one too, must be exaggerated.
Except…suddenly I’m no longer at the head of the crowd when walking away from the bus. And suddenly I’m noticing that a bit of a hill has developed on the way home. A hill I’m almost certain hasn’t been there for the past two years.
And now, I’m slightly terrified. Because maybe that story isn’t so exaggerated after all? And if it’s not…what about that whole labor thing...??
Do I really have to go through with this?