Not a Cork nor Corn, So There’s No Popping Happening Here

22 Feb

I’ve changed my official story about the worst part of pregnancy. Yes, those first few weeks of nausea and exhaustion- tiredness all the way down to the bone- are not pretty. They’re certainly not my favorite part. But now I proclaim that this is the absolute worst part. The desperate waiting at the end.

If I were one of those lucky women whose babies come out at 38 weeks, then I’d go back to believing the beginning is the worst. But I’m not, obviously. I’m a traumatized pregnant lady whose first child came out two weeks “late.” I’m a recovering control freak who is trying to shut up that annoying voice in my head that tells me every day that I’m not in labor must be because I’m doing something wrong, or not doing it right, or not doing enough. It must be my fault, even though technically there’s nothing “wrong” even happening!

Granted, I know I can’t control this. And I know better than to buy into this whole early/late thing with babies. I know that a due date is a general estimation. Only 5% of babies make their appearance on their due date. Anywhere from 2 weeks before to 2 weeks after the due date is officially in the normal range. That’s right, a whole month of possibilities for a full-term baby to appear. It’s quite a range, and yet not something we talk about as normal. So knowing that it’s normal doesn’t make it feel normal when you come from a culture where being late is practically a sin. It’s been sad to realize that here in Mexico, where being late is a norm, for some reason this acceptance doesn’t apply to babes in utero.

On top of that, my belly expands into the enormous range from pretty early on in pregnancy. Even though my weight gain is in the normal range, my belly appears to be excessively large to many people (yep, me included). Thus I get comments about twins and other multiples, and people start acting like my due date is somewhere around seven months along. So by the time I actually reach 40 weeks people have been expecting my baby for ages already. Not helpful.

38 week belly, back when I was still feeling hopeful!

38 week belly, back when I was still feeling hopeful! I’ll be 40 weeks tomorrow….. 

Photo on 2-12-15 at 9.17 AM #3

Lucia and I on loaner exercise balls!

Plus there’s the completely uncomfortable, your-body-is-taken-over-by-this-supposedly-human-creature factor going that effectively prevents me from thinking about anything beyond pregnancy and birth at this stage. Let me give you an idea about this stage. One of my fingers is constantly numb from some nerve the baby’s pressing on. I pee like every half hour. I walk like a duck. It takes 3 minutes to roll over or get out of bed or the car. I’m hungry every two hours, and I mostly want things I didn’t even like before pregnancy, like chocolate and red meat. I’m in 90 degree heat with 100 kajillion percent humidity with a lead basketball strapped to my belly, so I sweat from sunup to sundown and every moment in between. And I can’t even change clothes after all my 18 showers a day because there are only about 5 outfits that still fit me. In other words, every aspect of my being is used and consumed by this little creature that, despite all this, I’m dying to meet.

So here’s a little public service announcement: Don’t say any of the following to super pregnant women unless you want to get punched in the face (or watch her in tears, or some other not pleasant reaction- you never know what a ragingly pregnant woman will do!).

1) “You’re having twins, right?” or “How many babies are in there?” or “Wow, you’re huge!”

The thing about this is that nobody likes comments about the size of their body, ever really. Pregnancy is no different, except you have raging hormones that make it even more offensive. I have seen people give pregnant women a hard time for having too small of a belly, too. Geez! Just lay off.

2) “You still haven’t had that baby?” or “When is that baby going to come out?”

Dude, if you are looking at me and I still have the lead basketball strapped to my belly, I am indeed still pregnant! You don’t need to ask. And unless someone is having a planned C-section, they don’t get to know when the baby is going to come out, so it’s just annoying to be expected to know the unknowable.

3) “That baby just doesn’t want to come out.” or “That baby might never come out, huh?”

This is already the worst nightmare for many pregnant women- that we’ll just keep being pregnant forever. Don’t contribute to it! 

There are lots and lots of other things you shouldn’t say to pregnant women, but this is my short list for the third trimester, or the “about to pop” phase. This “about to pop” thing goes with taboo # 1, especially when you don’t know how far along someone is, and when you have no idea how desperate they are to freaking “pop” already. Right as I was telling Conan that I was really glad the whole about-to-pop comment doesn’t get said here, or doesn’t translate well, or for whatever wonderous reason that I could appreciate this cultural difference, an old lady came along and ruined it for me. “Se va a reventar el volcan” she told me, “the volcano’s going to explode”. I don’t know if this is due to globalization or if it’s just part of the universal plot to drive pregnant women crazy, but either way it’s ugly. 

3 Responses to “Not a Cork nor Corn, So There’s No Popping Happening Here”

  1. blueskywoman February 23, 2015 at 6:28 am #

    This may have been written in desperation…but it is also wickedly funny. You have a very keen wit, my dear, even sweating buckets and wanting to poke people’s eyes out for asking if you’ve popped yet (yeah…I’d think that’s kind of annoying too!). People are always going to talk-learning to tune them out is HARD! Perhaps a deadly smile and a “really, mind yer own damned beeswax” (in English!) would help reduce the urge towards violence? 😀

    Good luck with your new addition(s)…whenever he/she/they/whatever…arrive!

    (Kidding. I’m kidding. You can hit me later!)


    • exiletomexico February 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

      Yeah, you’re pretty funny yourself… Intentions matter, too…

      • blueskywoman February 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

        Sending whammies that your baby comes soon, now that your mama is there with you…



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