On Tuesday, I was at Target scrambling to buy last minute birthday supplies for Vince. During check-out, I happened to glance at the woman standing behind me. I noticed she was pregnant and I noticed she was only buying one thing……….. Raspberry Leaf Tea! I instantly knew what for. There is a theory floating around that this type of tea induces labor. I debated whether or not to say anything, but who was I fooling, I ALWAYS say something. I gave her a little, “Yeah, I tried that too” statement along with a grin. She giggled and said, “Really?”. She followed it up by saying, “I’m scheduled but I just want to go by myself”. I knew exactly what she was taking about. I was actually just in her situation seven months ago. Without her having to say the words late or induction, I just knew that this woman was on a mission to get her little baby into the world. And like many others who have gone before her, she thought she could control it. It made me think of other things that only a woman who has been there once (or twice, or THREE times) would understand.
1. How foolish someone sounds when they tell you they are going to eat “healthy” when they get pregnant – Christine and I eat leafy greens and things like quinoa and hummus on a daily basis. I think during one of my pregnancies I ate turkey dinners, pancakes and pot roast for lunch. Christine would drive to Wendy’s before it opened and ask for a cheeseburger and fries. She would call me and tell me about it and I would instantly feel horrified and sick to my stomach. Her stomach, however, felt fine.
2. Forget “Fourth Meal” by Taco Bell. Pregnancy produces something called “Second Breakfast” – Not sure what that was all about but during pregnancy you need to eat immediately upon waking. This can be at 5:30 or 6:00am some days. No pregnant woman can make it longer than two hours before having to eat again. I swear I ate more calories by noon than most of the “regular” population would eat all day.
3. The “Birth Plan” is anything but a Plan – I’m convinced that more you plan, the more things go wrong. How on earth can you plan for something you have absolutely no control over? No Doctor or Nurse out there really thinks your plan is going to work.
4. How the words “No baby yet?” can make you feel homicidal – Passing your due date is one thing, having the whole world remind you of it is another thing. Real friends stay out of the way………… and off the phone.
5. Only .00000001% of the population is really suited for natural childbirth – Believe me, I was tricked too. My first pregnancy I casually mentioned to my Midwife that I had recently run a marathon. She jumped up and said, “Oh my God, if you can run a marathon, you can most certainly have natural childbirth!”. So, how was I to know? I never tried before. Um, No! I would run four marathons before attempting natural childbirth ever again.
6. How cellulite shows up on every surface of your body – Luckily, I didn’t have a lot of cellulite before pregnancy. However, it was so bad in pregnancy I actually looked it up on the internet. My legs, thighs and arms were riddled with it. Not one ounce of muscle is retained during pregnancy. Unless you are Giselle Bundchen, everyone’s body composition reverts to mush. Christine would lift weights during her pregnancy. How silly.
7. Flip flops don’t just mean it’s hot outside – We all know you are wearing them because your feet don’t fit in anything else.
8. Forget about giving up your seat on the subway – If you see a pregnant woman standing in line waiting to use the restroom you should move out the way immediately. A mere sneeze or giggle can be problematic.
9. Cutting your hair during pregnancy is just an all around bad idea – Christine wanted a change. I’m not sure what possessed her to cut her hair off 9 months pregnant? Someone actually told her that she resembled her husband’s Portuguese aunts.
10. The best gift someone can give you after the baby comes is telling you that no Thank You card is required. Vaughn would harass me about Thank You cards after Nicholas arrived. I remember wanting to scream at him. When would you like me write them dear? Between feedings, diapers changes or my thirty minute naps?