07 March 2011

Reflections from the First Trimester

Have you ever in your life been pregnant?  For the last 16 weeks, I have. First time. It's been eye-opening << and let's not forget waist-disappearing, chest enhancing, and physically exhausting >> in a LOT of ways.  Some comments I've heard run the gamut from funny and sweet to downright offensive. I've noticed that for the folks who are aware of the source of my shape-change, they treat me differently.  Also, being a pregnant professional has its challenges, too.

My greatest badge of honor related to this new life I'm growing has to do with my mom and her reaction when she heard the news. Everyone needs to know my mother. She's an angel, and I don't know anyone who can out-talk her. I've known her to be speechless no more than 3 times in my life as her offspring. All 3 of those instances were at the provocation of my two older sisters << they got into all the trouble in high school and college >>. One instance had to do with an April Fools joke that included a pink slip indicating my middle sister had been suspended from school. Another instance had to do with my older sister confessing to 2 tattoos << tutu... Humor me. After all those to's, I wanted to continue the fun >> while Mom was driving on a windy road on the side of a mountain.

I *finally* had my moment of glory.

Words that came out of my mouth provoked NO WORDS to come out of my mother's mouth, for a full 8 seconds.  It took her that long to compose herself!

I've never been more proud.  My mom ALWAYS has something to say.  It was a glorious crowning achievement as both a daughter and sister. I feel like I've finally joined the club with my older sisters of shocking the words out of my mother's mouth and mind. If you know her or have met her, even once, you know what I'm talking about.

Okay, so let's shift gears and break down some of the comments I've received.

"You looked like you were putting on weight!" 

Wow. Thanks.  Honestly, is that ever a helpful thing to say to a woman? Isn't this the one time that we should be celebrating weight gain?  I know our culture and the media pushes us all to expect women to look like air-brushed Barbies << I'm guilty of it too! >>... but REALLY?  There's a bun in the oven. A baby on board. My body's been hijacked. I'm creating new life every second of my life these days. CAN'T WE CELEBRATE THAT? Didja have to go and state the obvious?

With 2 cookies in hand after lunch, an observer says,
"I guess you better keep it up, now that you're eating for two!"

Really?  Eating for two, huh?  For the record, my total needed caloric intake has increased a whole 200 calories per day, since the 2nd person for which I'm eating is currently the size of a naval orange.  And loooong before I was pregnant I was enjoying 2 after-meal cookies. This is not new. Stop paying such close attention to what I'm eating. K'thanks.

Let's move on to the lovelier side: The attention.

For the first time in my life, I get this sweet little flutter feeling in my tummy << not the baby wiggling around just yet- it's still too early to feel that >> when people ask me, "How are you?"  They really, legitimately, sincerely want to know.  Years ago when I was a jaded, artsy, outcast teenager, I really struggled with people always asking how you are without ever really listening to the answer. As a more well-adjusted young adult << my own assessment >>, I'm only remotely annoyed by the question.  Now, I am shocked and surprised by the sincerity of the question that is coupled with the genuine listening ears that pop out just as my tummy is starting to pop too.

"What are you craving?" is a fun question.  My answer will vary depending on the day, but typically it's citrus fruit. Others that have made the list include pizza and ranch dressing, neither of which were legitimate emergencies. I'm certain those will come.  The hubs is learning quickly to check his vmail before driving home from, well, anywhere.

Finally, let's wrap up with what not to do when you know a pregnant woman.

If she's your colleague, do not put her on the spot to announce her big news in a meeting. It's her news to share. Announcing a pregnancy within a work context is not an appropriate agenda item.  It's not your news to make her announce. Especially if anyone in said meeting does not know the mommy-to-be.  << yup, you guessed it: this happened to yours truly... at least one person in attendance deserved to hear the news from me directly, and this particular situation knocked that train right off its tracks >> Kthanks.

And do not, under any circumstances, reach out and rub the belly of a woman you do not know. If we're friends, family, or colleagues, by all means, help me socialize my baby before he or she makes their debut. But if I don't know you and you rub my belly, I might just rub yours back. I'll probably take some extra pleasure if your beer belly is bigger than my baby belly, too. I'm just sayin'.

Advice. If you have advice to share, by all means << who am I kidding, you're going to give it regardless of my desire to have it or not >>, share.  Just know that I'm listening with a grain of salt. 


  1. Sis, what a pleasure to read! Went through every word, top to bottom, laughed and remembered my first-trimester fun. No advice to give in this public place, anyway! Anyway, you've clearly got it all under control.
    xoxoxoxo Lynnea

  2. I love this! Keep writing! xoxoxoxoxo Liz