I am a mom. I have a 13 month-old little man, Colt. And he is awesome. Well, he can’t walk yet, but he can unlock my iPhone, which is awesome.
My friend Jennie says you’re either a baby person or a kid person. I am not a baby person. My pregnancy was great, don’t get me wrong. The birth? Easy as pie. But I like the fact that I can put him in time-out now.
In rummaging through my computer hoard (this is a real, diagnosable affliction), I found a post I’d written to myself. I suppose I wrote it and kept it, as some sort of subconscious reminder that I. do. not. want. to. do. this. again. anytime. soon.
I’m pregnant. Twenty weeks humongous and half-way done. I feel proud to have gotten this far, not because I’ve survived five months of this supposedly excruciating process (I mean it’s no keg party, but it’s not nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be) but because I’ve survived five months of torment by every other woman who has ever had a baby. The worldly woman who seeks to deliver her wisdom to me, the young defenseless lioness. She can smell my growing uterus a mile away. She comes on friendly, oohing and ahhing over me. And then the conversation turns to labor and delivery? hemorrhoids? weight loss? The maternal trifecta.
Being pregnant is weird enough as it is. Your boobs start to resemble cow udders. Your belly button looks like someone’s face smooshed up against a car window. You can’t see your crotch, and the first time you sneeze and pee yourself, it’s really disconcerting. The last thing you need is someone reminding you that it’s only a matter of time before there’s a cluster of grapes hanging outside your butt hole.
I used to come home and share these horror stories with my husband over dinner. “So today this lady told me about this hemorrhoid that she got from giving birth that was bigger than her thumb and she had to have it lanced off with a knife.” I looked up at him, tears in my eyes, hoping for a two-part response to quell my fears. Something like “Honey, that’s ridiculous. That’s not going to happen to you, and even if it did I would still think you were the most beautiful woman in the world.”
Instead he looked down at the steak on his fork, chuckled and started wagging it around. I guess the meat dangling off the fork was supposed to represent the hemorrhoid. Funny.
Today at work the Korean janitor stopped me in the hall …”You pregnan?” (Yes, I said smiling. Scared.) “I haf son. He 16-year ole now. I in laba for forte (40) howas wif him. He ten pouns. I almos die.” Brief pause…. “You pray erey day, you not die and baby OK.”
It never fails to amaze me the willingness that women have to scare the shit out of one another.
Same goes for weight loss. A woman from our church asked me if I was having twins. Another asked if I was going to have a C-section because it was GOING TO BE A BIG BABY. And countless others have informed me that the ONLY way to lose weight after birth is to breast-feed until the child is 10.
More than anything I’m writing this post to remind myself NOT to share my horror stories (should I in fact get the meat dangle) with other young, impressionable women. Lie to them. Tell them how beautiful and thin they look. Tell them that birth was a breeze and that the weight just FELL OFF. Tell them what they want to hear. They don’t want to hear anything else.