Month 11: Pregnancy Recap

In honor of my newly pregnant friends (Shout out to L.!) I’m recapping the first nine months of my blog. Ah, pregnancy. What a magical time. Er, yeah, anyway ...

Even if you’re in your 30s, you can get knocked up on the first try. During the early stage, before the rest of the world knows you’re pregnant and thinks you’re just getting chubby, you may have the urge to exercise. Or you may develop an intimate relationship with your couch and TV remote. Either way, parts of you are going to get big. Just accept it.

At some point, you are going to have to tell people -- maybe sooner than you’d planned. But when you’re ready to, spreading the news is one of the best parts of pregnancy. And you have your first doctor’s appointment to look forward to. If you’re lucky, they’ll give you some snapshots of your little bean … er, baby. (Just take the doctor’s word for it, OK? It will start to look human eventually.)

Picking out baby names is fun (or sometimes, stressful, if your whole family decides to “help”) but picking out maternity clothes can be depressing (or occasionally, hilarious, like when you strap on that fake “belly” in the dressing room). You may find yourself becoming obsessed over the dumbest things.

About halfway through -- that’s about 20 weeks for you pregnancy math newbies -- you can choose to find out the sex of your baby if you want to. We didn’t. (In retrospect, though, my vibe was right on. People said sweet cravings mean it’s a girl and salty and sour cravings mean a boy. I blame my son for those lemonade and sour cream and onion Pringles binges!)

Random strangers may give you all sorts of unsolicited comments and try to rub your belly like it’s a brass statue of Buddha. Let them or kick them in the shins, your choice. (You’re pregnant, so you get to do whatever the hell you want!) You may become overwhelmed by the terrifying amount of crap you must buy to prepare for your baby. If you have pets, you may start worrying that they will be jealous of the new baby. (They will.)

To pass the time -- 40 weeks starts to feel like FOREVER -- you might try prenatal yoga, take weird birthing classes, consider hiring a doula, take up knitting or sewing or other hobbies usually associated with retirees, or read a lot of books.

Don’t get too invested in your due date, because it usually means jack. You may go past it, and then everyone and their neighbor will ask you the most annoying and ridiculously obvious question: “Haven’t you had that baby yet?” You might even try all sorts of crazy stunts to bring on labor. Do yourself a favor and skip the castor oil.

Then, at long last, one way or another, you will give birth to your baby. And everything -- the past nine months, the morning sickness, the stretch marks, the tent-like outfits, the contractions, the, uh, more unpleasant stuff -- will have all been worth it.

TIP O' THE WEEK: Even if you feel like a hideous wretch, take pictures of your pregnant self from time to time. You'll look back at them later and be glad you did.

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