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THIRTY-SIX THINGS YOU LEARN BEING PREGNANT
by Liane Kupferberg Carter

1. Your normally sane husband needs to look down your throat and say things like, "hello in there."

2. Friends with children smugly greet your confessions of ambivalence with "what do you mean you're worried about the change in your life-style? What makes you think you'll have a life?"

3. You have an excuse not to eat sushi.

4. Men don't give up seats on trains, buses or subways. Women do.

5. Your husband fusses if you so much as sneeze, and will say clever things like, "Stop it. You're cutting off the baby's oxygen."

6. You squirm through the screening of
Aliens III.

7. Strange women accost you with the intimate, horrific details of their 43-hour labors. All conclude with, "So then I said, give me the knife, I'll do the operation myself."

8. At cocktail parties, people no longer ask what you do; they ask what your husband does.

9. You develop a taste for clothes with floppy eared bunnies on them.

10. Your husband puts aside
Barron's to read Goodnight Moon out loud to your belly.

11. People on buses expect you to get up and give your seat to a blind man. Which you do.

12. People ask if you will have amnio, then why. People ask if you want to know the baby's sex, then ask why not.

13. The ultrasound reveals your child looks like a herring. Or Jimmy Durante.

14. The toilet training travails of your friends fascinate you.

15. Although you wear a size seven shoe, a size eight is so comfortable that you buy the nine.

16. You have become a religious totem. Total strangers touch your belly.

17. Your husband develops the insatiable urge to buy high-priced electronic gadgets.

18. You debate the merits of Super Pampers with the same friend with whom you used to discuss Proust.

19. Your doctor informs you in your eighth month that she is taking a two-week vacation that starts a week before your due date.

20. Your usually calm husband prepares labor contingency plans involving beepers, cellular phones and highway detours that would challenge a SWAT team.

21. You learn that Bellini is:

a. A champagne and peach cocktail
b. A Russian dish served with caviar and sour cream
c. An upscale line of baby furniture.

22.Your father thinks it's the height of hilarity to ask repeatedly, "You're sure it's not twins?"

23. Everyone tells you you're carrying a girl.

24. Everyone tells you you're carrying a boy.

25. You weep whenever you see a picture of a newborn.

26. You weep whenever you see a picture of you in a bathing suit before you got pregnant.

27. You weep for the fun of it.

28. Men in pin-striped suits (still) shove you aside in the rain to get a taxi.

29. You study such tabloid headlines as
"Doctor Delivers 600-Year-Old Fetus."

30. Forget reading
The Firm; your attention span has shrunk to the length of the average television commercial.

31. Chocolate milk.

32. Chocolate shakes.

33. Chocolate ice cream.

34. Effleurage is not a type of floral douche.

35. Your husband gleefully reveals to your childbirth class that the first thing you plan to do when you go into labor is to shave your legs.

36. Sex is like riding a bicycle. It doesn't matter how long it's been, it comes back to you.

©1999 Liane Kupferberg Carter
Originally in Glamour magazine
Used with permission of the author


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