Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nope. Still No Pregnancy Superpowers.

Yesterday I signed out yet another book that tries to tell you what's going on with the baby on a week-by-week basis, but it didn't give me the information I wanted. What I really want to know is at what stage the superpowers kick in. Surely I should get some superpowers out of this whole pregnancy deal, even if it's just an extra strong sense of smell or fingernails that could cut glass. In actuality, much of the time so far (at 22 weeks), I just don't feel all that different. Most of the time I'm perfectly content with this (even though it makes for boring conversation when people ask "How are you feeeelinnnng?").

Anyone know when I should expect the superpowers to kick in?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Please don't use the f-word around a pregnant woman!

Yesterday someone pointed out to me that I was starting to look "fat." Naturally, I gave the person some crap for the choice of words. After all, at 20 weeks of pregnancy, I've only gained about 7 pounds; if I were on a TV show, I could probably still pass for un-pregnant at many angles; I'm even still wearing a lot of my normal clothes!

If I were still teaching ESL, I can imagine that right about now I would be conducting a lesson on "things not to say to a woman who is 20 weeks pregnant." And the very first thing on that list would be "Don't tell her, 'Hey, you look fat!' " (Or, if you do tell her that, prepare for there to be consequences. )

Of course, it's not all that helpful to tell already-reticent students what not to say without also giving them some alternative language to use. I told my friend that I wouldn't mind being told that I look "pregnant" rather than "fat." (There IS a difference!) When people mention that they can see my "bump" or my "baby bump" I don't particularly mind. It probably wouldn't bother me if someone said, "Hey, it looks like the baby has had a growth spurt!" Or, "wow, you're showing more than before!"

I think a big part of why I've been glad that my weight gain has been relatively minor so far is that I really hate it when people think that other people's body weight should be a topic of conversation. I feel this way even about conversations about weight loss. In a different phase of my life, people have sometimes insisted that I've lost weight when I haven't--I've just followed the advice of the What Not to Wear folks and put on an outfit that wasn't outrageously unflattering. "
Them: You've lost SO MUCH weight!
Me: No, actually my weight has been exactly the same for the past three years. It's probably the clothes.
Them: No, you're wrong! You've lost weight!
Me: (tries to think of way to change topic)

I realize that I won't be having that sort of conversation again in the near future, and that the comments on my body are just starting. I should probably develop a thick skin towards these things, but I did want to put a warning out there to the world about certain unwelcome words.