I’m not sure what it is about babies or pregnancy that makes people stupid AF, but there’s something. And before I even get into this post, let it be known that I, too, have been one of these ignorant, blithering idiots. So much so that I’ve already said to my previously pregnant friends that I am sorry for being such a dipshit, I didn’t get it. But now I do. So let me try and educate you, lest you’re an unknowing dipshit too.
I didn’t go out much while pregnant so I was shielded from most of it, except right at the end when I got past 30 weeks, got cocky and ignored my doctor’s orders of bed rest. Then I’d get into the elevator at a mall somewhere and I’d have people say some of the following stupid things:
1. Wow, you’re so huge!
What is a person meant to say to this, please? “Erm, thanks?”, “Oh, really? I hadn’t noticed.”, “Die in a fire” all come to mind. Instead, the stupidly polite person I am would blush, look down at my feet and mumble something about being pregnant and growing beautiful life inside, butterflies in spring, angels singing, et cetera, et cetera.
2. Have you just enjoyed every second of pregnancy? You’re carrying a miracle, you know.
Well, to be honest, no, not every second. I mean, I did have a pregnancy where if I stood up I would literally have contractions. I also developed gestational diabetes which meant no carbs or sugar FOR NINE FUCKING MONTHS, I shook all the time and if my glucose levels got too low (which was ALL THE TIME) I’d feel dizzy and weak. Then, there’s the pre eclampsia where I had super high blood pressure on top of the gestational diabetes which meant hot flushes and lots of heart palpitations on top of shaking and feeling dizzy. Pregnancy was grand, you guys.
3. Are you going to breastfeed / formula feed / pray to Allah / use cloth nappies?
No matter what the actual cause is, people feel that they have a very definite say what you should do with not only yours, but your baby’s, body. And then they get very righteous and/or indignant if you confess to not doing it/believing it/consuming it. And if they’re not indignant, they’re preachy. I’m not sure what’s worse.
4. What’s wrong with your baby – he xyz too much / too little / too fast / too slow?
There is nothing wrong with him, jeez. And you shouldn’t compare my baby to your baby – they’re all unique and have their own timing. Also, EADAD.
5. You’re a good mom and whatever, but let’s not talk about the baby ok?
Until a person has actually birthed a human being out of their body, or become a new parent via adoption, surrogate, whatever really – until you’ve been given a child to love and honour and cherish and raise and look out for, you will never understand the life changing thing this thing is. I want to talk about my baby all the time. When you’re telling me about life drama or gossip or insider info or news snippets, all I’m thinking about is my baby, tbh. I’m thinking about his dimples just under the corner of his eyes, or his cute little button nose, his gigantic ears that are way bigger than his face needs them to be, or how when he tries to giggle he sounds like a donkey.
I won’t always be this way. But right now I’m on maternity leave and my baby is my world. If you can’t appreciate my love for him, don’t visit or call for a while. Besides, he’s only 14 weeks old, he’s still a novelty. He won’t be forever, and I’ll go back to work soon and expand my world once more. Be patient, or don’t. But don’t say stupid shit to an oversensitive mommabear because I WILL CUT YOU.
6. You shouldn’t be so paranoid. You don’t need all those monitors – he won’t stop breathing, it’s instinct.
When I was still pregnant, we (read: me) decided that we (read: me) needed a few necessary props to monitor the baby to make sure he didn’t decide to stop breathing. And so we (read: me) settled on the following items to be acquired: Angelcare Baby Sound & Apnea Monitor, Snuza breathing monitor and the iBaby video monitor (which syncs to one’s cellphone – fancy!). My mom friends laughed and laughed and told me it was an overkill. And then when Aiden was born and people started visiting or saw us out and about with the Snuza, they would raise eyebrows and give a bit of side eye. Hell, even the non parents thought it was ridiculous. And it probably is, I suppose, except, none of them ever lost a kid like I did, so that shut them up quick and proper. I’m entitled to be paranoid for a while. It doesn’t mean I’m going to teach my child to be weak and needy and I’m sure once he’s old enough to protest about my paranoia I’ll back off quietly and hide in the shadows being the helicopter mom I am, but being sneaky where he can’t see me. Obvs.
Here are 5 things that I most love about my paranoia props:
- I can hear a little tick every time Aiden breathes. This reassures me no end and it only took us 4 days to stop checking in on his nursery every 20 minutes to make sure the monitor wasn’t lying – he really was still alive
- Having the monitor clipped to my cleavage allows for me to hear the sounds Aiden makes while he sleeps. This has become so helpful because I’ve started to tell how long I have left of his nap (to drink coffee, pretend to nap myself, sterilising bottles, painting nails, etc) by judging by what stage of sleep he’s in.
- The monitor picks up whether he’s groaning or crying and only allows me to hear the crying bits mostly – the sensitivity settings are so clever like that.
- Farting. For some reason, the monitor picks up on his farts, and I find this ridiculously funny. It’s my favourite thing and no matter where I am in the house when it happens, I collapse into giggles. Because, my gawd – my son can fart like a trooper.
I know that I’m a different person right now. I’ll repeat what I said above: I won’t always be this way. But right now I’m on maternity leave and my baby is my world. If you can’t appreciate my love for him, don’t visit or call for a while. Besides, he’s only 14 weeks old, he’s still a novelty. He won’t be forever, and I’ll go back to work soon and expand my world once more. Be patient, or don’t. But think twice before you comment about things that are actually none of your business. And if you feel it is your business (it probably still isn’t), try be tactful in how you say things. New moms are sensitive beings. They don’t need your second guessing, judgement, shade or side eyes. They need support and love and laughter and distraction on the days where the baby has been a horror.
And always, always remember: don’t say stupid shit to an oversensitive mommabear because THEY WILL CUT YOU*.
*Or write this passive aggressive blog post.