The American Medical Association needs to start defining pregnancy as a mental disorder. I had an epic pregnancy breakdown last week and I am just starting to recover. Obviously, I blame you for this meltdown. And when I say you, I mean the same women who offered up a barrage of suggestions when I got married. Those bitches are back and they have a lot to say about pregnancy. I was able to ward these shrews off for a while but I’ve just recently crossed the bridge from fat to pregnant and now literal strangers are on my jock. I get nonstop unsolicited advice from co-workers and transients at the grocery store. It’s literally terrible and it finally resulted in a full-blown panic attack. I tried to keep it together for a while but eventually it was more than I could take. Without access to birth control, alcohol or cigarettes, I have lost the ability to think rationally.
The suggestions started slow, and for a period of time I was able to respond reasonably and then move on with my day. In the beginning the comments I received from previously pregnant women were seemingly innocuous, but of course I found them to be wildly insulting. And, once again, I was faced with society’s desire to register for gifts — my worst nightmare.
Rich Coworker: Make sure you register for a gate.
Me: Excuse me?
RC: You don’t want your child falling down the stairs.
Me: Right, well I live in a tiny apartment with no staircases so I don’t see this posing as a problem.
RC: Oh. That’s nice. What about a rocking chair?
Me: Again, tiny apartment.
RC: Surely you have room for one more chair.
Me: Lady, I understand how chairs and space work and I have to imagine that my unborn child will be able to thrive without a chair created specifically for rocking. You do realize it’s an action we can all access at any time, right? A chair solely designed for this function isn’t the only way to rock something.
RC: Well I’m sure you’ll have a swing for her.
Me: Oh boy…
RC: I mean you’re going to need a place for the baby to go.
Me: What’s wrong with the floor? I mean I’m not a total barbarian, we’ll be buying a crib, obviously. But between the floor and the crib, it seems like I’m all set.
RC: Listen, I realize that having a child can be overwhelming. I mean…when my nanny had to quit last summer, I wasn’t sure how I’d survive.
Me: OMG. You’re not getting it.
RC: Have you hired a doula?
Me: STOP IT! I AM NOT A RICH PERSON! From what I understand, children have been able to survive in small spaces for millions of years and without hired help.
RC: No, of course ... Have you tried Target? They have really inexpensive rocking ch…
Me: I DON’T NEED A ROCKING CHAIR!!!!
But the damage had been done. I started to obsess about how I was clearly a terrible mother for not allowing my unborn child to be rocked. Surely she would turn out to be a drug addict because I didn’t have the room to appropriately rock her. I mean her odds aren’t great to begin with. Her dad’s an ex-junkie and her mom’s a drunken slut. It’s possible that my refusal to buy a rocking chair is the thing that’s going to send my daughter straight to skid row. At this point, I started throwing all of our furniture away to make room for a rocking chair. Unfortunately, Husband caught me in the act.
Husband: What are you doing?
Me: Just throwing away these dressers and bookcases.
Husband: Where are we going to put our clothes and books?
Me: We don’t need books. You have a kindle.
Husband: Not all books can go on a kindle.
Me: HOW DARE YOU TRY TO TELL ME HOW BOOKS WORK! I WENT TO COLLEGE!
Husband: Why are you crying?
Me: *Hysterically sobbing* Our daughter’s going to be a crackhead!
Husband: Honey, that doesn’t make any sense. Neither of us liked crack. I’m sure that’s gotta be a genetic thing. If anything, we should make sure she doesn’t like getting shots.
Me: BUT WE DON’T HAVE A ROCKING CHAIR AND SHE’S GOING TO KNOW THAT WE DON’T LOVE HER!
Husband: *Stunned silence*
Me: YOU HATE ME!
Husband: What is even happening right now?
Me: I’M TOO FAT TO BE LOVED!
Husband: You are great and reasonably sized.
Me: WE NEED TO BUY A HOUSE!
Husband: Oh boy…
Me: I CAN’T LIVE LIKE THIS!
Husband: Ok. Here’s what we’re going to do. You're going to take a nap and I will let you know when you can re-enter society.
I feel bad for Husband because he married me. On the days when Husband demands that I take a nap, I become convinced that my parents hired him to be my caretaker. Regardless, he is doing a great job. Thank God I’m having his child because if he ever tries to leave me I will have our daughter to use as leverage. Yesssss….
Sadly, the rocking chair was just the beginning. Recently, people have been asking if I can feel my baby moving.
Horrible Stranger: Have you felt her move yet?
HS: Really? My baby moved constantly.
Me: Cool story, bro.
HS: Maybe lay on your side and drink ice water.
Me: It’s just weird because I never asked you how you thought I could overcome this dilemma.
HS: Sometimes if you’re not super small to begin with, you’ll have a harder time feeling anything.
Me: Um…did you just call me fat?
HS: No! I was just saying that smaller people feel their babies.
Me: Do you happen to have a cigarette on you?
HS: *Blank stare. Slowly walks away*
After like the eighth person asked about baby movement, I became convinced that my baby was dead. I decided the best course of action would be to stay home from work, Google my symptoms, cry nonstop, download apps to try to hear my baby’s heartbeat, and have a pizza delivered every three hours. Husband was home from work on this particular day and remained nonplussed. He quietly worked while this tornado occurred around him. Of course my doctor was on vacation that week and eventually I had to be sedated. This was accomplished by eating nonstop carbs and crying hysterically. At around 5 pm, Husband rocked me to sleep and told me that I was emotionally unstable but that our baby was just fine. Usually his reasonableness makes me want to throttle him but on this particular day, I was grateful that my parents had hired him.
When I finally got to the doctor a week later and told her about my dead baby-meltdown, she laughed. That bitch laughed right in my face. I demanded to be medicated and she told me there was no need, “Oh please. When I was pregnant, I used to think my baby was dead like once a day! If it ever happens again, just come in and we’ll do a Doppler but your baby is just fine. There’s nothing to worry about.”
So apparently this is a thing? I’m not sure if it’s all pregnant women or just irrational pregnant women but terrifying things happen to me on a daily basis that I guess are just normal? I literally can’t even deal with this anymore. I’m totally sure that I’m too poor to be bringing a child into the world, I know literally nothing about what my body is doing or how I’m supposed to be feeling and once I got over the denial phase I jumped straight to the dead phase. I cry all the time and look more fat than pregnant and at the end of all of this, I’ll be faced with the task of raising a girl who as we all know, already doesn’t like me. I was sitting at work thinking about all this when all of a sudden I felt a flutter in my stomach. I knew immediately what it was — my daughter. She was frantically moving around to tell me that it was all going to be ok. And in that moment I touched my hand to my stomach and thought, “You fucking witch. You couldn’t have done this last week when I thought you were dead?!”
I don’t know a lot about pregnancy or babies but I can guarantee that the next thing I felt was not gas. It was my God damn kid laughing her ass off. Pregnancy is terrible. I can’t wait to meet this broad. We have a lot to discuss.