When you’re pregnant, there are the obvious rules to follow, like “stay away from sushi,” “don’t go skydiving,” and “ask your friends hosting the party which batch of brownies is safe for you to eat.” But there are also some other real-life things that no one tells you about that you can no longer do once you have a bun cooking in the oven.
Here are 9 real-life things you can’t do while pregnant:
1. Go to the bathroom. Like normal, that is. Want to know why pregnant women can get crazy? It’s beyond just hormones and discomfort. The icing on the big fat diaper cake is the shit show that is trying to pee. It’s not as simple as just pulling down your pants; it usually involves peeling away layers of maternity gear, a can of WD40, and a prayer. Ever try to make a bird’s nest with a watermelon strapped to your midsection in a 2×4 bathroom stall? And don’t even get me started on attempting to hover with all that extra weight, because talk about squats on steroids. And by the time you’ve made it out of there, guess what? Yep – it’s time to pee again.
2. Face any task head-on. You can no longer stand straight-on while doing many everyday tasks, like washing dishes at the sink, riding in a car, sitting in booths at restaurants, or sitting comfortably at your desk. You now have to turn your body sideways and strain your neck and arms to the front – which of course only adds to your new friend, back problems.
3. Punch your coworker. I don’t care how Zen you are; you will want to punch at least one coworker during your pregnancy. Being pregnant makes you public property, and for some odd reason makes people utter stupid, stupid shit to you regularly. This little gem was said to me while I was pregnant at the office: “Hey, did you know you waddle when you walk?” Restraining myself from leaping through the air and round-house kicking him with all my pregnant rage was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in my life. And it’s a shame, because considering the adrenaline fueling me, I think I could have executed that move perfectly. Sure, you can’t exactly assault a coworker when you’re not pregnant, either (thank you HR), but fighting the urge will be EXTRA hard for the nine months you are carrying. Because hormones.
4. Sleep comfortably. I’m a stomach sleeper. But between my growing bump and burgeoning lady humps, my usual sleeping position is now out of the question, and I am also constantly waking up to pee. So for the next few months it’s left-side attempts at catching some Z’s, with a pillow between my legs, and constantly swatting at my husband’s attempts to get within two feet of me.
5. Take a decent picture. You will look strange at every angle. Hand on hip? Nope, that doesn’t work. Sideways? No good. Front angle? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TURN BACK SIDEWAYS. Before getting pregnant I’d always see women in the same stance (sideways, one hand on top of belly and one hand below), and think, why do they all stand like that? And now I get it. Two reasons: 1) to lovingly cradle the life inside of you, and 2) because it’s the only position that doesn’t make you look like a different version of yourself. And by “different,” I mean like Charlize Theron looked “different” in Monster.
6. Purchase a normal-sized bra. Here’s a marketing challenge for Victoria’s Secret: Develop a bra for pregnant women. Preferably for a pair of knockers suffering from a possible identity crisis, with multiple settings for adjustment based on whatever mood they are in that day. Currently, the mood of my boobs is “pending explosion.” As in, one wrong move, and – POOF! – nipple shrapnel everywhere.
7. Drink. A cruel, cruel trick played on a woman when she could likely use a drink the most. My father, born and raised in Italy, encouraged me to enjoy half a glass of wine with dinner on a special occasion. (As he said to me, “Alessandra, do you think in Italy they stop drinking wine in moderation when they’re pregnant?”) I took his advice when we went out for my husband’s birthday dinner. I’ve never felt more awkward, or received a more confused look, than when I ordered a glass of Merlot and then asked the waiter if the cheese was pasteurized. “Because I’m pregnant.”
8. Avoid outbursts from “well-meaning” friends and acquaintances. Even if you’re shocked by the epic proportions to which my stomach has stretched, whatever happened to playing it cool? Especially when you’re in that phase where you’re not fully showing yet and people wonder if you are actually pregnant or just ate a large burrito for lunch. Best comment from an acquaintance: “OH, you’re pregnant? Oh, good! We were watching you with your little girl and wondering if it was that, or if you just hadn’t lost the baby weight yet.” Thanks, sweet cheeks. Because the latter would have made me feel fantastic.
9. Not be thankful. Beneath the comments, cravings, hormones, and toilet-stall navigating, you’d be hard-pressed to not be thankful for that little nugget whom you can’t wait to meet. She’s worth it, and then some, which is why you just might go back and do it again. (And again, and again.)
And at least when your doctor asks, “Are you keeping physically active during your pregnancy?” you can respond, “Yes. Via the urination workout.”
Related post: 10 Ways to Piss Off a Pregnant Woman