My Belly Made Me Do It

by Lindsey Barnes
Originally Published: 

Pregnancy affects you in many more ways than a simple census declaration adjustment. Pregnancy makes you glow, it makes you feel fat, it makes you look fat, it makes you not sleep, it makes you want to beat the shit out of random people you don’t know just because they decided to hand a kid a semi-automatic weapon. Oh, and it makes you do some questionable things too. These are the top ways pregnancy messes with you and your otherwise calm, rational way of life…

1. Makes you paranoid: Pregnancy makes you do and feel stuff you wouldn’t otherwise, and rather than having a balanced mental state to work your way through it, you have raging hormones. Is Pregnancy Paranoia even a thing? Because if science hasn’t studied it yet, it should… well, I mean, after they have cured all forms of cancer, AIDS, Ebola and ALS, all birth defects and disabilities and figured out the whole genetically modified food thing.

2. Makes you cry: Don’t get me wrong, even in my non-pregnant state I am typically only one video of a reunited military family away from tears. Old people are my universal weakness, and don’t even get me started on those Sarah McLaughlin dog commercials. And this is when I am not pregnant. These days I only need a semi-decent reason to cry… which is where Showtime comes in.

3. Makes you eat: I was psyched when I realized I would’t be pregnant over Halloween again… but you know what? Easter is just as bad, possibly worse. It’s either down in one bite or throw part of it away… and I don’t throw away part of anything chocolate. The same thing could be said about jellybeans.

And what’s with food commercials after 8PM? Nobody actively makes their supermarket shopping list at that hour. Therefore I can only assume that food commercials, whether for some drippy caramel gelato or Doritos are for the sole purpose of making me feel like I need to eat something. I do recognize that these commercials don’t actually make me hungry, but does it matter if the end result is me hoisting myself off the couch to go and find the item most similar to the offerings on TV in my pantry? Yes advertising executives, it’s not like I rush out to go and buy your advertised items. I just make do with whatever I have in my house that is either sweet or savory, depending on which commercial has resonated that hour. It’s dangerous, and I fear I may be only able to watch DVR’d or Netflix shows for the rest of my pregnancy lest I fall victim to these ads every night and gain the 65 additional pounds I am bound to gain if I continue to eat every time I get tempted.

4. Makes you angry: While pregnancy paranoia may yet to be fully documented, pregnancy rage is alive and well and widely acknowledged. All of a sudden, in spite of our best efforts to not let her have any irritating toys, every toy my daughter owns has instantly become the most ridiculously annoying toy on the planet. Every musical toy has a different tune, a fact which is quite irksome on its own, and they go off and on at random times of the day (and night). Some bother me more than others. Pretty much all of the ones that have voices, electronically cheerful and overly pleasant voices, are the ones I want to bag up and remove from the house as she sleeps peacefully in the other room. Their faux happiness as they teach my daughter classical music and rhythm in Spanish is grating.

5. Makes you scared: Is that pink juice running out of my burger or is it red? Should there be juice at all? Will that crazy person walking down the street take a random swing at my protruding belly and where is my center of gravity if I need to dodge her? How much tuna does my bagel place put on a bagel? Seems like more than the weekly allowance of 6 ounces, but I’m too hungry to only eat half. Does carbonara sauce have raw egg in it? How was I supposed to know that? And what does it mean for my poor unborn child if I’m carrying the Streb B bacteria? Not to mention the laundry list of other things we worry about while pregnant: will she be healthy, will he come early, will I ever feel ready? While I spend plenty of time in angry-land, my mood definitely swings to scared shitless a lot of the time too, and there’s not much to get me out of it.

Note to myself and anyone else reading this: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT look things up on the internet unless you want to live in a permanent state of panic.

6. Makes you feel crazy: This one has two culprits, the actual pregnancy (and the hormones that accompany it) and the annoying people around us who choose to blame any spike in temper or annoyance on our hormones. You know what, annoying people? Maybe you’re just annoying… did you ever consider that? Sure, maybe I have stuff going on inside that makes me want to scream at anyone that steps out of line (*again, my sincerest apologies to the very old man driving the silver Nissan on the highway for that outburst), but just because I can’t always control my mood doesn’t mean you aren’t also being a jerk (he was driving in the middle of two lanes and I didn’t realize he was a frail, tiny old man until after I honked and tried to pass while mouthing mean things to him).

I was susceptible to this crazy thing prior to pregnancy as I was a regular attendee of therapy. For those of you who familiar with therapy, seeking help to sort through what goes on in your head is possibly one of the sanest things a person can do. For those of you not familiar with therapy, using the knowledge that someone else is in therapy as an excuse for their “crazy” behavior is a trigger to said crazy behavior. Please don’t go there. Similarly, when you’re being an asshole and blame me and my hormones for a situation escalating, I currently lack the ability to laugh that off (as I did the therapy mistake) and it just makes me even crazier. Self fulfilling prophecy or goading? You be the judge.

7. Makes you into a bit of an animal: Yes, I’m standing on the street aggressively scratching my mid-section. It itches. And yes I am sweating uncontrollably in an air-conditioned room. Oh, and did I just belch audibly in line at the supermarket? Yes I did. Apologies to the people around me, but I really didn’t know it was coming until it was out. Just be glad it relieved my nausea for now. And be glad it came out of that end… not that there was another option, as there’s nothing going on at the other end at the moment anyway. And for some reason I think it’s ok to discuss all this with anyone and everyone? I am an animal.

8. Makes you feel bad: Oh, and one other thing… people need to stop looking so apologetic about the fact that I can’t drink. I can’t. That’s true, and that’s ok. It’s only nine months and to be honest, I can sip on some wine once in a while if I really want to. Don’t look at me like you’ve just asked a nun her favorite sex position. I know alcohol. I have enjoyed it. I will enjoy it again. Not drinking is not the end of the world. The end of the world is the patronizing look of someone acting like you are learning to live without water. It’s the faux horror as they attempt to imagine what you are going through accompanied by apologies. Save it. The drink, I mean. I’ll have it in a few months… more than one probably. I’m not gonna lie, a summer without cocktails wasn’t easy, but I will be ok.

Which reminds me, despite all this, I will be ok. We all will. Thank goodness for that.

Related post: 10 Things You Can’t Do In Public While Pregnant (But Totally Want To)

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