As my good friend's due date has come and gone and she still remains pregnant, I can't help but sympathize. You reach a point in pregnancy, usually weeks before your due date, when people start asking in sarcastically accusing tones why you haven't "popped" that baby out yet. As if the achy back, swollen feet, and sore ribs (among many, many other things) aren't reminders enough, these remarks are like extra jabs to the uterus, tearing away at the little energy that remains to help you endure to and through labor and delivery. Many women find they do not even want to leave their house those last weeks for fear they will not be able to control their reactions to unsuspecting offenders. There are times I wish I could literally set up a soap box and preach it to the uninformed! But lets be realistic, I'd probably be interrupted by every other person asking my due date, not to mention the 15+ bathrooms breaks I'd undoubtedly have to take. So for now a little blog of harmless venting will simply have to do.
As surprising as it may be, not all pregnant women want to discuss their pregnancy at every given moment. And no pregnant woman needs the friendly reminder that her body is expanding in seemingly unnatural proportions as each day goes by. It's not that every pregnant woman is constantly grumpy and sensitive, but I wish people would keep in mind, especially as women reach their third trimesters, that they are probably asked the same questions you may want to ask, 8-12 times a day. And though we may love to discuss our pregnancies and children with friends, family, and maybe even while waiting in long lines, sometimes we just want to make it through a grocery list without having to discuss our bodies and their functions with every passing Joe. If anything, may I suggest waiting until she brings it up before unloading questions like a gatling gun.
Now even though I may not always like it, the adoring stares are one thing I can bring myself to understand. For all the havoc pregnancy wreaks on the mind and body, my pregnant belly is the one thing I absolutely love. For nine months my dance instructor's voice in my head screaming at me to suck in my gut finally shuts up, and I am free to enjoy the roundness far more than I have ever enjoyed my flat stomach of old. Sure it gets in the way, makes putting on shoes a chore, and bathroom stall doors become death traps, but I love it all the same. Probably has something to do with its function of housing my unborn child. With all the frustrations that come with giving up your body to host and grow another, its helpful to be reminded the purpose behind them. Each turn, flip, and kick, although may send you running to the restroom, are priceless reminders of a life that has already transformed yours forever. So when unknowing dunces refer to my child-bearing abdomen as a "balloon ready to pop" or a "beach ball" or anything else that is round but otherwise has no true reference to my womb, I prefer they keep their comments to themselves. And for goodness sake, keep your hands off unless I offer you a feel!