Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How Pregnancy Has Changed my Social Dynamic

When I first found out I was pregnant, I went through a lot of emotions all at once. I felt scared, terrified really, and surprisingly excited. I hadn't really realized it, but I really did want to be a Mom. Maybe not this year, but eventually, and after all the problems I had... some doctors told me it was PCOS, others just said I had cysts, I didn't know if I would be able to have a baby without intervention. So when I found out, I was relieved in many ways. I was also incredibly stressed.

It seems like from the beginning a switch went off inside my head. I stopped censoring myself when I spoke to people, let more of what I was actually thinking fly out of my mouth without even caring that I hadn't stopped it. Granted, it's not like I just walked up to people and started giving them a piece of my mind, I just didn't let people do or say shit to me that I didn't like.

Well, that hasn't gone away and quite frankly, I hope it doesn't. For my sake and my daughter's sake, I should stand up for myself and I should be capable of speaking my mind when the need arises, or I will be stepped on and she won't learn to be assertive. But this isn't the only thing that's changed for me socially. I find that as I grow, as my belly grows rather, people say the boldest things to me!

I've had some of the most offensive comments, I've had a lot of people who sort of skirt around it, so that they don't accidentally ask me if I'm pregnant on the slight chance that I may just have a beer gut, and I have had people down right tell me I'm huge. I've had more comments about my appearance than I ever got before with perhaps the exception of my wedding day and the time I was a runway hair model for Farouk Chi.

Today is a perfect example. My neighbor, bless her heart, is a very interesting woman. She doesn't seem to have a filter of any kind, and just says things that come to mind. She's into nature, think trees have spirits, and talks about them as "he's" and "she's." She does rain dances, and is incredibly friendly. I like her. I think she's neat. She makes me laugh and has always been sweet to me. Today she came to my door to check on me, since I had some guys putting my glass shower surround in. She says to me, "Wow, you are looking slim. It's all baby now," and adds "It's good because I was so used to seeing you all fit looking and then when you first were pregnant you kinda..." and she moves her hands out to demonstrate how I was looking wide or fat or whatever she meant by it, "but now you are all baby and the rest of your body has slimmed back out." I was stunned. I actually laughed out loud. I was both offended and felt complimented at the same time. And I realized that she meant it kindly, and she wasn't wrong, but I am so not used to being judged or looked at in a physical way (at least I'm not used to being aware of made aware of others' opinions) that it takes me by surprise every single time. I mean, I keep hearing how I was too skinny before I got pregnant by all these people, but no one ever said this to me when I was skinny. I'm like... so now it's ok to say it? I like how I looked before and I plan on going right back to it when I get this baby out of me.

But it's not just comments like those that are different. I'm also getting a lot of awesome perks with this belly. My mom won't let me lift things, or paint things, or mud or caulk things if she's around when I try to do it. My friends won't let me pick things up, or walk to my car in the dark. It's nice, but also frustrating because I like my independence. People freak out when I carry weights, or pick up chairs. It's like, guys... I'm a personal trainer. I work out all the time, even pregnant. I know my limitations and yeah, I may occasionally push boundaries, but I'm not going to do anything stupid. I have convinced people to do things they would probably have said no to were I not pregnant. It is awesome.

Examples: We had the carpet guys come yesterday to install new carpet in what was once Akira's favorite room to pee in. Yes, I want to murder her for this, but now that she's on Prozac and using the litter box like a champ, I can't look into those cute little bengal eyes and stay mad. I love her too much. It's a disease really. Anyway, the carpet guy comes and I ask him, just to be sure, if he is aware that he is also supposed to stretch the carpet in 2 other bedrooms because I had paid for it, and Home Depot assured me it would be done on the same day. The guy had no idea what I was talking about. I begged him to call in and make it right. I poked my belly out and used the puppy dog eyes. Sure enough, even without confirmation by the carpet company, he went ahead and stretched it for me once I agreed to write it on the invoice that he'd done the extra labor. Sweet!

Then today the glass installers came and were extra nice to me, asked me when I was due and talked to me about my baby a little. They made me leave when they got the strong chemicals out and warned me before taking out the broken windows to stay clear of the area. Then, as they left, I convinced them to haul away these old mirrors we had in the garage, mirrors I don't have time to get rid of or give away. It was awesome, they took them away for me, which I don't think they would've done.

But it gets better. After the glass guys left, I sped down the road to get back to my Aunts house where I am sleeping. I look in my rear view mirror and a state trooper is pulling me over. Oh shit. I pulled into a parking lot, rolled my window down, an the guy is super nice. He asks me if I know what the speed limit is. I said no, he said it's 45, and I was doing 59. Yeah... I have a lead foot. I said, "oh" and smiled at him apologetically. He took my DL and looked up my insurance. I got a little teary eyed thinking about how much the ticket might cost. I felt stupid. We are moving, money is tight right now, and here I am probably going to spend over $100 just because I can't follow the stupid law. And I'm pregnant, seriously? I should not be speeding.

The officer came back and gave me a warning. I didn't deserve a warning, I deserved a ticket, but the man was really nice to me the whole time. I can't believe how lucky I am.. but I have to think that the belly had something to do with his kindness. And so... with that, I leave you with a summary of how my belly is making my life a little easier, a little harder, and I think ultimately, it will make my life a lot richer.

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