A Public Service Announcement Regarding Pregnancy

Today, dear readers, I offer you a public service announcement for those of you who like to give advise to pregnant ladies and the ladies who have to listen to you.

When you are pregnant, people tell you all kind of things, from advice to old wives tales. It is usually amusing advice, but two things in particular have been bothering me.

When I was in my first trimester and very tired, people used to say this little gem to me all the time:

Sleep now because when the baby gets here you will never sleep again.

They always said it with this sarcastic gleam in their eye, as if they were saying something hilarious and giving me good advice at the same time. Let me assure you that I know that my days of getting a full night sleep are over already. I get up to go to the bathroom at least 3 times a night and I have already considered all of the ways a kid will change my life. Lack of sleep is the least of my concerns. I am already worried about teenage angst.

In addition, next time someone tells me this, I am also going to explain that sleep can not be stored in a bank like money. I can not sleep more now and feel rested in 5 months. Our bodies do not work that way and suggesting that I can do something about my sleep deprivation later right now is stupid and irritating. Just do us all a favor and stop telling pregnant women this.

Item number two is a huge lie that I have heard from all kinds of people. They tell it to you, again, in the first trimester when all you want to do is eat and sleep.

Just wait until the second trimester. You will feel great and have lots of energy.

Compared to what? Yes, you feel better in the second trimester then you did in the first, but you do not feel “great”. I have come to the conclusion that there are all kinds of things about being pregnant that no one ever tells you about, most of them unpleasant. Like random pains, numbness, acute hunger, weird digestive issues, boobs with minds of their own, and any number of odd things that are seemingly incongruent with a parasite in your uterus. When you are pregnant, you never feel great. There is always something weird going on with your body. I keep thinking of a cute baby and reminding myself that everything has a price.

The second half of this statement is also false for the same reason. You do have a lot of energy in the second trimester, but only when you compare your energy level to what you felt like the first three months of pregnancy. It is not hard to feel more alert then those first three months. I have had insomnia and anxiety related sleep problems before and that kind of tired is nothing compared to being pregnant tired. The bone crushing weariness in the first three months goes away in the second trimester, but you are still tired, all the time. I still rarely make it past 9:30 or 10 pm and it is all I can do to stay awake for one hour after dinner before dragging off to bed. A pregnant lady does not have the energy of a normal person, ever, because we are busy growing a human being and that takes way more energy then sitting at a desk all day. Please, please stop giving pregnant ladies hope that for their middle three months they will enjoy a normal life. They will not.

Our lives will never be normal again so no sugar coating, please. And no more sarcastic advice.

–Jane, public service announcement has ended *beep* *beep*

8 thoughts on “A Public Service Announcement Regarding Pregnancy

  • November 29, 2007 at 4:30 pm
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    You know, people have told me that stuff about sleep deprivation and I’m not even pregnant! It’s like they figure “if I had to suffer, everyone should.” Perhaps that’s why people bring babies to romantic restaurants too. Sigh…

    It reminds me of the older woman I worked with years ago when I was a social worker. She told me, with a happy gleam in her eye to enjoy being thin while it lasted, because it wouldn’t last. WTF?

    If I’ve learned one thing by knowing a lot of pregnant people and people with babies, it’s that everyone has a different pregnancy and everyone has a different baby. I have one friend whose baby has slept through the night since early on. Go figure. Hopefully your baby will be the same and you can thumb your nose at all those people who said such stupid things to you.

  • November 29, 2007 at 5:16 pm
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    Ignore the banking sleep nonsense, but once the baby is here “sleep while the baby sleeps” is sound advice. Dirty laundry can wait. Or be outsourced to friends. Nap without guilt, I say!

    Not to be a scare monger, but has anyone warned you that your feet *might* grow bigger? And that they won’t go back to pre-preggers size? Nobody warned me, and I was shocked when I couldn’t wear any of my shoes anymore. Sorry ’bout that.

    But on the upside? STILL. TOTALLY. WORTH. IT.

    -Sally J.
    (Mom w/a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old)

  • November 29, 2007 at 5:41 pm
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    Hey, Jane! Long time reader, first time caller.

    There is definitely some schadenfreude when giving “advice” to pregnant women. I wish I could tell you it gets better after the birth.

    As for the “burst of energy,” I think a better description is that nesting instinct that completely takes over your brain. You find yourself cleaning closets at 3AM (or at least I did).

    I hated it the most when people would tell me that my life would never be the same. Thank you, Captain Obvious!

    But I will tell you as a first-time mommy myself that I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  • November 29, 2007 at 8:29 pm
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    I hope things are moving along well. I know, you don’t want advice, but this is more like, for what it may be worth. I am sure you will do this, which is, read to your child. We did, and no matter what other people say, it does work.

    And by the way, we heard this from everyone too: they do grow up fast. Ours is already in 6th grade.

    Blessings and best wishes.

    And keep on blogging.

  • November 29, 2007 at 10:35 pm
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    No advice here … just Congratulations!

  • November 30, 2007 at 12:20 am
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    I suppose as a man I should not really comment, but I feel I must. I have lived through this vicariously three times as the dad, and eight times as the brother of the mother, plus another dozen times as the brother-in-law. (Does that count as a representative sample, especially if you count the times I was a kid — seven?) Plus countless other times as boss, co-worker, etc.

    Meredith is absolutely right…every time is different. Each person is different, and every time is different.

    I just hope that you remain healthy, and can be reasonably happy and content.

    Your life will be different forever, in ways that you never will be able to predict. It seems like just yesterday…and my “baby” is a senior in college!

  • November 30, 2007 at 8:44 am
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    While I’m still glad we decided not to have kids, I fully support my friends having children–more for me to spoil! Can’t wait to meet baby Rochester.

  • December 1, 2007 at 11:14 pm
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    Congrats!! realizing that you and Mr Rochester were parent’s-to-be brought tomind Jasper Fforde’s very funny novels. Have you read them? Jane Eyre and Mr R play a prominent role and end up living happily ever after. Just as you have. Lovely news.

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