Pregnancy is a magical time. A tiny bump, an open neural tube inside your uterus, grows into a full-fledged, kicking, twisting, wiggling baby. You have a great reason to love your stomach. You can eat donuts and carrots together because, hey, pregnancy. Your partner will trek across town to satisfy your cravings. You get a new wardrobe, including those stretchy Bella Materna tanks that you will never, ever, want to stop wearing. Strangers smile at you. Children point. You sail everywhere preceded by a big, beautiful belly.
But then you do stupid shit and screw it all up.
There are certain things you should not do when you’re pregnant. I don’t mean drinking wine or snarfing sushi. I mean dumb everyday things you should avoid for your own health and sanity.
I did them all. I was stupid. Do not make the same mistakes as me.
1. Do not move furniture.
My husband was gone. I wanted the changing table, which was actually an Ethan Allen bar, to go from the hallway (where it was in the way) to the nursery (where it would still not be out of the way). I was 6 months pregnant. Logically, I should have waited. But my pregnant mind said this had to happen now. So I tugged. I pushed. I picked up one end up rolled, dropping the solid-wood thing on my toe and ripping the nail. I wrapped that sucker in a paper towel and kept pushing. Thirty minutes later, my changing table was installed. My husband was livid. I was exhausted. Plus my toe hurt. Lesson learned.
2. Do not wear a tankini.
With my first son, I whined about how fat I was from the first trimester ’til the time that baby came out. When we went to the pool, I concealed my shameful, shameful fatness underneath a tankini, the only suit that would accommodate my belly. I was smarter with my second son. When else, other than pregnant, did I have such a big gorgeous belly? I swapped that wuss-ass tankini for a bikini that fit my boobs. I looked fabulous. You will too.
3. Do not stress over stretch marks.
You will probably get them. The first ones will make you cry. I got mine on my boobs, and ran upstairs in tears to tell my mother-in-law. She laughed at me. I thought she was insensitive. Now I know she was absolutely right. Your body is stretching, hence stretch marks. They will fade. Or they will look like tiger stripes. You earned that shit in battle, girl. Don’t bemoan them.
4. Do not travel.
Just don’t. First you have to pack, and then you have to pack some more, and then you have to scramble around gathering everything you forgot to pack. Afterwards, you’re either stuck in an airplane or a car, where you will have to get up and pee approximately every 10 minutes, annoying everyone who is not pregnant. When you arrive at your destination, there will not be nearly enough pillows, and the smell of the restaurants will make you sick. Just stay home in your own safe pillow nest as much as possible. In fact, try not to move for nine months. It’s good for you.
5. Do not skimp on the pillows.
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