I love being pregnant. Okay, that’s a lie. I love eating whatever I want with relatively little guilt, and I suppose the cleavage is nice if you’re flat-chested going into it (although if you’re a double-D to start, good luck finding a garment to support your new porn-star proportions). Most of all, I love that you get a shiny new baby at the end of it.
The rest of the whole gestational process, in my opinion, pretty much sucks. (There, I said it. And if you’re one of those women who feels all fertile and sexy when you’re expecting and you think ballooning up to your husband’s weight and growing extra skin on your neck and armpits is a fun way to spend the better part of a year, well then good for you. Really. I promise to try to be nice to you if we ever meet, but trust me it won’t be easy.)
Seriously, I get the whole “miracle of life” thing. I do. Yes, it is truly miraculous. It’s just not a whole hell of a lot of fun. Imagine someone offered you the following ten month unpaid gig: You’re going to be hungry all the flipping time, but nothing will sound remotely appetizing. You can’t sleep on your stomach, you can’t sleep on your back, hell you pretty much can’t sleep. Your uniform—the one you will be required to invest a small fortune in to accommodate the ever expanding girth that comes with the position—will be ridiculously ill-fitting and unflattering and inexplicably itchy. Everything will be itchy. Your couch will smell revolting—as will your shampoo, your dish soap, your dinner and your husband’s entire body. Your neck (well, if you’re me) will begin to exceed your head in circumference about midway through your employment; by the end, your chins—oh yes, you’ll have several—will look like they belong to your great old aunt Margaret. Fortunately, they will match your cankles so at least there will be some bodily consistency going on. You will have to pee every godd*mned five minutes, so try to keep a rest room within your line of sight at all times. Sweat will pool beneath your newly pendulous breasts even when it’s thirty degrees out. To top it all off—and this is the epitome of adding insult to injury if you ask me—you will have to sit idly by and sip sparkling water while your husband enjoys a nice glass of wine or a frosty margarita.
Ready to sign up? Oh, we forgot to tell you. The position doesn’t pay. In fact, it’ll cost you upwards of $200,000 over the next 18 years.
Thank God babies are cute.
Disclaimer: Of course pregnancy is worth all of this and the hundreds of injustices not mentioned here. If it weren’t, there would be no second or third babies for anyone, would there? I’m just pointing out that it’s not all kittens and sunshine. You know, in case no one told you.
Jenna McCarthy is the author of The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties and Cheers to the New Mom!/Cheers to the New Dad! When she’s not waxing poetic about pregnancy she can be reached at jennamccarthy.com.