Being pregnant for the first time you have a ton of questions. You want to know everything there is to know about what’s happening to your body and how your baby is growing and what you should generally expect. Somehow the world seems to sense this and sends answers in the way of strangers, friends and family that will offer you their advice whether you want it or not. After awhile you are brought to the brink of your sanity and left with the perpetual “twitchy palm.”
It seems that when you become pregnant, especially for the first time, that people like to assume you are completely lost and helpless (which at times is pretty accurate) in terms of what to expect and how to handle your pregnancy. They take this as their signal to offer their advice, all of the time, about everything. There is nothing more annoying than people, usually ones that have never been pregnant offering you advice about your life and your body. They mean well, I would tell myself as I politely nodded and forced a smile as they spewed all sorts of ridiculous tips, tricks, and superstitions disguised as fact.
I was pretty well-educated on pregnancy I think. I had a ton of books and did a ton of research. Most questions I would pose to my doctor or my mom though she too had an arsenal of advice, the others I would look up myself. But just because I wasn’t asking questions, doesn’t mean I wasn’t getting answers.
“You should eat more, you’re not gaining enough weight,” was probably my number one bit of advice. My doctor doesn’t find it to be a problem, I would respond. But still they insisted I wasn’t eating enough. Little did they know my first trimester kicked my ass with “all day sickness,” and I had lost almost 15lbs of my pre pregnancy weight and I was simply gaining that weight back. Nope they knew best I wasn’t eating enough.
And it didn’t stop there:
“You should stop working” – Were they going to pay my bills?
“You should get more sleep” – Guess they never heard of pregnancy insomnia
“You should smile more” – Hormones control smiles
“You’re not drinking coffee are you” – Its allowed in moderation people! I would allow myself one *ice* coffee a week
The list was endless. Once I had my son I assumed it would stop, wrong! The new advice was:
“Make sure you put him on a schedule”
“You better be breastfeeding”
“You need to take him outside”
“Sleep when he sleeps”
“He needs a red bracelet” (It wards off bad spirits, this was actual advice)
I promised I wouldn’t be that way, I wouldn’t force my opinions or experiences or “knowledge” on people. Ha! That was a lie! After being pregnant it’s almost like you feel it’s your duty to share what you’ve learned. To somehow keep the next woman from going through certain avoidable scenarios, or ways to help. Geez, I hope I don’t get slapped!