36 weeks!!! (Selfie cred: E. Gonzalez)

36 weeks!!! (Selfie cred: E. Gonzalez)

My hospital bag is packed.  My birth class is done.  Newborn-sized clothes are washed and ready in their drawers.  I am 36 weeks pregnant and basically ready to have this baby.  Based on my birth history (my daughter was 2 weeks early) and my mom’s birth history (my brothers and I were 2, 3, and 7 weeks early), I’ve been told that she could arrive almost any time now.  Which means that this might be my last blog post as a mom of 1!  How to leave you all while I take a short blogging hiatus??

It seems like the right time for a little pregnant lady public service announcement.

On behalf of pregnant ladies everywhere, if you are a human person and you are reading this, WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Because that flip comment?  That lame joke?  That look you gave me?  Not so helpful.  I know, you think you’re being nice.  Or funny.  Or you momentarily thought I was a zoo animal behind glass and couldn’t hear/see you.  I forgive you.  Want to really help a pregnant lady?  Some suggestions for you:

Give me a hand.  I’m not saying you should run around carrying 10 bags of groceries for every pregnant lady you see.  But seriously, open a door – hold a door, even.  Move your bag so I can sit in the seat next to you on the train.  Offer to help if I’m fumbling with bags.  Basically, be a decent human.  I’m the clumsiest, hottest, and most uncomfortable I’ll ever be.  Even if I turn down an offer of help, a small act of kindness or consideration truly makes me feel like I’ll survive being pregnant for another day.

Try (realistic) positivity.  What we pregnant ladies tend to get are the two extremes.  Awful stories: your child who didn’t sleep for 3 years, your backseat-of-the-car birth, your complete lack of bladder control postpartum.  Or the rainbows and sunshine: “Enjoy every moment!”  “Breastfeeding is SO easy and SO natural!”  “MY child slept through the night at one week old.  I’m sure yours will too!”  As a mom, I get the need to talk openly about your experiences, but sharing your horror story with someone you’ve only spoken to once before is probably not the best idea.  On the flip side, I appreciate your uplifting attitude, but I am not dumb enough to think that my newborn is going to poop kittens and unicorns.  The stories I appreciate are the ones that are REAL but positive.  Feel free to tell me about how you fixed your breastfeeding problem or how you finally got your baby to sleep!

Compliments OR NOTHING.  I wish I had written down all the synonyms for “big” that have been thrown my way.  “You’re huge!”  “It looks like you have a basketball in there!”  “You look like you’ve exploded!”  All real comments, all cringe-worthy at best.  When it comes to a pregnant woman’s appearance, if you don’t have anything nice almost excessively complimentary to say, don’t say anything at all.  And leave size (even small) out of it!  Repeat after me: I will not make comments about a pregnant woman’s size.  I will not make comments about a pregnant woman’s size…  The gold standard compliment, in my pregnant opinion, is “You look great!”  Simple, true for all.  Pregnant women are radiant friggin’ goddesses without exception, and if you can’t see that then keep your mouth shut.

Be patient.  *sigh*  This is largely on me, because I have been a full-on bitch cranky/emotional person for the last 8 months.  But please, I beg of you, just be patient with me.  I might cry for seemingly no reason.  I might get a little snippy.  I might overreact.  It’s not that I can’t control myself, but sometimes it’s just really hard for me to do so.  When I come to my senses, I promise I will apologize and make everything right.

The bottom line is, pregnancy is really hard, and it’s fairly apparent that it’s hard for people who aren’t currently pregnant to understand.  As with all things in life, a little empathy and understanding go a long way.  When in doubt, remember: we pregnant ladies are people too!  Feel free to treat me like one.