I wanted to write about the experience of receiving constant unsolicited advice during this pregnancy. But I didn’t like how negative I sounded, so instead here is a great list of Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman. (#1, #4 and #8 ring especially true.)
The more positive side of the coin is also worth writing about: the people I love and appreciate the most, for having made this pregnancy journey more awesome by being awesome themselves. I’d list them by name but since that would imply that everyone else has been less than awesome, I’ve grouped them into categories instead. If ever I needed a good example of how I try to be organised and just end up being weird…
1. The Ones Who’ve Been There
Whether they’ve had one, two or three babies, these are the friends who never make me feel like I’m woefully inexperienced or unprepared. Or alone. They’re as generous with a listening ear as they are with hand-me-downs and gifts. With them, it’s okay to say “I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m scared”, and know that I won’t be judged for making a big fuss out of nothing. They remember how it feels and they have the bigness of heart to sympathise and soothe, even though their own pregnancies and hormonal freak-outs have long been supplanted by real-life baby-raising adventures. And when they tell me all about their own parenting hits and misses in full (and sometimes gory) detail, I feel like I have an honest and realistic picture of what it looks like to enter motherhood with a sense of humour.
2. The Ones Who Haven’t
These people have no thoughts of children in their own immediate futures, and yet are perfectly happy to roll with things at my pace. i.e. “I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through, but it’s clearly a game-changer for you, so just tell me what works for you right now and I will do it for you / with you.” We can still hang out on the same terms as we’ve always done because they don’t make a huge deal about my being pregnant and occasionally forget the fact altogether. It helps that they also refrain from making judgments or snide remarks on things they know they don’t/can’t understand. (Yes, I do still drink coffee. And alcohol too, if I’m celebrating something. Why do you ask?) And I appreciate them all the more because they completely get that I’m still the same person as before, even though I happen to be gestating another person right now.
3. The Husband
Yup, I totally cheated with this sub-heading. 😉 Way before I got pregnant I was already referring to James as “my long-suffering husband”, and he’s definitely been all the more long-suffering ever since we got me knocked up. On a weekly basis, he’s driven me to either end of the island for a specific thing I want to eat, and is awesome enough to declare that my food cravings haven’t exactly been a hardship to him either. (Pepper Lunch at JEM for huge cheap steaks, Bedok/Fengshan Block 85 for bak chor mee soup, Canton Paradise for congee/noodles/baked char siew bao/XO stir-fried carrot cake. And the occasional MUST HAZ ICE-CREAM NAO moment.) He always gives me back and foot rubs when I ask, and if I’ve been groaning from aches and pains more than usual, he doesn’t even wait for me to ask. He constantly tells me and everyone else who’ll listen – and I think he really believes it – that I’m a trooper, even though I have guilty feelings about having taken it easy by temporarily opting out of the workforce.
Whew. That was probably a better thought-out awards acceptance speech than any at this year’s Golden Globes 😉