When I was pregnant with my first, I obsessively read every book on pregnancy and childbirth I could get from the library. I mostly focused on the more “medical” books, but I also read a far amount of the schlock, as well — probably because as an expectant single mom, I felt a desire to belong that was normally absent from my psyche.
I thought that the ‘What To Expect’ books were horribly condescending and really kind of crappy to anyone who wasn’t a white, hetero, married, non-poor, etc. etc. etc. I honestly found the book that was written by Jimmy Iovine’s wife to be more helpful and less judgmental. Because seriously — if ANYONE ever “gave me a look” when I ordered dessert at a restaurant while pregnant, I would be across that table so fast they wouldn’t remember anything but a blur of pregnant fury.
Bloody show, indeed.
My opinion hasn’t changed much and I really haven’t read any pregnancy books since then. And aside from Hip Mama and Mothering, I’ve found most pregnancy/parenting magazines to be utterly void of anything helpful or interesting. Nor am I the type to hang out at pregnancy websites unless I am looking for a very specific answer to a very specific question. I’d much rather troll around GFY or io9. I mean, I get that most of the appeal is the excitement of being pregnant and wanting to share, but I sort of feel like I’ve already done enough research and am ready to just focus on practice.
So, I exist in a pregnancy bubble. I’ve got everything I need baby-wise. I have bins of diapers and clothes and I’m part of a circle of ladies that have been shuttling around an ever-growing heap of maternity clothes for about 6 years now. A quick peek down my shirt assures me I can feed the baby. As for the rest, I generally just hope that the mechanics of pregnancy and childbirth haven’t changed too much since the last one.
Anyhow, I had an unusually long wait to be seen at Dr. YoureHavingAGiantBaby’s office yesterday. The tv was running some weird ad/show on repeat, I’d failed to find anything interesting to read via my blackberry, and my husband had quit responding to my text messages (probably because I was mainly just updating him on how many times I’d peed). So, I picked up a copy of some parenting magazine.
Holy shitballs, y’all.
It was about 11% “interviews” with CelebrityMoms like the wife of that dude from Creed and 89% advertisements-that-looked-like-articles for crazyass crap like this:
Yes, those are holes over the boobs. It’s like the opposite of pasties. But WHY? It’s advertised as a garment to ‘hide your unsightly belly while nursing.’ They should have spun it as a garment that will ham-fistedly advise your partner that sexy times are GO.
And really, most of the ad-ticles were for utterly unnecessary and perplexing things. Or they were for books and products that would show you how to be a skinny pregnant bitch who is a tiger in the sack and wears 4 inch heels at all times and is confused for a model. While all the “interviews” were with women whose jobs consist of being sexy, having gobs of money, and being utterly out of touch with the way that 99% of people live.
I mean, I GET IT. We, the pregnant polloi, are not doing it right.
When you are pregnant — especially for the first time — it’s almost like puberty all over again. You have to get to know your new body, your new gender/sexual identity, and your news feelings — both emotional and physical. It’s a weird and disconcerting time. Not to mention that around the bend is an entirely new source of fear and anxiety — parenthood.
And really, the LAST thing any woman needs on top of that is to be told that she “has to be” skinny/sexy/confident/energetic/happy/taut or else she will be embarrassed/ashamed/deficient/guilty/weak. But yet that is the capitalism of American pregnancy, isn’t it? There is only a handful of “right” ways to be pregnant, but don’t worry, we have an infinite supply of things you can buy to get there.
Seriously, fuck off already.
Expectant mothers, please feel free to be exactly and whatever the hell kind of pregnant person and new parent you want to be.
And if that involves wearing a the tank equivalent of crotchless panties, more power to you.