Pregnancy is the best time in a woman’s life they say. Who the hell came up with that!? A bloke who has no clue at all? A terribly old woman who gave birth eighty years ago and her memory is distorted so she sees her past pregnancies through a pair of pink glasses? Or a female who lacked purpose in her life, so now finally she feels a sense of achievement?
I am neither. At 24 weeks pregnant I am over it, just like I was over my twenties at the age of 26. Someone please finally hand me the baby and I’ll get on with it. I genuinely dislike all this waiting around while growing a human being. Does it really have to take so annoyingly long? I feel like an elephant and each morning I step on a scale I want to cry. All mums-to-be love taking selfies of their growing bellies. Well, I used to love taking selfies of my abs that are now long gone. But the very worst thing about being with child is all the special attention you get from your friends, acquaintances and strangers alike. Maybe that’s where my problem lies. I don’t like special attention.
On my second birthday I apparently announced that now that I’m grown up, I shall be taking care of my business including hygiene and getting dressed. I always liked being left alone and never required a special treatment. I dislike being treated differently.
The other day I was in an overcrowded tube carriage and a lady offered me her seat. The worst thing was that she was roughly my age. I felt embarrassed and wished for the earth to swallow me. Similarly, I celebrate a little victory each time I bump (pardon the pun) into someone I know and they don’t notice my growing belly. Two weeks ago I went through my friend’s birthday dinner without raising any suspicion whatsoever. What an achievement!
Don’t get me wrong – I am in no way embarrassed about being pregnant. Rather the opposite! I am proud that soon I can call myself a mum. I just don’t feel the need to advertise it and don’t enjoy being bombarded by never-ending questions about my choice of a baby name, my well-being and the size of my uterus. I don’t want to be viewed differently because I am no different than I was before this whole sperm-egg event happened. I don’t need to be asked every fifteen minutes whether I’m okay. If I need your seat on a bus (hopefully I never will) I’ll ask you for it. I hate to be perceived as sort-of-disabled because I am not. I can still run 5K under 30 minutes. Can you?
Having said all that, next time you spot a pregnant woman on a public transport, go ahead and offer her your seat because the society dictates that it’s the right thing to do. It’s the society that I’d like to challenge. However modern, forward and pro equal opportunities we are, there is still this ancient belief that a woman’s sole life purpose is to have children. Hence, when pregnant she’s finally on her way to achieving her mission and everyone should treat her much better than they normally would. Great. But imagine all the women who can’t or choose not to have kids. For the former we feel terribly sorry, and the latter we secretly frown upon since they are wasting so many good eggs that the former would die for. Once a childless female approaches the age of 40, the pressure from the society increases. Chop chop, you need to have kids and if you don’t you are failing as a human being.
We take pride in calling ourselves a modern society, and as a species we are not lacking offspring in general, rather the opposite. So why all the worshiping of the pregnant and pressure on the childless? Women are free to make choices. Having a rewarding job one loves, volunteering for a charity, or creating something meaningful can be as purposeful and fulfilling as producing babies. Just like other women I have made a conscious choice to carry a child so I refuse any kind of special treatment for doing it. Besides, I am doing it for myself and for the little person, certainly not for the society.
Generally, I am quite result-oriented and that’s why I find the process of growing a human inside me slightly inconvenient, and any special treatment I receive only reminds me of the fact that I’ve gained twelve pounds and am not pleased about it. If you are lucky enough and absolutely love it, I’m happy for you. If you’re also enjoying all the attention and the stream of questions about the number of baby’s kicks per hour, tenderness of your breast and your special dietary requirements, then congratulations – you are in heaven! For me, I’ll just go lifting some weights to pass the time before my little man arrives. No special treatment needed here, thanks.
Actually, now when I’m thinking about it, if I find myself on a sinking ship, I will be taking a space in the first life boat. I am pregnant after all… 😉