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pregnant women

Here are some things that piss me off about pregnant. I mean, a lot of the community is pretty good and I've learned some interesting things in the past few months being a member of it, especially since I don't interact with pregnant women very often at all. But other times I want to smack some ladies.

I just want to say that I have not read the community in several days, so if someone posted something, finds this and feels like I was writing JUST TO HER (which happens when you're a bit self-absorbed), that's my defense.

My least favorite topics are:

1) "Nesting"/nursery posts: They talk about having "nesting instincts kick in", as if they magically woke up to some scientifically proven need to decorate a nursery all cutesy. Instinct my ass... if you loved shopping before you were pregnant you're going to love shopping while you're pregnant. 95% of all women and at least 93% of men like buying stuff for their homes anyway... don't tell me it's an instinct. And by the way, you're probably buying too much crap anyway.

2) Along those same lines... inability to recognize that other people are still people. Yes it's amazing but non-pregnant people also get tired, hungry, sick, and (refer to item 1) like to shop. There are too many posts that make me wonder if the gal remembers life before pregnancy. You get these rants about how "my husband was too tired to refinish the floor in the nursery, well I'm the pregnant one!" Well, maybe the dude was tired? You know, it's all relative.

3) The non-stop worrying about Down Syndrome. There's no "perfect baby" test, but there is a Down Syndrome test, and I think its only purpose is to give pregnant women something to freak out about ("OMG they said my chances were .002% higher than average what should we DOOOO?"). I read up on the test and decided that it had a stupid false positive rate and could only really lead to more tests and skipped it. I can understand that some people in high risk situations really want to know their situation, but most couples get it because it's there and they want to feel comfy and they give no thought to what the results will mean to them because they figure it'll be just perfect. Is Down Syndrome even the worst thing ever, anyway? If your chances are 1/1000 and the test didn't exist, would you give it a second thought?

4) The non-stop worrying about determining the sex, and then making a huge deal about it. Okay, I admit it, I was way curious about whether I was having a boy or a girl... but once we found out what parts were on our little one I felt stupid for making such a big deal out of it. But even before that I was not a fan of the "team blue!" or "team pink!" posts. Is there a law that because your baby is coming equipped with a vagina, she's going to love pink? What do you think these organs are telling you about the person you're growing? What do you think you're getting, that you wouldn't have gotten with the other sex? Are you aware that sex and gender are different, and at any time your little one might not be so interested in equating his/her sex with a pre-determined society-accepted role? The only real reason I'm glad we learned our baby was a girl is that referring to her as "she" has been more comforting and personal then "it". But that's a defect of the english language.

5) Too many sonogram pictures. It might just be me but really I think they all look the same, and when the kid is born you can stare at it all you want. I totally can't relate to people who go to boutiques at the mall to get MORE sonogram because they just can't get enough. I enjoyed seeing our ultrasounds, found it scientifically interesting, but there's still something creepy and alien about it and it's nothing compared to a real baby.

So what do you think, am I a bad community member or what?


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 21st, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC)
I think you are a fabulous community member. It's people like you who keep non-pregnant women sane. Thank you for not making me feel as if I'm less of a person because I'm not pregnant and may never be able to become pregnant. So many women inadvertently do.

As a woman with endometriosis who is pretty much guaranteed fertility issues, posts like this mean a lot to me.

I'm excited for the birth of your Spacefetus!
Feb. 23rd, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
I was diagnosed with endometriosis almost two years ago. This came after quite some time of suspecting that I had it, and then the diagnosis was confirmed within the same month as my partner and I discovering he had fathered it a son. It felt like a double-blow. Not only did I have to make room for this new family member in my life, but I had to be reminded of my own infertility with the living, breathing proof that my partner was anything but sterile.

Now, I'm in my third month of an unintended pregnancy. I'm not exactly sure what happened. I first became pregnant in July, and although the pregnancy ended a short time later, I noticed an immediate improvement in my endo symptoms. No more days stranded in bed, doubled over in pain vomiting my guts out, missing days of work and school. No more random pain spasms from end-to-end. No more periods from hell that had such bad cramping, Vicodin could barely manage the pain, never mind relieve it. I had read that in some cases, pregnancy can make endo go dormant, and that definitely seems to have been the case with me. And, wouldn't you know it, I got pregnant again at the end of December.

I do my best to keep my pregnancy from being the focal point of my life. I don't know anybody else with endo, but I remember what it felt like to me, seeing friends and family members have babies, and raising my partner's child while grieving the loss of my own ability to conceive (or, so I thought). I know that I am probably more thankful for my state than most, just because I had every reason to believe it would never happen for me.

It's not my place to take away from your obvious hurt, and I'm not trying to do that. It always felt so invalidating to me when I'd be discussing my very dismal prospects of getting pregnant and people would say, "Oh, it will happen to you, my insert-relation-here got pregnant after having endometriosis," almost like they were denying I had been told what I had been told, or that endometriosis wasn't a big deal. No amount of salt crystals or surgery helped me; in the end, it was a total fluke made all the more confounding to the reality that I was on the pill, the same pill they were using to treat my endo.

Have you read Endometriosis for Dummies? It was actually a really good book and it helped clarify a lot of the stigma surrounding the condition, for me, anyway.
(no subject) - easter - Feb. 23rd, 2010 03:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 21st, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
so that weirdness is where the "nesting" term came from! I kinda understand now :)

I've found that any post that starts with "cross posted to my lj, DDC, website, twitter and billboard we rented!" is going to be lame. nothing educational is about to happen.
Feb. 21st, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
So you will be making Mark decorate the nursery at 2am with sonogram pictures and twenty shades of pink? ; P

People get a bit crazy about things (think: weddings) and the saner ones tend to just back away slowly.

I will say this for sonagram pictures though, I took a human sexuality class in college and our instructor showed us sonogram pictures and baby pictures side by side of her nephew. My god, you could see the resemblance. I'd always assumed all babies looked the same in sonograms but side by side you could tell it was the same kid.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
ya know what I just realized though? With the wedding, I felt like it was kinda cool to do your own thing. There are comms like antibride that celebrate the weirdness and make fun of anyone who goes with the crowd.

But I increasingly feel like there's only one right way to be pregnant, and you have to be as self-involved as possible. Or like I really am weird for not going insane over my sonograms.
(no subject) - mrs_dragon - Feb. 22nd, 2010 12:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 21st, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
hehehe... I don't read the community posts too frequently because of some of these reasons. The most common questions I have been getting these days is, "so has the nesting period set in yet?" ummm.. I never understand how to answer that. Yes, am getting ready for a baby's arrival. If that's what "nesting" is, I guess yes would be the answer.

my mom chastised me for showing around the sonograms. She lectured me that it's a very private matter and at most only parents and parentsinlaw and sis should be seeing it. I kind of see her point!

Am Team Amazon, by the way! ;) You missed out the third category...

Edited at 2010-02-21 11:40 pm (UTC)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
My mom has sort of acted like that too but she's zonkers about privacy all the time. Basically thinks my entire lj is a bad idea. But like sonograms most things I write about are vague and could be applied to just about anyone so I don't see the big deal.
Feb. 21st, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
Hell no, I don't think you're a bad community member. I agree with you on all points, even though I'm not a member of pregnant.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
You're not a bad community member at all. In fact, it was you who introduced me to Garfunkel & Oates and their clever ode to such pregnant women. Yes, getting pregnant is a beautiful thing to experience and share, but it doesn't grant every single pregnant woman Special Snowflake status.

Your posts about your pregnancy have been interesting, insightful, and lovely to read! So I thank you for them.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
Garfunkel & Oates are absolute geniuses. What I really want is to post "Pregnant Women are Smug" in pregnant... but I might wait until the end, so I'm not kicked out too soon.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
One of reasons we're not finding out our baby's sex until it arrives is that whole gender-typing thing. Gender roles are just too dang strong, and I'm not sure I'll be able to avoid some amount of pigeon-holing my kid's behaviors and personality once I know. So I'm clinging to this very short part of its life (and yeah, I hate using "it," but I get annoyed by the use of "baby" as a pronoun, which is what a friend of mine did) before all that sets in.

A woman in my due date community spent two weeks totally flipped out because, at one of her many (medically legitimate) ultrasounds, the tech said "boy" when everyone before (and since) has said "girl." What if the baby really *is* a boy?! Oh no! She's a great woman, but I found her posts just a little trying during that ordeal.

And I agree: husbands, boyfriends, etc. definitely have the right to be tired, emotional, or whatever too. The partner is, and should still be thought of as, a partner. Even if one does have moments of envying one's husband the ability to lie on his stomach (ahem!), it doesn't follow that the poor guy is lazy and unsympathetic.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
We can never avoid engendering our children to some degree. And even if we don't, the rest of the world will. I remember listening to a woman bitch because the first thing her daughter did when she got a Barbie for Christmas was to try to put make-up on it. "I don't even wear make-up!" the mother whined.
All I could think was, does the kid watch TV, like ever? And by the way, she's getting a *Barbie* for Christmas.
Really, after they meet their first stranger, the kid is never our own again.
(no subject) - tabloidscully - Feb. 23rd, 2010 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
You're not a bad community member! Any time that you're "hanging out" with a large number of very diverse people talking about the same subject, you're going to run into a lot of folks that you want to punch in the throat. Hell, I have that feeling a lot at work.

What drives ME nuts are all the birth stories that involve five million interventions and end with "and then OMG emergency C-section." I don't count the C as an "emergency" if you were induced a week before your due date and labored for twelve hours on your back after receiving an epidural at 3cm and then your doctor wanted to go home for dinner. And all the "OMG, I'm 2cm dilated and 30% effaced! Even though my due date's three weeks away, I know I'll be having this baby any minute!" posts. READ A FREAKING BOOK, PEOPLE. Or, you know, two or three even!

And I hate the Downs tests, too. WTF are twenty-three-year-old women with NO family history of Downs having this test anyway? I mean, really?
Feb. 22nd, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
lol YES I have to add those to the list! And all the (gross) posts about mucus plugs... it regenerates, people! It doesn't mean you're going into labor tomorrow!
Feb. 22nd, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)
The "team pink" "team blue" stuff also annoys me because it implies that the teams oppose each other.

I also find it really annoying that English doesn't have a gender neutral third person singular pronoun. Not just for babies of unknown sex but also for any other person of unknown gender who I wish to refer to.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:40 am (UTC)
The transsexual community has created just such a creature. I have my own frustrations with it's creation and justification, but in case you need it the list is: he/him, she/her, ze/hir.
(no subject) - koremelanaigis - Feb. 22nd, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fireboy4plai - Feb. 23rd, 2010 04:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)
I had a friend who just had her baby. About a month before, she quit all online communities because she was just fed up.

One other note...having a desire to decorate isn't nesting instinct. About 3 days before I went into labor, I went on a spree of cleaning and trying to finish up sewing some baby clothes. I went until I was completely exhausted, fell into bed, and then did it again the next day, and day after. THAT is nesting. :-) And no, I didn't feel like I had any control over it because it was like my anxiety level about getting things done went into overdrive.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 04:55 am (UTC)
You have just described the reason I gave that community a miss.

While there is also a lot of annoyance in the breastfeeding community, I found it much more useful and informative - I learned how to trouble-shoot before I had the baby.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
good tip, maybe I'll just skip to breastfeeding.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:58 am (UTC)
I easily appreciate that our modern technology and information overload naturally lead to the anticipation of the event that much more drawn-out, but every time I get an ultra-sound put in my hands I can't help but wonder "It's a bunch of fuzzy gray-white blobs." I get especially annoyed when I'm then expected to be so, I dunno, impressed? I generally say something like, "Ohhh, ever notice how spawn and prawn sound really similar?" That usually works. That or "Ohhh, I dissected something like that once . . . " I'm not actually trying to be a kill joy but for God's sake, like they'd know where the head is if the doctor didn't point it out. I really don't understand people pretending like an ultra-sound has anything to do with an actual baby. Diagnostic sure, but it's not like it'll tell who's eyes the kid has.
And I have been part of the pink vs. blue discussion only twice. The first time I said "Why don't you let the baby decide?" Which led to a very lively discussion over if the kid doesn't know enough to choose, how the heck do they know enough to know the rooms the wrong color? And the second time I said "Why does it matter? If it's a boy and he turns out to be a homo you'll just have to switch it anyway." That one got a much more entertaining reaction.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
What's really creepy are those 3D pictures that show the baby with all of that scary early 90's-CG crap on it. Someone sent us one and it freaked Pete out so much that he put it up on the fridge, face down.
I'm a member of the marriedlife community, and I feel the same way a lot of the time with the posts. YES, your husband did a dumb thing, NO it does not need to be on the internet. If y'all can't work this out, you shouldn't be married.
I would venture to say that those on the pregnancy group are mostly interested in squeeing all over the place, and not so much interested in the "fem" part of your username.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
I really tried hard not to, but I think a couple of times I cringed at my baby shower this weekend when I opened the box and saw more pink outfits covered with butterflies/flowers. I came home and told Brian that somebody threw up Pepto Bismo all over Peanut's clothes.

Other things that annoy me about such communities:
1. The obsession about weight gain (too much? too little?)

2. Obsession about what they eat (too much junk? is pasteurized soft cheese OK? OMG I ate a hotdog!)

3. Obsession about maternity clothes/maternity outfits/nursing bras/hospital gowns. Honestly, I'm 34 weeks pregnant and the only thing "maternity" I really needed to purchase were maternity pants because I couldn't zip them up, but I wear regular sweaters just fine!! Stop buying all these clothes that you can't wear except for a few months in your lifetime!
Feb. 23rd, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
*thumbs up*
I like you!!
Very refreshing post indeed!
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