So Hot Right Now: Preggerz Edition

I got knocked up. I’m with child. Pregnant. Expecting. Gestating. Carrying a baby. In family way. Gravid.  Parturient. Anyway, you get it.

If you went based on blogs and Instagram posts, you’d think pregnancy was a truly delightful experience — one full of charming gender reveal parties, cute baby bump pics, the chance to eat whatever you want, lovely DIY craft projects for the nursery, etc. Now that I’m five and a half months in, I have a slightly more realistic understanding. For me at least, pregnancy has actually been a difficult experience — one full of sleeping through what feels like every social engagement because I’m exhausted all the time, crying in the bathroom at Wal-Mart because I’m overwhelmed by navigating the stormy waters of unpaid maternity leave, lying in the fetal position in a dark closet at work for the quick 5-10 minutes I could sneak away without anyone noticing because I feel so terrible, having to end a date night after 15 minutes because I can’t keep down the appetizer, and staring blankly at people who ask me how the nursery is coming along while biting my tongue to keep from saying, “I’m working two jobs this summer, prepping for a home renovation, and preparing to move. What nursery?”

Ok, so now that I’ve managed to both bore you with my whining and sound ungrateful for this special season of life, allow me to share some pregnancy-related treats that I have enjoyed lately.

But first, one more thing to note about pregnancy — I’ve been really surprised at how little of it is truly in my control. Sure, I can take my vitamins and eat well, but really my body is just doing its thing. It’s the driver. I’m merely a vehicle. Pretty cool. It’s made me realize more fully how utterly amazing the female body is. I am excited to be a mom. I promise. And thankfully the whole nausea thing has gotten way better.

John Oliver’s Rant Against America’s Antediluvian Maternity Leave Policies
Unpaid maternity leave should be against the law. But it’s not.  It’s the norm. In our country, at least. The U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries IN THE WORLD that do not provide any paid time off for new moms. So much for ‘family values.’ This is no laughing matter, but I really do appreciate John Oliver’s humorous rant about this ridiculously archaic policy.

Narcissism in Pink and Blue
This brief essay from The New Yorker is three years old but still relevant; it effectively articulates the primary reasons why I think gender reveal parties are silly.

 

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Bringing Up Bebe (Druckerman) 
This memoir about an American woman living in France explores the differences between American and French parenting. It seems like the French have a good thing going on. Even if you don’t ever plan to raise children, it provides an interesting examination of cultural differences. Druckerman offers a good blend of anecdotal tidbits and scholarly research.

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Cross-eyed baby bump dressing room selfie! Huzzah!

H&M’s Mama Line
Pregnancy can bring some uncomfortable changes to your body, so you might as well at least try and look a little bit stylish along the way. The maternity section in my local H&M is small but mighty. I hit this janks up during a sale and got two pairs of pants, a dress (for $11! See above), and two shirts for under $60.

The Babyname App
As The Daily Dot puts it, it’s like Tinder but for baby names. Kinda. A name appears on the screen with the origin and meaning — swipe left if you don’t like the name, swipe right if you do. Sync your account with your partners and the app tracks all of the liked names that you have in common. So far, after scrolling through hundreds and hundreds, we only have two. Eeek.

Annie Murphy Paul’s “What We Learn Before We’re Born” TED Talk 
There’s a lot going on in the womb, and this TED talk addresses the hows and whys; it’s fascinating whether or not you’re preggerz.

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