There is no warning label on condoms that reads, "Failure to use properly may result in back hair, leg cramps, itchy nipples, skin rashes, etc..." Nor is there a similar label on alcohol, which says, "Failure to drink responsibly may lead to failure to use a condom properly." If such labels did exist, I'm certain we would have fewer unplanned pregnancies in America, and most definitely in the vain teen demographic. I, for one, got pregnant on purpose. Or as I like to make clear, our "honeymoon baby" was planned. Truth is, we were trying -- my husband for six months and me for four, but that doesn't matter, as we are on the same page now.
Although we were trying and I had a smidgen of an idea about what I was getting myself into I still didn't really know what comes with pregnancy. (See previous HP post- "What You Never Expect When You're Expecting".) I think I can fairly liken being pregnant to stand-up comedy -- my profession of the past 15 years. Sure, you can read about it and watch people do it on TV or live; most of the time it looks easy, every now and again it looks painful, but there's always some part of you that's thinking: Psh! I could do that -- no problem..
I was one of those people. I would see pregnant women on the streets of NYC looking glamorous and "glowy." Hello! It's New York City, home of cosmopolitan style and panache. Being pregnant is NO excuse for not strapping on your Louboutins and looking fabulous, dammit! I was also quite single a good part of the time, so not only was I in awe, but there were frequent tinges of envy coursing through my veins. The assumption on my part was not only did these women have an amazing life in the coolest city in the world, they also had a man they loved, they were making a family and they were looking cute with their little baby bumps. Let me reiterate -- I assumed all of this was the case. Whether it was their reality or not didn't matter; in my mind, they were living the dream.
Of course I wish I'd known then what I know now -- that it may be a pretty little (but growing) package on the outside all wrapped up in a perfect Pea in the Pod bow, but what's happening underneath that façade is nothing to write home about, rather it's material for stand-up comedy and the Huffington Post. I'm not talking about the morning sickness, which can range from mild to Holy-Mother-of-God-can-someone-please-stop-the-world-so-I-can-get-off or even the violent bouts of gas that take you from a demure "lady who lunches" to a frat boy. (I've covered that in my own blog: www.DiaryofaPregnantComedian.com) I'm talking about what the hormones do to your body. Sure there are some added benefits, especially for my normally flat chested friends -- but even that's a cruel joke, because "the girls" are sore. Not only do you not want someone touching them, you don't want them brushed up against. Water from the shower can be excruciating, exposure to direct sunlight squirm-inducing. Hell, you don't want them to be looked at to hard. It sounds extreme, but anyone who's been there knows I speak the truth. Speaking the truth is also what the women on the mommy-to-be sites I visit do. While I'm grateful for the candidness and honesty of these women, some of what they are talking about is scaring the mess out of me. They're sharing all their business, from bodily functions to actual physical metamorphoses. I get the low-down on everything from acne and excess mucus to aches and pains and random spurts of body hair. At this point, I seriously wouldn't be surprised if some woman actually reports that she developed leprosy because of her pregnancy. Let's all hope it never comes to that. At the very least, let's all say a little collective prayer for for the hypochondriac in me.
Karith Foster is a comedian and humorous speaker who performs at colleges, clubs, organizations and corporations across America. Visit her website www.karith.com for more funny and to find out how to bring her to your event.