From the moment you find out you are pregnant, your potential to be annoying multiplies into one of those numbers only astrophysicists can understand. The second you realize you've obtained temporary freedom from your monthly menses, it's time to force your fetus-infested brain into understanding the difference between your personal experience and that of those around you. You may want to use all that excess cotton to shove into your mouth, because chances are that anything you say for the next few years is going to be as interesting as a tutorial on how wax melts. The magic of pregnancy and your baby is fantastic and should be honored, but if you allow all this to erase the memories of how judgmental you were in your pre-baby days, you will do yourself and others a great disservice.
So here are a few tips on how best to handle your pregnancy and baby with a modicum of grace so people don't roll their eyes behind your back.
1) Nobody wants to hear about your pregnancy, especially men.
Even the guy whose sperm lived inside you for days, wriggling around your fallopian tube and seeking the warmth of your egg, does not care about your pregnancy. It isn't real to him. It is a fable you tell him, like how you once saw a ghost in your grandparents' attic or the promise of a birthday threesome. It is hard to believe. This applies to your complaining about the feeling of your pelvis falling through your crotch, or your elation over being a holy vessel for the mystical wonder that is the creation of life.
2) Never, under and circumstances, say "we are pregnant."
Okay, all the guy had to do was orgasm inside you and his job is done until you squirt that baby out of your body. If we are going to be the "lesser" sex, then let's play up the double standards, ladies! Yes I want equality and yes, I want all the credit! Suck it!
3) While with child, be sensitive to your non- pregger friends who want babies.
There is a chance that you will be around women who want to get pregnant and haven't yet, or don't have a boyfriend and feel stressed about it. In order not to alienate yourself from these relationships, stay away from excessively rubbing your belly, saying things like "I am so uncomfortable, you're lucky your're not pregnant," or expecting her to know the difference between your child's knee and face in the ultrasound picture.
4) No pictures with the father behind you holding your belly!
I get why you want to have this picture and you are welcome to take one, but keep it under your bed.
5) Let people touch your belly.
As long as they are not creepy pregnant-girl fetishists, let people touch your belly and feel the miracle of it all. Besides, if you didn't want all that attention then why are you poking your belly out?
6) Birth is raw. Tell everyone you want to tell!
Yeah, a human just spawned from your being and you lived to tell about it. Go for it!
7) Post as many pictures on Facebook of your new baby as you want, but people are not looking for the right reasons.
Go ahead and make 79 albums of your baby, but no one is looking because they just can't get enough of your precious infant and have nothing but pure intentions. They are checking your page and pressing "like" so they can secretly say to themselves "my baby is cuter" or "she is leaving the hospital tomorrow and hasn't lost any of the baby weight?"
8) If traveling with infant, allow comparable behavior from whoever is next to you.
If enclosed in a moving apparatus with your infant and a stranger, address the situation and come up with some ground rules to level the playing field. If your infant vomits, farts, cries, whines or poops their pants, then your travel companion is allowed to do the same. I would encourage things by asking them if they think their father really loves them and offering prunes.
9) Never imitate your child while telling a story of how cute they are.
Your child is probably the most adorable creature ever created by the cosmos, but the charm of whatever happened is totally lost with your interpretive dance on how they play peek-a-boo. I promise, your baby will do something endearing in front of anyone who hangs out with them for more then 10 minutes.
Humans have been making humans for thousands of years. It doesn't mean you're better than anyone if you did it, so don't act like it. Of course, for all us parents who have gone through the process, we know life was totally vapid and meaningless before we had our babies. That we never truly comprehended what love meant, and even the thought that you found life satisfying before your baby is comical. All parents know that, we just act nonchalant so people think we are still hip. And remember, none of these rules apply to any of your new mommy and daddy friends who are just as insanely happy with themselves and their child as you are.
Follow Toni Nagy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tonibolognamind