Nothing brings out the crazies like the sight of a doe-eyed, soccer-ball-tummied first-time preggo.
The nurse who knows everything.
This gal’s been delivering babies since the days when they force-fed preggies laxatives, and she’s not impressed by anything you think you know about birthin’ babies, noob. She’s seen it all and she’s got no time for anything. She knows exactly what you’re supposed to do to get this baby out, and she doesn’t want to hear about what “your body wants.” Has your body been on this L&D floor since the Nixon administration? She’s secure in her supreme knowledge about everything having to do with your uterus and cervix and even more secure in your ignorance of it. When her shift ends and you’re only dilated to 6 cm, you’ll believe in miracles.
The mom who never lost the baby weight.
She put on 30 pounds with each kid, and with each one there was five pounds she couldn’t lose. She talks a whole lot about how your body is never going to be the same after this experience. She liberally describes the sagging, stretching and general mom-bod ickiness that awaits you, but she wants you to know it’s okay. In fact, she says it’s okay so many times that you wonder if she’s telling you or telling herself.
The mom who lost the baby weight right away (or never gained it in the first place).
She insists that women only need to gain about 11 pounds with a healthy pregnancy, and anything over that is self-indulgent. She makes a disdainful face when you tell her that your mother gained 50 when she was pregnant with you. Stretch marks do not grace her pristine midsection and you find yourself looking for the nearest exit so you can escape this awkward conversation and go for ice cream.
The doula who wants you to only buy organic chicken.
When you tell her that you can’t afford organic chicken, she shrugs the shrug of someone who hasn’t got time for your lazy mothering. “All I’m saying is, the research says that hormones we ingest through poultry can affect the fertility of our great-grandkids. Just think about it.”
The friend who thinks you’re crazy for avoiding caffeine.
“I had five cups a day with all four of my kids and only one of ‘em walks funny. You’re not gonna be one of those sanctimommies, are you? Ugh, I won’t be able to hang out with you anymore.”
The stranger with the birth story.
Her cousin had a monstrously large kid (or was it a freakishly small cervix?). Either way, it was bloody, it was gory, and everyone damn near died. Oh, also, the kid came super-fast, and she delivered on her kitchen floor. The paramedic was a high school boyfriend. Everything about this story makes you rethink the vocation of motherhood.
The parents who want you to know how much everything is about to suck.
These people love the word never. You’re never going to sleep again. You’re never going to have a conversation with your husband again. You’re never going to have sex again. You’re never going to have disposable income again. You’re never going to be alone, ever, until you die and they stick you in a hole and by that time you’ll be like thank goodness, some peace and quiet.
The mom who’s not afraid to give birth.
She’s super confident in her body’s divinely appointed ability to bring this precious miracle forth into the fullness of human life, and she’s got the inflatable birthing tub to prove it. You’re jealous of her calm, nymph-like comfort in her own skin, her extensive knowledge of things like “transition” and “purple pushing” and her proficiency in labor poses. You want to ask her to give birth to your baby for you because she’s clearly got this handled, but you’re pretty sure that would be inappropriate. Also, probably biologically impossible.
…and the mom who IS.
She’s freaked out and she wants you to be as well, because if both of you are freaked out then maybe someone can come save you from this horrifying “Alien”-like debacle that’s about to rip through your lady bits. She wants the epidural when she feels the first contraction. No, before. Can she get the epidural at 38 weeks? 39? She doesn’t want to feel anything. Just shoot her with a tranquilizer. This is going to be bad. She’s so sure of it.