Thursday, March 5, 2015

All that Baby Talk, Pt4

You know, I really want to stop blogging about my pregnancy. But the craziness surrounding this most normal of womanly biology compels my rants.

[My dear fellow women for whom pregnancy hasn't been easy to come by, might never happen, isn't easy, please know that I empathise in full. I don't mean to beat you over the head with my drama.]

The bump watch. It's a tabloid favourite activity. Thankfully, I think the Indian media isn't as unhealthily obsessed thanks to the innumerable superstitions surrounding pregnancy and the fact that most pregnant women in our country aren't too show off-y with their bumps. Hiding the bump is as much a part of pregnancy as is announcing to the world a girl/woman's fertility (read manjal neerattu vizha, don't get me started on that, please!). So, the Indian tabloids have carried woefully little content about celebrity babies and Aishwarya Rai, mother of most famous celebrity baby in Indian tabloid history, chose to stay on the DL during her pregnancy, bless her!

But the average woman, aam aurat, sarasari manushi, doesn't have the pleasure of being the subject of zero prying eyes. No, this woman has to deal with her doctor, her spouse, her family, her friends, her own devious mind, and all the content online and offline regarding what her pregnant belly ought to look and feel like! It's a bit ridiculous this level of scrutiny. It always makes me wonder why we even announce our pregnancies to everyone around us. I get it, it's good news to those who believe pregnanices are good news, but there are some people who don't want to know about what goes on in our uterus and frankly who can blame them? Other than a mini human, the other things that a uterus expels can hardly be called pleasant. Maybe necessary, but by no means pleasant.

That's not the topic of conversation here. We're talking baby bumps.

You'll have to forgive me the usage of the colloquial term. Thanks to my first trimester, pretty much the only obvious indicator of my pregnancy has been my weight. And everyone kept commenting on how fat I've become and so on. It was tempting to tell them off, but I didn't feel like. Too much work for the opinions of people who IGAS about. The only people I do care about are friends and family, and thankfully, I've been lucky in tat they are more concerned about my well-being and less about how pregnant I look.

That being said, it's a bit sad that you go to the trouble of getting pregnant and then all you're told is "you don't look pregnant, just fat." Gee, thanks! I went through a miscarriage, and some serious time planning only to hear this from your smelly mouth. Please go sailing on the cooum and accidentally drown in cooum sludge, please? Thanks. I really appreciate how you've acceded to my wishes and whims! UGH!

Body-shaming and fat-shaming have become such an integral part of the process of one's pregnancy that you can't unhear it, or pretend it doesn't exist. The only thing you can do is rage at it and call people names. You literally leave us no choice. For the most part, pregnant women and their skewed centres of gravity don't lend themselves to grace in a fight.  And honestly, I prefer standing up straight to flailing about like an ungainly creature.

At this point, I've gone on selective deafness mode when it comes to bump talk. I mean, in my initial excitement, I wanted a bump and I wanted to look pregnant and wear maternity clothes and walk around the city gleefully rubbing my belly and looking pleased about life. But then I realised that this is probably better. A barely there belly that's finally beginning to show in my third trimester is better than walking around breathless and cursing your decision to get pregnant in the first place.

The main takeaway is of course the following:

- If you're a woman who has never been pregnant, shut up about my lack of a baby bump. Save your commentary for the time you do choose to gestate a mini human.
- If you've been pregnant before and you had the kind of belly that walked into a room hours before you did, that's your body being pregnant, not mine, so quit comparing!
- If you're a man, don't make me state the patently obvious. Just please SHUT UP!

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