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how to treat pregnant women

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how to treat pregnant women

Postby spacefem » Sat Apr 17, 6:56 2010

I've enjoyed being pregnant these past seven months, I've been healthy, surrounded by support, it's a fun adventure, etc.

but other times I just wish I could ESCAPE.

I'm cool now but I was cool before this too, and a lot of those ways are vanishing. I'm not skinny anymore, I can't embrace my love of fine wines or roller coasters, in two weeks I won't even be able to fly airplanes. Seeing these things go is tough. And the world around me sometimes just epic-fails when it comes to helping me deal with the changes.

So I would appreciate it if the world would stop:
1) Addressing me as "preggo" or "mama"... It was cute at first but every so often I'd like to hear my name, to remind me it's still there.

2) Relaying traumatic childbirth stories. Especially if they're friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend (I can find all sorts of crazy stories if I dig out seven levels of separation, folks). Especially if I'm reading up on natural birth. Just FYI... if a woman WANTS a natural birth, she should be allowed to have it. Telling her "don't feel bad when you ask for the epidural!" is like telling your kid "don't feel bad when you lose the soccer game!" or telling newlyweds "don't feel bad when you get a divorce!" I mean statistically, you're preparing them, right? NO PEOPLE IT'S NOT NICE. A lot of women who want a natural birth get one, and they're not "magic women", there's a little luck involved but it's mostly determination and prep work. I've talked to them, and not a single one has said "Well childbirth was just so super easy for me".

3) Commenting on my size. I've always had this, I've always been really tall, and when lots of people point it out I feel like a freak. But when you're pregnant there's a whole other level of people asking how far along you are, then telling you their opinion on whether or not you look like it. Stop looking at me. On days when I feel beautiful I just want to feel beautiful. On days when I feel like a beached whale I just want to feel like a beached whale.

4) Ignoring other things going on in my life. I'm doing a lot of interesting things right now besides incubating, which doesn't really take up much time or effort, it pretty much happens on its own. No I'm not "ready for this baby yet", I'm two months away, why would I spend every weekend setting up the nursery?

What should you do? Ask me what's going on in my life, and if I don't bring up pregnancy don't change the subject to pregnancy. Tell me I picked out some nice clothes today... it takes a lot of effort, I'm wearing things to work I NEVER would have worn to work, let me know it's okay. Let me know I'm fabulous, pregnancy is fabulous, childbirth is empowering and I am the same strong woman I've always been. Offer to buy me a beer when this is all over. Let me know there will still be a group camping trip that I can go on in September. Remind me that my life is still mine.

That's all. Carry on.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Neko » Sat Apr 17, 7:07 2010

My friend Amy went through the same thing with people. Except she's not a super nifty engineer, she's a super nifty housewife. So there wasn't much else going on at the time anyway. But she was always happy to hang out with me since I didn't comment on her weight or repeatedly say things like, "You look like you're about to pop!"

I was pretty certain that she knew she was pregnant so I didn't have to remind her every time I saw her, you know?
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby monk » Sat Apr 17, 9:20 2010

spacefem wrote: A lot of women who want a natural birth get one, and they're not "magic women", there's a little luck involved but it's mostly determination and prep work. I've talked to them, and not a single one has said "Well childbirth was just so super easy for me".


There's alot of women in rural Asia, Africa, & South America etc who don't practice any other type of childbirth besides what we call natural. And since their population has been kicking ours ass for awhile the natural way can't be too bad a method. As far as I know, how easy the childbirth goes varies woman to woman, some easier than others, obviously some not so easy. If it's any consolation, I remember someone saying that if you're someone to whom labor is difficult your brain will afterwards edit out most of the discomfort you experienced.

And here's a promise . If I ever get the chance to meet you, I will buy you a beer and completely ignore the fact of your motherhood unless you mention it first.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby lillerina » Sat Apr 17, 10:07 2010

For my mum, labour was less painful than period cramps. Granted, killer period cramps run in the family, but still, not as terrible as some say.

I think you're still awesome, Lady Spacefem, and it sucks that you have to take a break from flying planes. When you got your pilot's license I was so excited that I told a bunch of people who have never heard of you that you got your pilot's license.

Also, I will spot you a beer at spacefemcon, and I think that shirt you're wearing is awesome.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby spacefem » Sat Apr 17, 10:53 2010

monk wrote:There's alot of women in rural Asia, Africa, & South America etc who don't practice any other type of childbirth besides what we call natural. And since their population has been kicking ours ass for awhile the natural way can't be too bad a method.


I love you for this.

I have an "affirmation list" of things people are going to be allowed to say to me during childbirth, and I'm so adding this to it.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Butterfly North » Sat Apr 17, 11:26 2010

This is actually really helpful, I guess none of this had occurred to me but yeah being treated like a walking baby incubator and nothing else sounds like it would be super annoying.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby dwarp » Sat Apr 17, 11:34 2010

It's something I'm pretty conscious of,after somebody has a kid too. I feel bad if all I ask them about is the baby, so I make a point of asking non-kid-related questions. It would really bug me if people talked about the size of my belly too. That's just so awkward. They're blatantly staring at you!
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby helium » Sat Apr 17, 12:26 2010

A girl in my sculpture class this semester had a natural birth in her own house without even a midwife (she didn't show up in time) and she said it was way easy for her. Her mom held her hand and she squatted so gravity helped and it went super fast and everything was great.

It sucks that you can't go on rollercoasters or fly, I didn't even think about those things. At least when you have your kid she'll pretty much be the coolest kid ever because her mom will take her on lots of rollercoasters and fly her around and drink good wine with her!
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby SakuraSong » Sat Apr 17, 14:04 2010

I have a teacher who's five or six months along now, and her stomach was starting to show, so we asked a bunch of baby related questions and hoped that she didn't mind. But yeah, I didn't know how she could still stand up for hours on end in a lecture hall or a lab class while pregnant. Guess this just shows that pregnant women aren't fragile =\.

All this talk about childbirth and epidurals are starting to get a mite bit scary.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Meperidine » Sat Apr 17, 18:35 2010

My mom talked a lot about this too. Some of her favorites:

A woman who followed her around Crate and Barrel for half an hour saying "Oh my god when's your due date? You're going to explode any second now, right? Should I call you someone?" My mother was five months pregnant at the time.

A woman who once saw my mom at 7 months minding me (age 8), my sister (age 6), and my female cousin (age 5) in an airport while our dads and my male cousin were off getting our luggage, sniffed at my mom and said "This one better be a boy, lady."

A man (same trip) who told her that it wasn't his problem she got knocked up when she asked him to not blow cigarette smoke in her face at Sea World.

Countless people drilling her about her eating and exercise habits and telling her she would lose her baby unless she changed them.

Countless questions about WHETHER OR NOT MY BROTHER WAS AN ACCIDENT. etc. It's amazing the shit people will say.

She also told me she frequently wished that she could just "take it off for a couple hours," and told me that pregnancy was really a gross nasty awful experience physically, socially, and in how much people force you to give up. But she followed it up immediately by telling me that actually having a baby, and a child, is the best thing ever. It'll be over soon and you'll have a child, and that's going to kick a LOT of ass.

(Oh, and my mom's standard response to invasive questions about the due date, if it was an accident, etc.: "How soon do you need to know?" The general response is a disarmed silence that translates to "oh, right, I don't.")
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Astrid » Sun Apr 18, 13:48 2010

Hi Spacefem.

Do you work with or create DAP boards? I was just reading some info on the Microstar Laboratories DAP boards that are used by Scaled Composites.

Oh, and you'll soon be a mother? Cool. Instead of regaling you with birth stories, I'll jump ahead and share one of my "new Mom" experiences.

Three months after my second son was born, my husband and I attended a party hosted by his company. At that time I had a baby and a toddler, as my sons were born 20 months apart. My days were consumed with nursing the baby, diaper changes, laundry and other exciting endeavors.

I'd already learned that people tend to dismiss a nursing-a-baby-stay-at-home-mom as unworthy of intelligent conversation. So, this time I had a new response ready when people asked. "...and what do you do?"

My new job designation, and reply became: "I'm raising the future leaders of the free world, it's a tough job, but someone has to do it".

Now, this still did not create a spontaneous burst of eager conversationalists, but I so enjoyed the startled looks, that it was well worth it.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby rowan » Sun Apr 18, 13:55 2010

lillerina wrote:When you got your pilot's license I was so excited that I told a bunch of people who have never heard of you that you got your pilot's license.

I totally did this too! :) It's so exciting to read about it! :D

Also: No You Cannot Touch My Belly You Freak! I don't even know you! Get the fuck away from me!
And don't even get me started on names or gender...but I think you've ranted about that too. ;)

And I still say you can have "a life" after kid. It takes some modification but definitely is possible. Though four kids might make it hard (MFS).
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby vega_pleiades » Fri Apr 23, 18:26 2010

i had no idea you were pregnant. that'll teach me for disappearing for a year.

it's amazing how harboring a fetus suddenly makes you fair game for everyone to talk to you and be generally obnoxious and nosy. i'd probably snark at them.

(insert thoughtful feminist analysis of society's treatment of pregnant women that i am in no way qualified to write)
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Juliya's Slave » Wed Jun 2, 19:07 2010

Congrats Spacefem. I hope it goes okay.

I got lucky. No one really touched me when I was knocked up. At my job, regular customers were like, "OMG! How far along are you now?" I think to myself, "Well, the same as when I told you yesterday." Then they say, "YOU ARE FREAKING HUGE!" Well, I had a 9lbs. 4.2 oz, 22 inches long child. That may be the reason.

That is why I got fixed. No more stupid people. Good luck Spacefem.

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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Aum » Wed Jun 2, 23:03 2010

I'm tall too spacefem. I know being a tall man is different than being a tall woman, but I do get singled out a lot with weird comments about my height. Sometimes I even hit my head on doorways and people laugh about it, thinking it's really slapstick. There are times when I would just like to be looked at as a human and not as "the tall guy".
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Juliya's Slave » Thu Jun 3, 16:35 2010

I forgot to add that I hope you do do it Spacefem. I didn't but almost wished I did. I wound up getting a C-Section and almost dying so maybe a natural birth would have been less painful. I hope you do what you think is best for both of you and good luck Lady S.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby spacefem » Thu Jun 3, 16:44 2010

thanks all :)

I am close to giving birth... my due date is June 11, so odds are good that I'll be having this baby in the next 2-3 weeks. stay tuned!
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Juliya's Slave » Thu Jun 3, 16:57 2010

spacefem wrote:thanks all :)

I am close to giving birth... my due date is June 11, so odds are good that I'll be having this baby in the next 2-3 weeks. stay tuned!


I hope so. What are you having anyway? Try to hold out until the 28th. It is my bday. :)

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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby SakuraSong » Thu Jun 3, 19:27 2010

^I think Spacefem said they were keeping it a secret, but I bet it's most definitely a normal, healthy human child.

KEEP US POSTED, SPACEFEM! This is so exciting. :D
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby The Other Lizard » Thu Jun 3, 20:39 2010

I think she said it's a girl.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby monk » Thu Jun 3, 21:53 2010

she did.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby SakuraSong » Thu Jun 3, 23:03 2010

Oh, then I guess I either missed it, or is pulling shit out of my ass. :(

Well, girls are better than guys any day. Bwaha.
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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Juliya's Slave » Fri Jun 4, 7:14 2010

I haven't been on here for a year so I had no idea.

Girls are better than boys, until they are teenagers. I thought I was mad I had a boy instead of a girl until I had to have the "period" talk, hormones, sex, boys, etc. My husband and I had a deal that whatever sex the baby was, that person has to have the sex talk. THANK GOD it was a boy. With me dancing both ways of the sexuality line, it saves me an awkward conversation. "Mommy, why do you like girls more than boys?" *shudders*

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Re: how to treat pregnant women

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Mon Jun 7, 16:40 2010

My mom had a "natural" birth with my sister and an epidural with me... she says she was a lot more out-of-it with my sister because of the pain. Not poo-pooing natural births, just providing the other viewpoint... it's a personal decision, no one should be getting on your case about it either way.
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