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I see pregnant people (and not)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Is anyone else's pregdar on high alert? I have been a wee bit extra emotional and every time I see a visibly pregnant person and/or a tiny baby I want to give this silly, loopy conspiratorial grin. Which would just be weird, I think, because I am not visibly pregnant. People who've done this before - can you exchange silly, loopy conspiratorial grins with other preggos once you've got a big belly too? I hope so!

 

Another thing that has been interesting to me as a first timer is (this sounds really dumb) just the fact that there must be so many invisibly pregnant people all around me. Somehow I'd never really thought about that... maybe because the imagery we use of pregnant people is always, well, REALLY pregnant people with the big bump and all. How does that change and mold our understanding of pregnancy as a culture, I wonder?

post #2 of 17

This made me giggle, because I'm the same.  Actually, even when TTC this time, I would stare at pregnant bellies as I walked by (probably longingly, I hope I didn't offend anyone!) 

 

I haven't thought about the invisably pregnat aspect.  Interesting thought. 

post #3 of 17

It isn't just that I see pregnant women everywhere I go. I also know of so many that have either just had babies or are pregnant right now. I have 4 friend that have just had babies this summer. Then I have 7 more friends that are currently pregnant. On top of that there are now I think 8 of us from my previous MDC DDC that are pregnant.

 

I also always smile at women who have more than 3 children with them, as I long to have a larger size family too, and love to see other larger sized families. I also think mothers of many children don't get enough encouragement since most people I know seem to think 2 is is plenty. (And it might be for them, but I've heard so many negative comments about having more than 2, and we haven't told most people yet that we are expecting our 3rd.)

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynann View Post

It isn't just that I see pregnant women everywhere I go. I also know of so many that have either just had babies or are pregnant right now. I have 4 friend that have just had babies this summer. Then I have 7 more friends that are currently pregnant. 

This was me with DS!  So far this time (that I know of) only my SIL is also expecting.  Last time I had about 10 friends on Maternity Leave at the same time as me, and 5 or 6 of those delivered within 2 months of DS birthday.

post #5 of 17

Yup I've been on preg radar since we first decided to start planning and then trying (over a year ago).  I probably had some ghoulishly stupid drooling smile nut.gif on my face too when I would see a pregnant woman or a newborn.  I also have this tendency to point the newborns out to my daughter...I don't know why.  But I had to teach her not to touch or get close.  I almost sometimes think I did that in case we were not able to have one.  Weird.

 

As for the culture...well actually I have a degree in anthropology and although I am not an expert, when I had my still birth and losses I was very interested in the misconceptions people had about pregnancy and birth.  I actually read several books and papers on it and was going to do my senior project on it.  My experience was that when I told my family (after the still birth) that the state required a funeral or a cremation for a loss after 18 weeks, my family was aghast.  Even though I was 6 months pregnant, my family was almost appalled that we had to also have a funeral (cremation was not an option in the catholic family).  So then I really learned about people's misperceptions about pregnancy and birth.  Many of my friends and family assumed that after the 1st tri, it was extraordinarily rare to lose a baby.  But it is actually much more common and it is just taboo to talk about it, at least in the US.  And it is hard to get the current generations to talk about it too, but I had no trouble getting generations older then the baby boomers to talk my ear off!  And the stories some of them had!  Wow!

 

I think that much of pregnancy and birth is taboo in our culture and society.  There is a superstition surrounding pregnancy and birth as well.  I know it is not like this in all countries, but it seems to be the predominant attitude in the US.

post #6 of 17

Another double post...

post #7 of 17

Jacqueline, I think its rather ironic that a Catholic family would balk at a funeral, what with the "honor life" thing and all. I come from a Catholic family too, and we have been fortunate enough not to have experienced a loss like that, so I wouldn't know my family's practical response either, but it seems rather ironic. Anyway, so sorry for your losses!

 

I think the American culture just simply avoids talking about painful things. I had a m/c at 12 wks 9 years ago and I was surprised at how many people "came out" about their losses to me. I would have never known otherwise. The pain makes it difficult to talk about, I get that, I didn't for a while. But since then, I've tried not to make that a secret at all, because I think it is a good thing to talk about, it helps you heal and gives you opportunities to connect with others.

 

So back to the OP, I totally have the Pregdar on! I am constantly wondering if women are pregnant around me. I can't wait to be visibly pg, call me crazy, but I love how people just come up and talk to you because you're pg. I feel like I'm going to have to wait SO LONG for that!

 

-Sheryl

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieWalter View Post

Is anyone else's pregdar on high alert? I have been a wee bit extra emotional and every time I see a visibly pregnant person and/or a tiny baby I want to give this silly, loopy conspiratorial grin. Which would just be weird, I think, because I am not visibly pregnant. People who've done this before - can you exchange silly, loopy conspiratorial grins with other preggos once you've got a big belly too? I hope so!

 

Another thing that has been interesting to me as a first timer is (this sounds really dumb) just the fact that there must be so many invisibly pregnant people all around me. Somehow I'd never really thought about that... maybe because the imagery we use of pregnant people is always, well, REALLY pregnant people with the big bump and all. How does that change and mold our understanding of pregnancy as a culture, I wonder?

 

I have been thinking this exactly!

It's my first pregnancy, and I only recently decided that I want to have a child, so I guess I haven't really been tuned in to the whole scene of pregnancy and pregnant women before. I was out with some colleagues the other night after a lecture (surreptitiously sipping my club soda and lime) and the talk turned to pregnancy. The lecture had been about contraception and the Affordable Care Act and we sat talking about pregnancy and fetal development and abortion the whole time, and I kept thinking how just totally wild it was that there I was, very newly pregnant, and no one seemed to suspect. Of course I'll tell my colleagues when I'm (much) further along--and I'm not saying it was an uncomfortable experience--just that I was struck by how much secrecy is a part of pregnancy, and how I never thought of it that way. This stage contrasts so interestingly with the later stage--the being so-publicly-visibly-pregnant stage, when my belly will seem like it is (I imagine) everyone's business.
 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillbriana View Post

 

. This stage contrasts so interestingly with the later stage--the being so-publicly-visibly-pregnant stage, when my belly will seem like it is (I imagine) everyone's business.

 

Oh yes, this another joy (not!) of pregnancy...everyone commenting on how big (or small) you are for how long you are or something of the like!  Lol.

post #10 of 17

Hi Adventuregirl/Sheryl - cute name BTW.

 

I think it was the whole unexpected ordeal, right?  No one in my family, at least none that I know of, has had a stillbirth, only miscarriages.  I was certainly very surprised.  So they, I guess like many others, thought that if you miscarry before you give birth that you would just go home and wait for 'things' to heal.  But that's not what happens at all.  I had to go through the entire process of birth.  12+ hours of labor.  A birth certificate.  An autopsy.  And I guess after having to go through that in a hospital birth center with babies crying all around (because I had a risk of hemorrhage - and good thing we did because I did hemorrhage badly and needed surgery), then the ordeal still was not over and we had to do the funeral too.

 

My close family and husband's family at the time, were supportive mostly.  Some, especially those that were cousins, were a bit grudgingly supportive, but some others were just mystified that they were asked to attend at all.  And I actually thought at first I didn't want anyone else but my close family there.  My closest family was willing to do whatever I wanted.  But we ended up opening the invitation to the church service to everyone (family/friends) and I was quite shocked at how many people appeared at the funeral.  But now I am actually glad the whole family and many friends know and we can talk about Luke and the loss and no one is unaware of who Luke was.  It also helps cut down on E feeling uncomfortable because she does talk about Luke.  She is so brazen about it too - she had an appointment with a therapist and the first thing they ask is about brothers and sisters.  At first the therapist was a little shocked, but then later she told me she thought it was really great that DD knew about her older brother.

 

It does help with healing and it gives you a connection to both older and younger generations as well as people you might now ever talk to.  Luke was my 3rd loss, and there is a point I reached when I realized I could not hide this, it was painful and I needed the support.  I also knew other people who were having similar experiences with losses and I wanted to be someone who they could talk to.  I felt, after the still birth, that many people did not want to talk about the loss because they could not relate.  But once they actually asked me about it, I would tell them and they wanted to know and then everything was OK, no weirdness or anything.  But there are still many more who can't talk about our experience.  At all.  As in someone mentions it, and the room goes silent.  Still taboo and forbidden.

 

I am really curious as to how the Japanese are going to react to me, a pregnant American.  The society is very closed and some of the strangest things bring people to talk to me, like one day an old man saw I was buying garden seeds and had to come over and talk to me, even though neither of us speaks the other person's language!  He was really nice but it was such a surprise.  I frequently don't talk to any one here other then DH, DD, 2 friends and the people at DD's school.  I suspect I will begin to get questions once I start to show, then I'll be on display blush.gif  Not so sure I will handle that well.  I generally don't like to be the center of attention in a foreign culture (or any culture!).  

 

~jacqueline

post #11 of 17
Ever since I was pregnant with my first, I notice pregnant women all the time, even those that aren't obviously showing, sometimes I look at someone and be able to tell even though I never say anything. I try not to stare or whatever because so many strangers will make comments or start when you are visibly pregnant, it can get uncomfortable. Though if I saw another visibly pregnant woman while I was pregnant, I would smile at her. It is weird when you are in the secret part of pregnancy and having conversations with people about pregnancy, you do feel like you have a sign on your head that says "I'm pregnant!" even though its all just internal. And then when you are visibly pregnant, it IS weird as you are on display, even though as a woman I feel on display a lot already, being pregnant it is different. I think there are a lot of things going on, but pregnancy is something so cherished, and yet it results (typically) from sex which is so private, but she's going to soon be a mother, etc. That's what I felt like sometimes, a walking billboard that read "Hey, I had sex everyone!" even though being a married adult, that's sort of assumed, but not really something we talk or think about. There really is a weird dynamic to being visibly pregnant in public. Oh and while I didn't have a problem with it as I give off a good don't-mess-with-me vibe and I am big and tall, plenty of folks will intrude with belly touching. And I don't mean like your friend or sister asking if it is ok, I mean completely strangers walking up and touching a belly without asking, not cool!
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

That's what I felt like sometimes, a walking billboard that read "Hey, I had sex everyone!" even though being a married adult, that's sort of assumed, but not really something we talk or think about. There really is a weird dynamic to being visibly pregnant in public.

 

I am so with you on this one Quinalla.  It's actually something I think about quite a lot and even though i\I shouldn't be embarrassed or ashamed, I still am!  Or course, after the birth, everything changes again!  Sometimes I wish we hatched eggs externally....  blush.gif

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacquelinej View Post

I am so with you on this one Quinalla.  It's actually something I think about quite a lot and even though i\I shouldn't be embarrassed or ashamed, I still am!  Or course, after the birth, everything changes again!  Sometimes I wish we hatched eggs externally....  blush.gif
lol.gif Thanks for the smile on that mental image!
post #14 of 17

I def. grin when I see a preggo woman.  I am a teacher and there are 7 other women who are preggo at my school, my assistant principal told me.  However I only know about 3 of them, so I have been staring at everyone elses bellies to figure out who the others are. (I'm sure everyone at work thinks I'm CRAZY) No one at my work knows I will be baby #8 yet though, so I'm sure others are looking at me as well.  I also know of 2 women that I workout with who are in their early stages, and we all suffer through our kickboxing classes together.  Its nice to be able to talk to them about what is going on since they are all about a month ahead of me. 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaraM View Post

I def. grin when I see a preggo woman.  I am a teacher and there are 7 other women who are preggo at my school, my assistant principal told me.  However I only know about 3 of them, so I have been staring at everyone elses bellies to figure out who the others are. (I'm sure everyone at work thinks I'm CRAZY) No one at my work knows I will be baby #8 yet though, so I'm sure others are looking at me as well.  I also know of 2 women that I workout with who are in their early stages, and we all suffer through our kickboxing classes together.  Its nice to be able to talk to them about what is going on since they are all about a month ahead of me. 

Wow, what's in the water at your school??  It will be fun to have so many of you to compare stories!

post #16 of 17

This made me smile!

 

I feel the same way.  Whenever I know of anyone who's pregnant, see anyone, etc. I just want to grab her hands and jump up and down and cheer!  Too bad I haven't told anyone at work yet or most of my friends (only 5 weeks), so most of the celebrating is imagined in my head at this point.  

post #17 of 17

We joke about something in the water here all the time.  It seems it comes and goes that this year it just happened it hit hard :) Whats interesting is i know who the others are now but none of them know about me yet (since I'm only 6w 1day)

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