Sunday, January 26, 2014

how body issues are forced on pregnant women.

before becoming pregnant, I never really had any body issues. mostly, I think this is because I've been a vegetarian since I was 15, which made me more conscious about my body. also, I love to workout, go on adventures and participate in sports, which makes me think about my body as a functioning, beautiful machine.

I haven't smoked in over three years, and I am not a binge drinker or a steady drinker; actually, I hardly ever drink at all. I love my career; I love my relationship; I planned my pregnancy because I trust and love my husband, and I know he will be a wonderful father.

these statistics are VITAL to point out because they are good-standing proof that I am a rational, willful individual. this is also vital to point out because I hope it will limit the assumption of my being hormonal or pregnant or even just a woman, which often, women are marginalized into being when they express something that goes against standard social mores, which is exactly what is about to happen.

here is the thing: ever since I've been pregnant, quite a few people have taken it upon themselves to say incredibly ignorant, cruel or just ridiculous things to me, and I just cannot understand how people think they can take such social liberties with anyone. no one, but especially semi-strangers and men, have ever, ever thought they could  comment on my body, breasts, vagina, feet, etc., and get away with it,

but since I've been pregnant, it seems like any kind of lines between you and me have all but disappeared; I tell these things to my husband and he used to think they were funny; then, he found them obnoxious because only he and I should think about our sex life; and finally, now, they make him angry, and 

I think they mostly make him angry because they upset me. 

I went to the doctor on Friday, and the doctor said Langston and I are doing perfectly. I gain a pound a week now, at thirty-five weeks, and my body is still a wonderfully running machine. I'm healthy and have no disease, and Langston's heart beat is stellar, and he's in the right positioning. these things should be far more than enough, but for some reason, to other people, these reasons aren't enough.

so maybe working a full-time job is enough; I get up at 3a when I need to, so I can grade papers and write lectures. I've never missed a day of work throughout my pregnancy, and I even took a side job over winter break to help out. 

and since becoming pregnant, I've grown tremendously. I am getting to know myself better; I'm kind. I'm patient, and not once have I had some wild emotional outburst or started some irrational, heated argument. 

so with all of this proof, and without further ado, here is the list of things I've heard:

"being a mother is stupid."

"you'll never accomplish anything you want."

"pregnant women freak me out."

"I've heard that pregnancy makes your feet huge and they never go back to normal."

"you're ruining your body."

"you'll be fat afterwards."

"you won't have sex anymore."

"your relationship won't be as good."

"I only gained 15 lbs in my pregnancy, and I had twins, you're only having one. how much have you gained?"

"your flower is going to be sooo stretched out."

"you're going to ruin your vagina."

"your boobs won't look good anymore."

"that thing is just hanging out there." (this is in reference to my baby).

"seeing pregnant women makes me angry."

"your boobs turn from fun bags to milk bags."

"the whole torso thing you have going is going to be really weird and not working right for a while."

the major, major problem with all of these forms of "advice" is that they all work as absolutes, and not one of them is absolutely true, and not one single point is advice; there is no helpful information up there. it's all variations of being cruel and stupid.

and I'm not being an idealist, I just believe in preventative care, to take things as they lay, and to work, really work, to alter or survive a situation.

I am a woman. I am not just an animal or just a machine: I am smarter, more adept, more versatile, sympathetic, and kinder than all of these things.

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