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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 12 'Nays' of Christmas, or Why it Sucks to be Pregnant During the Holidays

#12. Advent calendars. How embarrassing--you ate all your chocolate on Day 1. How can you possibly be expected to ignore 25 days of chocolate staring you in the face?? Now, how to hide your indiscretion from others . . . ?

#11. Attire. Holiday attire is a minefield even for your regular body—is this too trampy for the charity dinner? Too stuffy for your friends’ annual cocktail party? Usually you rotate through a few tried-and-true festive dresses in your closet, but this year, you have to buy something entirely new—and given that it will be twice the price of a regular holiday dress because it has the word “maternity” in front of it, you want something that will be appropriate for a number of occasions. Oh, and flattering. Somehow.

#10. Shopping. We all hate it, pregnant or no. But pregnant gals get the extra added bonus of having to pee all the time! Nothing makes shopping go faster than popping into the bathroom every 30 minutes. If you can find it.

#9. Christmas cards. All of your friends with kids are sending out adorable cards with pictures of toddlers snuggling puppies in Santa hats, and all you have is a giant stomach and hair growing in weird new places. No one wants a picture of that. (And really really, no one wants to see your sonogram photo on a Christmas card. I promise.)

#8. Doctors’ appointments. Depending on how far along you are, you could be seeing your OB/GYN every 2 weeks—or even every week! With a million Christmas-related events to attend and errands to run, wasting 45 minutes every week sitting in a waiting room listening to elevator muzak versions of the same 6 Christmas tunes is infuriating.

#7. Social events. Did you know you are no longer a person? You are now a Baby Incubator. You can’t possibly have anything going on in your life—anything interesting worth discussing—that isn’t related to babies. Or so people seem to think. Social events are no longer a pleasant break from the stresses of the holiday season. They are now a prime opportunity for virtual strangers to ask you repetitive, increasingly inappropriate (“So, are your nipples ready for breastfeeding?!?”), nosy questions about your pregnancy and the baby. And to touch your stomach without asking.

#6. Christmas movies and specials. When Jimmy Stewart realizes that it is a wonderful life, it usually brings a tear to your eye. But with pregnancy hormones, it brings a gushing flood of tears that you can’t stop, even though your husband is looking at you as if you’ve grown a third head. “But, sweetie, life is soooo wonderful—sob sob blubber—I’m just so thankful for our family—gurgle gurgle blubber—and I love Christmas and our baby and cookies—sniff sniff sniff. Are you going to finish that egg nog?”

#5. Gift-giving dilemmas. Splash out because this is the last year you can hope to have any sort of disposable income, or skimp on gifts in the name of “saving for the baby”? Tricky.

#4. Cookies. Those 25-35 pounds you’re advised to gain during pregnancy dont’t take into account Christmas cookies. Hmph.

#3. Gifts . . . . for the baby! Wait a second, now. I’m still a person in my own right. Why are all these gifts for someone who isn’t even born yet?? He has years and years of gift-getting ahead of him. Where’s my stuff?!? Oh, this bouncer is for me?? Why don’t I just sit in it and try it out . . .

#2. Ringing in the New Year . . . at 10pm, because you’re too tired to stay awake any longer. Not to mention, standing for more than 5 minutes leads your feet to swell to the size of those tacky inflatable lawn decorations, so dancing the night away is distant memory. You’re parked on the couch with the leftover Christmas cookies, and a bottle of sparkling cider.

Which brings me to the most horrific Christmas atrocity faced by pregnant women:

#1. NO BOOZE. Remember how every Christmas since you turned 21, you’ve eased your way through family Christmas gatherings, your mom’s annual attention-seeking holiday breakdown, and miserable office parties with a bottle of red at your side? Forget it. This year, you have to do it all STONE COLD SOBER. Sure, some doctors allow for a glass of wine here or there, but let’s face it: a glass of wine won’t even dull the pain induced by watching Uncle Grabby Hands harass your sister while your Grandfather repeatedly reminds everyone that he’s going to die soon. Good luck. 

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