I am still the same person. Still me. I also happen to be pregnant.
Here it comes, "Hey preggers, how are you?". My friend Dave. Well-meaning and adorable but unable these days to have a conversation with me about anything other than my impending birth.
It started as soon as I announced my pregnancy at Christmas. Immediately, every choice I made in life was suddenly dictated by my future motherhood, well at least as far as my friends and family were concerned.
Facebook was the worst offender. I didn't "announce" it on there (mainly because I couldn't handle the attention of 300 people saying "congratulations!" all at once. It put the fear of god into me. So I just sort of told people here and there and carried on with my life.
But when it came to updating my status it all started coming unravelled. "Hazel is working in town today", I'd post, in all innocence. "That won't last once you have the baby. Like to see you trying to type at your laptop and down a latte at the same time with a three-month-old vomiting all over you," would come the response. Yes, very good, ha ha. "Hazel is excited about the ASOS sale," "Let's see how excited you are when nothing fits you anymore." Yes, hee hee. Er, ok, change the record.
And because I hadn't made a formal announcement (which these days must be done via a social networking site, donchyaknow), these innocent comments would spark a whole new round of, "Are you PREGNANT??!!" comments and so it would go on, ad infinitum.
It's not like I'm not excited about being a mother. Far from it. I am delighted. I'm over the moon. I have wanted nothing more for the last year and a half. And my life WILL change irrevocably in June, I know this.
I'm not some poor, deluded fool who thinks she can carry on burning the midnight oil, making rash online clothing purchases and jet setting all over the world. I will gladly become a mother, with all the stresses and changes that brings and nothing pleases me more. But my entire life until that point doesn't have to revolve around the bump in front of me, does it?
"You shouldn't be carrying that," says my neighbour cheerfully as he sees me lugging a scuttle full of coal in from the garden. Before, he might have commented on the weather or the news but now it's all about me.
"You'll miss that time you spend reading when the baby's here," says one commuter I occasionally see on the train but have never spoken to before. Excuse me? It's like having a newly-rounded midriff automatically qualifies me for all sorts of intrusive comments from complete strangers.
"When's it due?" they'll happily ask, "Is it a girl or a boy?". I'm not a particularly private person and I will gladly strike up a conversation with an old lady on a train but I sort of resent the idea that it's ONLY because I have a bump sticking out in front of me that I am now approachable, like I now have a huge label which determines what I am and what topics of conversation I would like to hear about.
So now, if I get angry about something, it's because I'm pregnant and hormonal. If I have a cold, it's because I'm pregnant and susceptible. If I say I'd like a piece of cake it's because I'm pregnant and have cravings. It isn't! It's because I'm greedy and I want cake!
A very keen movie fan, I arranged to go to the cinema with a friend last week. I really wanted to see quite a gory horror film which had been recommended to me but she looked at me appalled and said, "Really? In your condition?" like my carrying of a new life meant I was now devoid of critical faculties and suddenly I was supposed to want to go and see Gnomeo and Juliet or Sex And The City Twelve. No my film tastes haven't changed, I still listen to raucous rock music at full volume, I go to comedy gigs and I – gasp – sometimes still even swear.
Come on, give us poor pregnants a break. We DO have other topics of conversation. We're probably thinking about it all the time as it is, it's kinda nice to not have to talk about it all the time too.
Does this ring bells for you?
Or did you like your pregnancy being the centre of attention?
Tell us what you think...
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