Recently a friend and colleague of mine announced that she was expecting twins, her first pregnancy. Isn't weird when you wake up one day to find that when people tell you they're pregnant you automatically think, "Congratulations!" instead of, "What are you going to do?" No? Just me? OK...
My friend, charming, intelligent, and talented woman that she is, did admit that she was scared, and that's a normal feeling. Childbirth isn't without its dangers, she's about to go through many physical ch-ch-ch-changes, and then you have that whole caring-for-a-tiny-human thing to deal with for the rest of your life.
I could spend the next 700 words telling her how everything will be all right, miracle, love, family, and you get to play with Play-Doh again without folks looking at you like some of your genes misfired. I could, but I won't. Instead I think I'll warn her because you being pregnant cause ch-ch-ch-changes (It's stuck in my head, OK?) in otherwise normal people all around you. There are ten specifically you need to be on the lookout for.
The Palmer: Something about a big belly full of baby seems to throw all sense of personal boundaries about touching strangers out the freakin' window. Old ladies and guys with comb-overs seem to be particularly likely to just reach out and palm your expanded universe like it's a hand-pad that will unlock the oxygen on Mars with only the most cursory of introductions.
You how goddamn creepy that would be to do to a person who wasn't pregnant? Like if I just waltzed up to a soccer mom in the grocery store and touched her stomach? That's just asking for a Mace breath mint. The second you start to show, though, get ready for to be humanity's personal squishy touch thing.
The Downer: Sometimes you being pregnant brings up tragedies for other people regarding their own experiences. While you don't really want to hear about a possible awful fate when you're already scared, try to be sympathetic.
However, there's another class of people that really didn't want to have children when they did and only did so because they thought it was the right thing. They'll gleefully tell you how they never lost the weight, never slept right again, or how their sex or love lives were forever ruined. Basically, they're trying to piss in your corn flakes because if they should taste a bit of piss with every spoonful then by God so should you.
The Lactivist: Let me be very clear... I am extremely pro-breastfeeding. My wife did it for a year. I fully support any law that comes along requiring employers to respect the right for a woman to feed or pump breast milk and to provide a clean safe place to do so. Breastfeeding is truly the best thing you can do to feed your child.
Some people, though, turn it into a religion, and they're worse than Jehovah's Witnesses when they descend on you. They never ask if you're planning on breastfeeding, they just start shouting statistics and warning dire consequences should you not comply. Some of them even balk at bottle-feeding with pumped milk, and on the scale of annoying adherents they're usually just slightly behind hardcore pot legalization enthusiasts.
Piece continues on next page.