A Humorous Look At Pregnancy

Once the medical experts have had their say, it's time for another kind of expert -- a real mom. Abbi Perets is a journalist and the mother of two -- and she's exclusively here on Pregnancy & Baby to tell you her advice about pregnancy, birth, parenting and more.
Abbi Perets

An Olympic sport
When you see another pregnant woman -- in the grocery store, at your caregiver's office, lying on the bed next to you in the labor room -- we bet we know the first thing you do. You probably think you're being casual, perhaps even surreptitious, as you slowly give her the head-to-toe once over and mentally rank her pregnant body, pound for pound, against your own. We would like to let you know that there is nothing casual about competitive pregnancy. In fact, we have commissioned the Olympic Committee to approve this sport by the next Games. It only makes sense; there are at least 1,573,572 active matches in progress in any given five-minute span.

Competitive pregnancy is one of the Deep Dark Secrets of the Sisterhood. We know you know what we mean. We know that you would drop everything and rush to any sister in need, on a moment's notice. You would hold her hand during labor, sit up with her colicky kids in the middle of the night so that she could sleep, even clean up the bodily fluids of her precious babes if need be -- but all the while, you would secretly think that you do pregnancy better.

Oh, your ankles don't get that attractive sock line? Guess what, sister: They do. You just can't see past your big ol' belly is all. And we're not telling you this to be mean. We're telling you because we care about you -- and we care desperately about the Sanctity of the Sisterhood. Competitive pregnancy is the wedge that threatens to drive us apart, and we don't want to see that happen.

For one thing, we still need you to be the person who will hold our hand when we wait for frightening test results. To explain the mysteries of maternity bras. To commiserate when our husband refuses to put pickles, sugar, vinegar, ginger and ice into the ice cream maker for our surefire best-seller flavor. We can't share these moments if it's all about winning.

Where does it end?
Postpartum competition is even tougher. We know you think you'll lose the weight faster than we did, and we'll let you keep that delusion. "Visible panty line" is all we have to say on the subject. We know you think that you'll have it together way sooner than we did. That's OK. We'll let you think it, and we won't even say, "We told you so," when you call us crying hysterically at 3:30 in the morning because you can't figure out how to make the wipes pop out of the box one after another. Well, maybe we'll say it -- but only once.

And don't even get us started on competitive motherhood. We've seen you smiling benevolently when we describe how our precious 3-year-old is completely bilingual and can count to twenty-eleven. And we know exactly what you're thinking, even as you ooh and aah over the 47 still pictures that, when viewed one after another in rapid succession, show the actual growth of our beautiful daughter's eyelashes. You're thinking that your kids are smarter. Your kids are prettier. Your kids' poopy diapers don't stink. To this we say, "Have mercy, what are you feeding that kid?" Really, we're not into competition. We haven't been since about the fifth grade, and it has nothing to do with the fact that we generally lost most competitions we entered. No, it is because we recognize the greater fight, the reason we must Protect the Sisterhood. There is a larger enemy we must unite to conquer together. We cannot waste our time competing with people we actually like. We must instead direct our criticism to those who actually deserve it: Pregnant Celebrities. PregnancyAndBaby.com

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