The Pregnant Life: Advice From Strangers, Whether I Want It or Not

P with baby
She loves her baby. Let's hope it's a trend!
Every mom has stories of someone making wildly inappropriate pregnancy comments, the most common being "Are you sure you aren't about to pop?" or "You must be having twins!" I got those. In fact, I even got "You must be having triplets," and in case you forgot, I delivered 10 weeks early … I carry large. What can I say?

These stories are always hilarious and sometimes infuriating. I really do get very upset at some of them -- and I think just about every CafeMom forum has a thread or three devoted to the latest awful outbursts. Grrr.

But I've been lucky this time -- maybe because I don't commute or work in an office with people I detest. Or because I'm not nearly as huge. Or maybe it's just my attitude that's improved. But the only comments and advice I've been getting are positive -- kind, thoughtful, and believe it or not, often really valuable.


People still think I'm further along than I am. That's just how it's going to be -- I carry big, and it's all uterus. My fluid's fine and my baby's normal-sized. I guess it has to do with the layout of my torso. Not a problem.

The difference must be that people most often see me with Penelope and can see that she'll soon have a little sibling. They ask how old she'll be when the baby comes (she'll be 22 months), and then they tell me how far apart their two are -- 15 months, 24 months, 3 years -- and tell me how it worked for them.

A woman at Trader Joe's whose kids were very close together had the best advice: "When the older one is this close in age, don't try to make her the 'big sister,'" she told me. "She's not. She's a baby too. So find a way to baby both of them, so she doesn't miss out. She's just not old enough to be that older sibling with those responsibilities." I can see that so clearly -- at nearly 3, my nephew Harry is aware of (if not always happy with) the fact that he's Older and Can Do Things while the baby is, well, a baby. But before the age of 2? She really is still a baby. I loved that advice.

Another mom told me how her two daughters run to each other when they've been apart; a grandpa whose son's family lived with him told me how his daughter-in-law worked hard at mommying, but the two grandkids were thriving and happy. I have to ask directly before anyone says, "The first six months are really hard" or "It's really really hard! But then it's great." Nobody volunteers negative information. Which I appreciate.

Wait, there was one lady who asked if I was going to forget about Penelope when the new baby came. But that's just my mom! And I'm pretty sure she was kidding!

The only other thing I can add is … a little TMI. My nipples are making boob-boogers. I remember this from last time -- I guess they're getting ready to make milk and are making something else in the meantime, which becomes crust, which I'm obsessed with soaking, Lansinoh-ing, and picking at. Does this happen to everyone? It's kind of insane.

See you Thursday.

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