I'm Shamelessly Milking the Perks of Pregnancy

Jenny Benjamin

line at Versailles
Would you wait an hour in this?
Last week, my husband and I were over in Europe on our own little babymoon, one last hurrah before "Operation Mayhem," as we like to call it (twin boys = holy crap-itty). The trip was amazing, but as we walked the streets in the beautiful 75-degree heat, it was clear that my big ol' pregnant body just couldn't hang. As much as I wanted to walk just a few more blocks to Piccadilly Circus or explore the gardens at Versailles, my suddenly ginormous baked potato feet and achy, spasming lower back made it damn near impossible. Thank God for street benches and some stellar public transportation!

What I did notice though was that the British and French were particularly sensitive to my delicate condition, jumping up to offer me a seat on the subway or direct me to the one lone chair on a palace tour. At first, I was embarrassed by all of the attention, but then I realized that for the sake of my babies and my sore body, I needed to milk it.

Of course, it took me a few days to realize the full range of pregnant lady perks. Snagging seats on the subway -- eh, mere child's play. Pretty soon, I was taking full advantage of the bathroom breaks. I was ducking into any restaurant to use their loo, simply pointing to my stomach and doing the pee-pee dance. The attendants who were directing the long bathroom lines at museums took one look at my belly and quickly ushered me into the next available stall.

But it went even further than that! All I had to do was arch my back, lovingly stroke my bump, and voila -- I was like the Queen of England. An upstairs, outdoor seat on the double decker tour bus ... for me and my doting husband? You bet! Immediate seating at a bustling cafe? Duh, but of course! And I can't tell you the number of times that a sympathetic server would take one look at my glistening, sunburned face and bring over another large bottle of mineral water, free of charge.

On our last day in Paris, I was excited about visiting the Musee d'Orsay, a favorite of mine since visiting France as a college-age art history student. As we walked up to the museum though, my heart sank -- the line was about two blocks long and moving sloooowly. We'd been to Versailles a couple of days before, where we stupidly waited close to an hour in the blazing heat just to get into the damn place. I knew there was no way my body would be able to go through that again. So, my husband sat me down on a bench and insisted that there had to be a way around this. As he said, "Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask." He approached one of the information guys outside, pointed to me and my big, round belly, and asked if we could possibly skip the line. And with that, the Frenchman walked us around to the handicapped entrance and said something to the guy at the door like, "See that big, pregnant American? We should probably let her through." And we were in!

Now, normally I'm the type to be like, "Oh no, that's okay, I'm cool," willing to suck it up just to avoid being pegged a pain-in-the-ass. But the whole pregnant thing isn't a ruse -- my feet are elephantitis size! My back is killing me! I'm tired before I even get to lunch! As my husband says, now is the time to put aside any niceties and bask in the benefits of being pregnant.

Are you milking your pregnancy for the perks?

Image via Jenny Benjamin

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