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Different Treatment

May 10, 2013
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Week 30 – 10 weeks to go. Let the countdown begin! The baby is about 15.7 inches long, weighing almost 3 lbs, my cabbage patch kid.

This week  I took my last pre-delivery cycling class. I was never big into spinning.  I find it to be a great cardio workout but a very leg-targeted exercise, which makes my quads big. I am yet to experience a cyclist’s high (if such a thing even exists) and lately it’s been getting harder to sit comfortably on the bike. I either have to scoot really close to the handlebars which bothers my knees, or sit normally and strain my back and hips.

I am sticking to zumba for cardio hoping that it will help turn my son into a great dancer (since he can hear the music and feel the movement). At 30 weeks, Yoga is my bliss. I can still rock some poses like the standing bow. (The baby actually helps with the balance Smile)

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When you carry a 25-pound ball for your belly, people are bound to notice. In some instances you can expect a royal treatment. Waiters in restaurants are more accommodating with ingredient substitutions. Grocery clerks are more patient while you check out, and pretty much everyone will smile and hold doors for you (but this is mostly a Texas manners thing). Expect a lot of small talk about your due date, baby’s gender, name choice, etc., but be prepared for other responses that you were not expecting.

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Based on my experience, the reactions fall into the following groups:

Odd Glancers

These are mostly men and women who have not had much exposure to child bearing. They are a harmless group and tend to look away as soon as you make eye contact. Once in awhile you’ll come across someone who will stare like you are an alien creature. Feel free to stare back and make funny faces, which totally freaks them out even more.

Parent Supporters

These are recent moms and dads who love parenting and are full of excitement and advice for your new bundle of joy. Even if you don’t agree with everything they say, this group is genuinely helpful and supportive. They will open doors for you and start up a conversation as soon as you are near. They will let you ahead in the bathroom line and openly tell you their most embarrassing moments so you instantly feel better about your condition. Don’t ignore these parent supporters, make friends instead. They are full of valuable and relevant information (unlike the old timers which I cover later in the list) and you can pick up great tips from them.

Been-there-done-that Nodders

These are a subgroup of parent supporters who are a bit shyer or busy with their own child so the best they can do at the moment is nod and smile at you as a welcome to the club.

Weight Challengers

These are overweight folks that are used to having the right of way so they walk in the middle and expect everyone to duck away. Now, when most people see a pregnant woman approaching, they tend to be considerate and careful by giving her more room, but not this crowd. They will size you up and down (like in a bad Western flick) and charge straight down with a crazy look in their eyes – Now you know how I feel everyday. It’s almost a game for them to see who is bigger and who will give in first. I sometimes have to detour through the store aisles just to avoid them. If, by some unfortunate circumstance, you find yourself in a stand off with this type of creature, your best approach is to use your arms to appear bigger and barricade the aisle with the shopping cart to protect your belly.

Old Timers

These are senior citizens who have forgotten all about what it’s like to be pregnant and have also lost their common sense  communication filter skills so they will blurt out whatever jumps into their head, mostly about your size. Be prepared for the remarks like “You are really big for 7 months. How much weight have you gained?” “You are about to pop any day now, huh?” “You look like you are carrying twins?!” Don’t let these comments bother you. (These old farts birds don’t know what they are saying. Half the time they don’t know today’s date.) Stick to medical responses such as “My weight gain is at par for a healthy pregnancy.” “My doctor is happy with my baby’s growth”. “My uterus is measuring just as it’s supposed to.” (Bonus: the word uterus is like kryptonite for the old timers as they are not comfortable with women’s anatomical terminology… unless you run into a retired nurse or a midwife).

Discriminators

On a rare occasion, you might come across someone who will use your current condition to disregard your point of view. This does not happen often as our society have become much better educated and more considerate about pregnancy, but it did happen to me once. I was at the gym in the exercise studio taking one of the dance classes. The room that day was incredibly hot (the air conditioner must have been off or broken), so I approached one of the staff members to complain about the temperature. His answer was that the air conditioner was on and that he knows all about pregnancy as his wife is pregnant with twins, so maybe I should just take a break. It was not until a few more non-pregnant people complained that he finally brought in an extra fan. He did not say anything overly-insulting per se, but the mere fact that he dismissed my complaint just because I am pregnant is annoying.

[Jane Asks]: Have you ever been treated differently based on your physical condition?

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