A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
By Nina Pajak
Do you have a summer or early fall birthday? Is your mom nearby? Give that woman a hug. And another. And a sandwich. And how’s about one more hug, just for good measure?
There are some things about her experience giving you life she may not have mentioned to you. She’s humble like that, because she loves you and it was worth it, I’m sure. You’re terrific! She’d do it again ten times over for the joy you’ve brought her. But as I’m right in the thick of creating a human life which is due on to arrive on the planet in the middle of July, I’m going to take it upon myself to step in and tell you what she probably hasn’t.
She sweat. A lot. Even when the rest of the Eastern seaboard was donning light sweaters and commenting on the “beautiful,” sunny weather, she was sitting there in her airiest muumuu trying to smile and pretend she didn’t feel like she was sitting on the surface of the sun. Air conditioned theaters, shady park benches, even her own, climate-controlled home could not meet her cooling needs. Pride, whatever she had left of it, went out the window with the 50th comment from concerned friends and passersby who wondered whether the flush in her cheeks was “that pregnancy glow” or required a trip to the hospital. There aren’t enough cold showers in the world.
She had to change her entire day’s schedule to accommodate how inconceivably slowly she had to walk. You may have been only but a tiny pineapple in her womb, but you suddenly felt like a ten ton boulder when the warm weather rolled around. But the cutest little boulder there ever was!
She had to pee all the time. This is true of all pregnant women who are providing shelter for their young directly atop their bladders. But see above with the sweating and the walking. A dehydrated preggo is a dangerous thing, so she had to drink extra to compensate. So she had to pee extra. And then drink extra. And then pee extra. And then . . . well then she probably just went home and figured whatever she had to do could get done within four feet of a bathroom.
She had to shave her legs, like, all the time. When I was pregnant in the cooler months with my first child, I most certainly gave up shaving my legs once my belly reached a certain circumference. Attempting to lean over a watermelon in a small tub or shower with a sharp razor is hardly worth the discomfort just to avoid giving your partner the shivers when your leg brushes his in bed. But when the sun blazes, most women feel as though depilation is not exactly optional. Perhaps she even had to get a bikini wax if she also subjected herself to that other great indignity, the maternity bathing suit. Don’t even get me started.
She probably had to chase your sibling(s) around outside. “Just stay inside where it’s cool,” you might say to someone you see lumbering down the street, drenched in sweat and carrying a 9-lb bag of rice inside her body. Well, if you have older siblings, that just wasn’t an option for your poor mom. Have you ever tried to keep a young child cooped up all day during the summer months just because “mommy is hot?” Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Blah blah blah.
Hug your mother.
Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!