Pregnancy Myths, REVEALED! (An Illustrated Guide)

People say a lot of weird things about being pregnant, and it mostly comes from those who are a) not pregnant at that moment, b) are a man, and c) should shut up. People need to stop giving you advice because it’s starting to cut into the 15 hours per day you have allotted to not sleeping and fanatically googling.

Here are some things you might hear around town that are wrong.

  1. You’re glowing!

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Unless “glowing” now means “fucking exhausted” and “bigger than Donald Trump’s ego” and “more terrified of what’s about to happen than a cat of a cucumber” then no, you are not glowing. Maybe you were glowing, like right after you had sex 9 months ago, or in your second trimester when you finally stopped puking and ate something other than fries for the first time in 2 months. But now? The only thing glowing is your attitude if you run out of Haagen Dazs. (Do NOT run out of Haagen Dazs).

  1. Eating for two is a myth; you’re actually eating for one plus a few extra calories, like in a light yogurt!

eating 2

Okay, this one might technically be true, but shhhh. The only way to describe the unquantifiably enormous amount that you will love your babies to a pregnant lady is in saying, “Imagine a platter of cheeseburgers that goes on for infinite, and then add coffee, various cakes, and sleeping.” You will love your baby a lot. Also, light yogurt is not that delicious. Also, lettuce is a vegetable.

  1. Don’t pet cats!

cat lady pregnant

That is, if you even WANT to pet cats. (If you don’t, feel free to use pregnancy as an excuse to avoid them like the plague). But you can actually pet cats, you just can’t change their litter boxes, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, because that is why you got married.

BONUS: It is also a myth that any pregnant woman alive who is not insane would wear a button-up shirt and just casually only button two buttons and then let her giant stomach hang over a blanket while she pet a cat. But I’m trying to illustrate a point here, which is that you can touch cats, if you want to and are pregnant.

  1. You have to take at least one picture of your giant stomach with your partner’s hands in a heart framing your cavernous belly button!

hands heart

Myth! Feel free to take this picture, or feel free to ask people to NOT take pictures of you while very pregnant, like when you’re stopping at Dunkin Donuts for the second time in one day and people are giving you sad, sympathetic looks, even when you chuckle nervously at the lady ringing you up and casually mention how much everybody at your office loves donuts. Instead of staging photos, you can also just lie around in bed in a sweatsuit and demand that nobody touch you. Ever again.

  1. Your lopsided bump is indicative of your baby’s gender!

girl or boy

Is your baby sitting a little to the left? Is your belly awkwardly misshapen? Did you do a special little dance during getting-pregnant sex? Did you google that weird “what sex is my baby” birthday chart that a million people swear works and IS REAL? Nope. Sorry! Your physical symptoms point to the condition of “being pregnant.” You’re going to have to wait to find out just like everybody else.

BONUS TIP: This one’s important: if anyone ever says to you, “wow, I can’t believe you’re still pregnant!” or “wow, you are HUGE” give them a black eye.

Now, go eat a pizza in a pair of sweats. Dribble a little tomato sauce down the front for me. If anyone dares enter your nest(flix), start screaming at them in Elvish and crying, alternately, until they fear for their lives.

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A Guide to Postpartum Fashion for the Brand New Mom

Much like a survivor of tragedy, I’ve largely blocked out the very early days of Lucy’s life. I’m trying to recall now, 7 months later, what it felt like to never sleep more than 2 hours in a row, not eat a meal that wasn’t initially frozen, and simultaneously wear an F cup and a disposable diaper for adult women. Sure, I was in awe of my little newborn because she was beautiful and I loved her, but also because I had no idea how someone that small could shit that much. I mostly remember trying desperately to keep her calm so I could play Donkey Kong or watch Netflix and try to process how my life and my body had completely changed, really it felt like falling apart, overnight.

Based on my experience of having done this one time, I’d like to offer you my guide to postpartum dressing as a simple, four part plan. Dress for success, ladies!

1. Kiss your hospital frump goodbye with this matching, two piece set in luxurious cotton with an embroidered overlay Champion logo.

it's okay to match your cat

it’s okay to match your cat

The elastic accents of the suit will highlight your slimmest features: your wrists and neck. The roomy and fashionable harem-style pant will accommodate the most audacious of adult diapers.

Selecting the suit in orange will hide the electric-colored residue of organic, low calorie snacks, like possibly carrots, but definitely Nacho Cheese Doritos.

Bonus: selecting the suit in blue will likewise hide the evidence of the Cooler Ranch option.

rest when you can

2. Wear something sexy to bed so your husband finds you desirable.

date night

date night

No man wants to come home at the end of a long day to a frumpy wife with streaks of barf collating her unwashed hair into temporary dreadlocks.

While I don’t recommend a lace thong for the days immediately postpartum, a fitted pajama set in heather grey will help to accentuate the bags under your eyes. A delicate, silken robe screams “come hither, and bring the Haagen Dazs or I’ll murder you.”

3. Instead of eating fattening processed meats and cheeses, become the meats and cheeses.

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totally normal

This type of look proudly proclaims, “I swear I’m ready to leave the house!” No one will question you in this outfit. In fact, the moment you put it on, several family members will insist on taking the baby for a few hours so you can get some sleep. Essentially, you are wearing a meat tube with magical powers. (Because sleep is nothing if not pure magic).

4. When in doubt, accessorize your look with a colorful scarf!

scarf barf

ready for anything, for example, a nap

Is that breastmilk leaking through your top? Just pull the scarf a little to one side for a more French interpretation of the look.

You’ll look effortlessly polished and ready to seize the day just by adding a simple scarf. No one at Stop and Shop will be able to tell you just gave birth to a bowling ball while you mindlessly dump 8 kinds of cheese into your cart and try to remember the last time you showered.

If you’re still too overwhelmed by the whole motherhood thing to follow these four simple rules, then just remember this one thing: you are the best.

Now send your partner out to 7-11 and do not let him return without $40 worth of processed snacks. Try not to wipe Cheeto stains on the baby but if you do, it’s okay.  You’re still the best.

How to Eat Alone: 5 Minute Ramen

The scene is usually this: I come home from work exhausted. Kyle is working late. I stare into the refrigerator for 5 minutes looking perplexed and deeply sad, starving but immobile, desperate to plop down on the couch and see how many leather vests Dave Navarro will wear on tonight’s episode of Ink Master. I reach into the freezer, pull out a frozen pizza, toss it in the oven, and call tomato sauce a vegetable.

Sometimes this is all I can do, and you know what? That’s totally fine. We all earn the right to cash out and splatter our midweek sweatsuits with pizza crumbs, to fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 using the dog as a pillow (anyone?).

There are other days when my idea of self-care looks a little different. Today is Christmas Eve, and I’m home alone while my husband is at work. It’s dark, rainy, and gloomy outside. Frozen pizza won’t do! Today I needed something bright, fresh, crunchy: the opposite of a holiday casserole.

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Meet my new best friend: this giant bowl of ramen, filled with fresh rice noodles, broccoli, bok choy, and sliced tofu, topped with crunchy raw cabbage and a tangle of basil leaves, and doused in soy and sriracha.

I had some (Trader Joe’s) miso ginger broth in the cupboard, which I heated on the stove. Once whatever broth you use is hot, add in the noodles of your choice. After 30 seconds, toss in whatever vegetables you have laying around your crisper drawer. Throw in some sliced tofu or leftover meat. Garnish with something crunchy (cabbage or sprouts) and definitely a fresh herb (some sad basil leftover from Monday’s lasagna). Season with soy and hot sauce to taste. Serve with an ice cold ginger beer. Eat in the den next to your not-yet-wrapped Christmas presents, a sleeping dog, and an episode of Sandra Lee’s Money Saving Meals. (The last part is optional).

When you’ve finished your soup, grab a long-neglected carton of Chubby Hubby, scrape off the freezer burn, and finish it. Remember how many green vegetables you just ate. You totally deserve this.

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3 Minute Meal: Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Toast

After eating nothing but grilled cheese on white bread and French fries for my entire first trimester (and gaining 15 pounds), my second trimester was lovely and reasonable. I liked salad again, my appetite leveled off, and I began to make healthier choices that I felt good about.

Here I am a month into my third trimester, and all of that is totally out of the window. I am ravenous. The kitchen at my office is four steps from my desk and is constantly filled with cake, cookies, and chocolates. I pack a lunch but it’s never enough food; the baby demands an additional 14 cookies a day. She likes sandwiches with a side of bread. She thinks salads are fine but could we serve them in a bread bowl with a cheese lid? She wants to know why we’re not eating that carrot cake in the fridge right out of the box with a fork this very moment. SEND HELP.

I got home from (another) doctors appointment tonight and needed food, fast. It had to involve bread, preferably a vegetable, definitely some fat, and be ready in less than 3 minutes.

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Avocado toast is a big thing right now, rightfully so (if you live in Soho it costs $9 at a restaurant, which is completely insane). I mashed half an avocado with a 1/4 cup of chickpeas (protein!), the juice of half a lemon, a glug of olive oil, thinly sliced red onion, salt, and pepper. I spread it on sourdough toast. While I mixed all this up, I microwaved a bowl of Trader Joe’s tomato soup. Et voila.

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So, note to self: good job on not picking up gross Chinese food on the way home, this was at least sort of healthy and was free. Also, you should really cut down to 12 cookies a day, not including chocolate truffles.

The Easiest Dinner for Slapdash Entertaining

Everyone should have a couple of go-to recipes they can make with their eyes closed. For me, that includes a simple, homemade tomato sauce for spaghetti that I can whip up with pantry staples and have ready in half an hour.

To make the sauce, I chop an onion or two while heating some olive oil in a heavy pan. I put a pot of heavily salted water on to boil. Once the onion is in, I mince a couple cloves of garlic and add that, along with salt and crushed red pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until golden and aromatic, then add a can of whole, peeled, unsalted tomatoes (always buy unsalted or low sodium and adjust the seasoning yourself). Season and cook for 30 minutes.

While the sauce bubbled away, I made a quick massaged kale salad (it pains me to refer to as a salad “massaged,” but it is what it is). I threw some minced red onion (no shallots on hand) in a little lemon and white balsamic bath to quickly lose its bite. Then I added chopped dried cranberries, unsweetened apricots, a bit of honey, sea salt and black pepper. Throw in your kale and a glug of olive oil and massage away. Massage like it’s David Schwimmer in 1995. (What, not a Ross fan?) I also toasted up some pine nuts and sliced almonds in the oven and threw those on top (in the last few minutes, so they stay crunchy). Also, garlic bread, because I’m pregnant. And sausages.

Maybe I went a little overboard, but did I mention I’m pregnant?

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