1. Bunting

    Girl. Do whatever you want.

    (Also, the number of strangers who would talk to my SIL unprompted about The Plug? I can’t even.) (You know what I’m talking about. THE PLUG. God, you parents are heroes.)

    • What upsets me about The Plug is that it’s one of those things we should know before pregnancy, but it’s just another thing on this list of shit nobody tells you until IT’S ALREADY HAPPENING TO YOU.

      As a comedy writer, I’m crazy pissed off that “bloody show” isn’t something we talk about all the time. That’s such a grosser, funnier thing than water breaking.

      • Jane

        I did have a couple of friends who managed to miss the fact that once the baby comes out, the ol’ placenta still needs to be delivered.

        I never could’ve predicted how my son’s birth would go, but since the totality of my birth plan was ‘everybody gets out alive’, it was a smashing success!

        I’ll share what *I* say to all expectant moms, in your format: You should be ready for good times ahead. Best wishes!

      • dgm

        “Bloody show” is one of my favorite terms in all of pregnancy, although I think it promises to be a better show than it actually is.

        • The pooping when the baby comes out. Yep, that was a shocker I learned from a friend.
          My husband swears I didn’t poop last time and he was watching. You know what? Even if I did poop I am so thankful he is in denial about it and ready to sully our marriage with a lie to allow me my dignity.
          Pamie – I’m due with my second in a few weeks. Shit is going to be fine. Listen to no one except your accountant. Oh, and put some water on those XXXL maxi pads and then freeze them. If you deliver the old fashioned way they will be a delightful way to ice your shredded undercarriage :)

  2. Elizabeth

    I hate people who act like pregnant women are public domain. A guy asked me about my bloody show the week I delivered and was appalled when I asked him if he had hemorrhoids. Well if we are getting personal here. That person was my boss too.

    He did get the point he admitted that it was weird for him to ask any questions about my vagina.

    I admit for me it was worse after when one of my dad’s asked me if the doctor tightened me up for my husband. Gaaaaah

  3. Hellcat13

    Sigh. Well-meaning people are the worst. When I was sick this year and needed painful/frightening tests and procedures, it was the phrase “it’ll be fine” that sent me over the edge. I needed validation that it was okay to be scared, not whitewashed reassurances that nothing bad was going to happen. I bet you the “you should be” and the “it’ll be fine” people are one and the same.

  4. I was going to try to encourage you by telling you that everything related to my son’s birth went just like I would have wanted it to, but I see you already found the epidural ladies.

  5. Medha

    My step-sister who is currently pregnant with her second told me that another one of those things that no one tells you until it’s actually happening, is that when you are in labor it feels like the baby is coming out your ass. Scared me right the eff off but she’s now having another so I guess it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.

  6. Kathleen

    In my usual fashion, it was only AFTER I could no longer use the line that I thought up the best response to the touchers and all the others. “If you didn’t out the baby in there and you aren’t going to help get it out, please stop.”

    You should use that. ;)

  7. Monica

    See. See. I’m telling you, I’ll take my heart transplant ANY DAY over expelling a living screaming tiny (but really in relation to the intended exit not that tiny) human from my vagina. Seriously though gah…you’re having a baby one that won’t give you a paper cut and that is pretty awesome. Best of luck and hopes for an easy delivery and an amazing Christmas with the baby. And as a former kids photographer if this baby comes before Christmas and you don’t put it in a stocking and take a photo you’re really missing an opportunity. ;)

  8. Susan

    That was laugh out loud hilarious. Slaughtered Taint should be a band name. Can’t wait to hear about the birth. Oh, and last time I had a plumber visit my house, he tracked dog shit in. We don’t even have a dog!

  9. What your SHOULD BE doing is carrying around a water pistol to squirt all those people when they tell you what you should be doing. Train ’em like cats, it’s the only way.

    • oh my god!!! this works, i used it on my students when they cussed. i couldn’t slap them, so i thought of the water bottle. it sounds silly, but it totally worked. ah, jen anderson, you made me laugh…

  10. Jay


    I think I’d pretend to not speak English and attach barbed wire under my shirt.

    Still you’ll be the funniest mum ever.

  11. J.C.

    Pamie, while I am in NO way an expert in such things, I was the videographer of one of my best friend’s birth of her 2nd child.

    It seemed to me to be painful at times and yet trippy at others—all those chemicals flooding the brain and all…

    You, Darling, are a force to be reckoned with IN GENERAL so I KNOW that this little one will be a challenge but you’ll birth with humor and give fodder for a new book!

    Congrats to all THREE of you and Happy Holidays—hope to see pictures, and am still holding out hope to see pix of “Preggers Pamie”…just sayin’….

    Sending my best to all y’all and wishing you happy holidays & good luck!!!



  12. Chelle

    If it’s any consolation, while I did *not* enjoy being pregnant, I slept through first half of my fifteen hour labor. While I certainly wouldn’t want to do it every day, my son’s birth was really pretty easy and my first thought afterwards was, “Well, that wasn’t nearly as bad as they made it sound.”

    That being said, I’m also a certified doula with eleven births under my belt, and when I was thinking of having a second child, I couldn’t help but think that epidural looked awfully nice.

  13. Sarah C

    One of my very best friends had her baby two weeks ago. A few weeks before the baby was born I showed her the last post you wrote about being pregnant and she told me it was one of the best things she had read throughout the entire experience. Because she felt like you understood – better than her boyfriend or her other friends with kids – that pregnancy is not just this perfect joyous miracle. So thanks for that!

    Everyone needs to do what feels right for them and you’ll figure it all out. Watching my dear friends do that (they live across the hall from me) has been amazing. Good luck!!

    • Thank you — and thank your friend for me. Writing about pregnancy is still very surreal, and comes with it odd feelings of guilt/oversharing (not that I don’t sometimes feel that after a non-pregnancy piece of writing), so it’s comforting to know that it’s hitting home with others.

  14. These are some of the reasons why I never got pregnant. It does scare the shit out of me. But, then I have gotten the You should be people when they find out how long I’ve been married and don’t have kids. It never ends.

  15. dgm

    I actually had the wife of a friend (I didn’t know her very well) pull me into a bathroom and lift up my shirt to see if I had stretch marks. She said that her husband had said that I didn’t (he knew this because he flat-out had asked me) but that she didn’t believe him. WTH?

    I know it’s all really annoying and people behave appallingly, but this is great material for your writing, yes?

    Good luck in the home stretch!

  16. Wendy

    While there are things about pregnancy that are cool (feeling the kicks, plus people tend to be really nice to you), after two kids, I feel like the best that can be said about pregnancy and labor is that they are finite. Some labors are really rough, some are easy, but they are all eventually over. Kind of like running a marathon — you just keep going and you get through it one way or another. After that, you’re totally preoccupied with the baby so you barely think about the labor part ever again.

    That said, may your labor be quick and painless and may your baby be healthy and beautiful. I wish you all the best.

    • A marathon is an excellent metaphor! While that last half-mile is the roughest, it’s also blessedly short. After all the discomfort of the previous 25.5 miles, you know it’ll all be over very soon.

      Also, I wanted to kick the “you should be” people in the shins. I was a cranky pregnant lady (which is probably why I’m one of the few pregnant ladies in history who was never touched be a stranger–I think I gave off a “I might kick you in the shins” vibe).

  17. Erin O

    I lucked out and really felt that most people left me alone and didn’t offer too much advice. I had one birth with an epidural (lovely) and one without (just like all of the tv shows/movies with the lady screaming).

    i recently heard a Fresh Air interview with Philip Galanes, the NY Times advice/manners guy (http://www.npr.org/2011/12/05/142718547/times-advice-guru-answers-your-social-qs) and Terry Gross asked him about how to respond to these very inappropriate questions and I loved his answer: “Why do you ask?” It makes the questioner stop and think about what is actually coming out of their mouth and why. I think most people who lend advice or ask too-personal questions have been through (or supported) a pregnancy and are excited for you and want to share with you. But they just have no idea how.

    Good luck with your last few weeks! I won’t tell you to “sleep now” because I know it’s impossibly uncomfortable or “get organized” because I know I didn’t have the energy/mental bandwidth for anything my last few weeks. Just wait until everyone gives you advice about how to start the labor (pineapple??) and laugh.

  18. I loved being pregnant, and I loved labor and delivery.

    I loved being hooked up to an epidural and have never felt anything more pleasant in my life.

    I couldn’t feel my legs in a very non panicky like they were wrapped in soft cotton batting way.

    awesome stuff.

    I’d like to hve a daily drip, but I know there’s strict laws against that.

    Just finished Why Girls are weird, right after I finished why moms are weird.
    Out of both books, the scene where you think your sister is holding up a bank makes me pee in my pants the most.

    LOVE IT.

  19. Marianne

    I also watched a few actual births to prepare, and they were terrifying. The parts I hated the most was how defeated the women seemed, and I really really didn’t want to cry during my labour. I thought it was inevitable to get to a point of feeling unequal to the task. (it’s not). I think telling the truth about birth and labour kind of rebuilds the village aspect of women’s knowledge that we have lost, not having sisters, aunts, grandmothers attending births through life. But some people find it scary. I liked the information because it let me know that there are all kinds of paths to a safe baby and mom scenario, which let me rapidly deal with my own events that went a bit sideways. I ended up thinking about my labour and birth in a really positive way despite some complications.

    Oh, and it’s not all about “as long as the baby is ok” I hated hearing that! What about me! How about ” as long as YOU and the baby are healthy”. The indoctrination to sacrifice all for your kid starts early. No reason why we cant wish for everyone to get by in good form, right? Gah!

    Afterwards I remember thinking that it was a bit backwards for me to worry and read and study about a process that was pretty much autopilot, short lived (relatively) and medically supported, and then here I am with a newborn and I never read a word on how to raise a kid. Hah!

    I figure my daughter has never been a baby before so she won’t know when I fumble a bit, we’re a team along with my husband.

    It’s fun to be on the other side, congratulations on being so close!

  20. BK

    The weirdest pre-pregnancy bit I got was when I carried weight differently on my third, so that although I’d gained the same, it didn’t show. I looked about 3 months behind where I was. People were visibly disappointed I was not fat. As a woman, it was bizarre to be guilted for being small.

    That said: I carried as a surrogate for my brother, and if you ever want to derail the you-should-be folks fast, have this conversation with them:

    STRANGER: You’re pregnant! What is it?
    ME: Not mine.

  21. Pam, I love this entire post so much that I don’t have good enough words to express it! I’ve been spared a lot of ‘well-meaning’ advice (aside from ‘you should sleep as much as you can now, before your twins arrive’, like you can somehow bank sleep, and like it isn’t virtually impossible to sleep for more than an hour at a time when you’ve still got five weeks to go and are already measuring at 42 bloody weeks…), and no freak has tried to touch my stomach, thank God. What has cracked me up is the way that people tell me ‘well done’ when I tell them that I’m having a boy and a girl, like I magically made that happen on purpose.

    You are so awesome for having such a sensible attitude towards birth: it is all about the baby, and any plan will always go out the window if the unforeseen happens, so you might as well just accept that (like you have) and go with it. The name of the game is to produce a healthy child at minimal damange to you.

    Now I’m going to email you my most recent bump pic, so you can see the state I’m in…

  22. Alyssa

    Hehehe, yeah I wasn’t ready for the first one to come either. I wouldn’t have minded being overdue! Second baby? Wanted that shit over with by the time I was 7 months along.

    I really hate people. It’s amazing how pregnancy and kids somehow make you fair game for ridiculous strangers and their questions. All the old wives tales that get trotted out raise my scientist hackles.

    I think movies really do pregnant women a disservice. All those movies where a woman is blithely going through her day, lah dee dah, then oh no, their water breaks and the baby comes five minutes later? So much crap. They don’t tell you how many people get sent home from the hospital during labor because they’re not far enough along yet. ;) First babies are slow. You have time to go home, get your stuff and take a shower before you go.

    I won’t tell you about my delivery horror story, even though it was very horrible with my first. What I’ll tell you instead is that YOU TOTALLY FORGET how awful it was very, very quickly. So yanno, there’s always that. Also I’ll say that though I was pretty bummed to have a cesarean, it wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be. (Though I won’t lie. Had a vaginal delivery with the second baby and it was vastly superior. Bounced back really quickly.)

    • SCIENCE FACT: There are brain chemicals whose purpose, as far as we know, is to make women forget how awful the delivery was. They are called “anandamides” and they’re related to the active ingredient in pot. Srsly.

  23. mcconk

    Epidurals for the win! I didn’t scream at all after either of mine! Congratulations and best of luck. People DO suck, but you are the one who gets to have the baby afterwards!

  24. Sarah

    People are annoying about pregnancy and babies. I never got the You Should Be’s as much as I got the You Just Wait’s any time I said anything.
    “I’m going to try and go as long as I can without an epidural.”
    “Oh, you just wait until you start having contractions!! Then you may change your mind.”

    “I don’t think we need a baby swing and a bouncy chair, one or the other is good.”
    “You just wait!! My baby wouldn’t sleep at all until it was in a swing.”

    Never in my life have I been given as many unwanted or unasked for opinions as I have been since having kids. It is unreal.

    The only useful advice I got was that labor is one day. It’s one small day out of your life that is kind of crappy and miserable. That actually helped me to be less afraid. Did I want to be in excruciating pain? Not really (and I had an epidural both times, so I was not. It was awesome!) but I felt like, I could handle it just for one day. If it was forever, no. But for one day, that seemed do-able. Just remember, the giving birth is just a blip in the rest of your life. And honestly, mine weren’t so bad. Maybe yours will be too :)

  25. John

    We never got a chance to do this when my wife was pregnant, so I’m passing it on to you. When strangers (or anyone really) does the classic ‘hand-on-the-belly-without-asking’, just casually put your hand on their belly too, and then continue the conversation as if nothing is happening. Try to change the topic away from the baby too, as quickly as possible. Them (putting a hand on your belly): “Blah blah blah baby baby blah blah?” You: (putting a hand on their belly): “I heard the weather was supposed to be nice today.” [or in an elevator] “Could you please push 5 for me?” or any other inane thing you can think of to ask or tell a stranger, all the while simply not acknowledging that you have hands on each other’s bellies.

  26. Bruce Lamesse

    Funny as always. You should be…wearing a shirt that says:


  27. Alex

    1. Yeah, punch those people. Claim pregnancy hormones.

    2. When people give unsolicited advice (including me, right now), a polite but firm, “I’ve consulted enough people for information and advice. Thank you.” will shut up the polite people and clearly identify the to-be-punched.

    3. Anti-gas drops for the little one.

    Best wishes.

  28. So it’s not the same, but I have a friend who has gotten unsolicited advice/commentary before and I love how she handles it. Typically it’s some variation of, “I’m sorry, but are you commenting on something that is completely none of your business?” The key, I think, is in her delivery which is completely innocent without a hint of sass.

  29. It really is amazing the crap people think it’s okay to say to you when you’re pregnant. With my second pregnancy, a second boy, I kept having people ask me if we’d be trying 3rd time for a girl. First of all, can I just freaking get through this one?! And secondly they all said it like I maybe I was disapointed to have a 2nd boy. I almost slapped a few people. Also, my youngest turned one this last week and my father in law requested a new baby. Back up off me people!
    Good luck with everything!!

  30. Oh, I’m so glad you found the epidural ladies! My mom doesn’t believe in the women who scream–she thinks it’s a hollywood invention to make child birth scary. She had ALL THE DRUGS when she had the three of us, though, man. Actually, I don’t know if she had drugs with me, she said it was like an hour between first contraction and me slipping out like a greased weasel, but I was the last one. And my brother has a big head.

  31. Stephanie

    What is with people putting their hands on strangers? When my sister was pregnant, my SISTER, I *asked* before I touched her stomach. I cannot recall touching the stomach of any pregnant woman who was not related to me.

    Though I must say I appreciated the stories my sister told of how she messed with people when she was pregnant. Part of her job during her last pregnancy involved regularly visiting construction sites. At one point when she was about 8 months along one of the guys she saw every week or so tentatively asked if she was pregnant. (She is fairly small in general so the pregnancy was really obvious, though the exact shape of her belly was hidden by the extra huge sweatshirt she was wearing.) She gave him a strange look and said no while sounding confused as to why he would ask. Then let him go into horrified apologies for about 30 seconds before bursting into laughter. I think her standard answer to intrusive questions about her birth plan were variations on a condescending “Well, right now the baby is *inside* me and the plan is for it to end up on the *outside*.”

  32. Hollienoel

    So first off, I actually cried when AB’s site let me know you were pregnant (talk about dewin’ it). I’ve been a sporadic Pamie dot com reader for yeeears. Second, I had an epidural and it was lovely, and then had my second baby fast and furious style with no pain meds and both were LOVELY. I would much rather give birth than break my pinky toe again. I hope yours is the same. Plus, at the end, you get a baby. RE: the You Just Waits… total crapshoot. Sadly, what your mom said was completely right. Either they are cooing, sleepy, lovely little lumps of dough, or exorcist hellspawn that convert breastmilk into 5 Hour Energy. Seriously can’t wait for a preggo/baby book from you.

  33. Alison

    Here’s another thing that no one talks about: STOOL SOFTENERS. For the love of God, take stool softeners post-birth. I consider this my PSA to every pregnant woman I know. It’s really a crime that it’s never mentioned.

  34. E-Dec

    I tell any first time mom this: Always makes a gigantic overnight pad (2 sets of wings!!) that comes in purple packaging….they are a MUST. The hospital gives you pads from the 70s that are utterly useless at staying in place. And for the first few days and, sadly, weeks, your baby won’t be the only one who needs to wear a diaper.

    And I think I read or heard somewhere that the “I can’t do this!” moment is the moment you’re going to give birth, because even with my epidural my brain was like, “NOPE. This isn’t happening. Just ask them for another way out of this!” But I pushed my daughter out in under 45 minutes, so you CAN do it!

  35. JF

    oh, Pamie, honey. . .you have me laughing so hard reading this, I can’t get up off the bed

    if I wasn’t in a hotel room in Dubai (for work, honest! for HONEST work!), I’d volunteer to come over and help assemble furniture while organizing your house, that’s how in awe I am of your ability to be That Pregnant while fending off Strangers With Boundary Issues

    good thoughts and wishes to you, sweetie — hoping the baby comes up with an alternate escape route before the clock runs down

  36. I hate pregnancy SO MUCH, birth is my favorite part.

    My first labor I had an epidural and it was monstrous. Not the drugs, but the peeing on the nurse/feeling my uterus collapse to my knees/labia fusing together part was pretty gruesome. I didn’t tear, I had an awesome doctor.

    Second baby, same doctor, no drugs, no i.v., 6 hour labor. Didn’t tear, but I shat on the table. It does feel like they’re coming out your ass. “I HAVE TO SHIT!” “No! That’s your baby.” “WHAT.” It was awesome though, really, and recovery was faster and the baby didn’t come out with her eyelids popped inside out like that other kid of mine.

    With each baby I said “OH SHIT.” when they crowned, and I cried during transition, but that was about the extent of my emotional trauma.

    Next baby I’m having at home.

    There are a lot of emotions in labor, some are awesome, some are scary. Eventually it all ends and you have an awesome little person that will spend the next two to three years puking and shitting all over your newest shirts and cleanest rugs. And they’re awesome. Babies, they’re super.

    All I can say, really, is don’t listen to anybody (except me, because my opinion that you shouldn’t listen to other opinions is clearly the RIGHT opinion.) Do what makes you feel right.

    Good luck.

  37. Ken Shipley

    Just catching up on your latest blog posts, feeling just a little guilty over how much enjoyment I’m getting as a result of your discomfort and I’m thinking You Should Be declared a national treasure.

    Hey also, a couple of weeks ago, I was riding a late-night shuttle bus from the airport to the car rental place and across from me was sitting a pretty, blonde, pregnant girl. I thought, “She kind of looks like Pamie” and then I did a second take to have a more serious look because I realized this was LAX which marginally increased the likelihood it really WAS Pamie, but it wasn’t.

    But I thought about how cool it would have been if it was you because I would have had a Pamie and Bjork experience only on an airport shuttle bus instead of a plane and only it was me and you instead of you and Bjork.

    And while writing this, I realize it WAS a quasi Pamie and Bjork moment: me and an anonymous pretty, blonde, pregnant girl who, like Bjork, didn’t even know it was going on.

  38. Julie Mac

    This way great! Thank you! I’m 8 months pregnant and have adopted two really great defense mechaniusms for the strangers;
    1)If someone touches me I reach up and touch their face, when they look shocked I say “Oh, I thought we were innapporiately touching each other!”
    2) When a stranger tries to give me unwanted advise I tell them I’m not pregnant. Even though it’s obvious they get embrassed and shut up.
    Takes chuzpa but it WORKS!!!

  39. Wow. I can’t top any of this. But I will say that I was at my friend’s baby shower this weekend, and witnessed a woman intensely, repeatedly peer pressuring her to drink. (She’s seven months pregnant, and was SO polite yet firm – over and over – about the fact that she was not comfortable drinking while pregnant. Over and over and over.)

    The best part was when her intense little friend announced, “Well, I’d better go, because I have therapy notes to write up!”

    And I realized that not only is this woman a therapist, but that that PROBABLY means she’s a co-worker at this drug and alcohol treatment center.

    Pregnancy is such a hilarious journey… or do I mean insanity?

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