Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Women: Know Your Limits

There's a story doing the rounds at the moment about a pregnant woman in the US who was refused a glass of wine in a restaurant because, according to the waitress, "we don't serve pregnant women here". This has caused all manner of hoo hah and hullabaloo on the bloggowhatnot, with people ranting and raving in that wonderfully measured and well-considered way that the anonymity of the Internet promotes.

I can't really imagine the same thing happening here in the UK -- the waiting staff in most restaurants are generally so inattentive that they'd probably fail to notice if a woman was actually giving birth at the table they were serving, let alone bother making health decisions on her behalf. Besides, I think we're generally less hysterical about alcohol this side of the pond. By American standards, me and most of my friends, family, and casual acquaintances would be considered proper alcoholics in need of rehab, and possibly even execution. And as far as I know, the standard guidance given out by midwives is that a couple of units a couple of times a week is absolutely fine for those who are up the duff. At least that's what my midwife told me -- but maybe she was just an evil renegade who wanted me to KILL MY BAYBEEEE. Perhaps I should have been suspicious when she also told me to take up bullfighting and mainlining crack cocaine straight into my uterus.

Mind you, just because I can't see the restaurant thing happening over here in Blighty doesn't mean that people know how to mind their own bloody business as far as the pregnantly challenged are concerned. When I still had the Lumpster in situ, I went to a class every week at the gym called Body Pump. It involved a group of happy masochists lifting weights to very loud music. A bit like clubbing, but without the booze. Or people trying to grope you. And with more lifting of weights. Anyway, I'd been going to this class for years before I got knocked up, and had lifting big heavy things had been one of my favourite things for as long as I could remember. As soon as I got a positive pregnancy test, I started researching what I could still do, sports-wise, and later asked my midwife, who told me that I should keep doing whatever I was doing before, and just listen to my body (but then she also wanted me to take crack, so who knows what to think?) I reduced my weights gradually as the months went by, but since I'm fairly strong for a laydee, by the last few weeks I was still lifting more than most of the other women in the class. One morning after we'd finished, the instructor took me aside to say that several other members of the class had expressed concerns over the weights that I was lifting. This made me very angry indeed. If it had been the instructor expressing her own concerns, that would have been one thing (though I'd probably still have whacked her with a dumbbell). But the fact that it was other, completely unqualified and frankly ignorant, members of the class, who didn't even have the guts to talk to me face to face, made me spit feathers. Mr Badger, being the reasonable soul that he is, tried to defend these concerned souls, but I was having none of it. The implication behind their 'concerns' was that I was both stupid and a bad mother. They were assuming that I would do something that could harm my baby, that I wouldn't have researched and read everything out there on exercise in pregnancy, and have taken the best advice possible. They were making a moral judgement that they had no place to make. So I killed them. Well, you know. Those pregnancy hormones can make a person kinda crazy.

So the moral of the story is, don't criticize a pregnant woman. And if she wants a glass of wine, give it to her. Then run for cover.


  1. I was getting worried when you got all soppy over Lumpy, but here you are drinking, doing crack and killing people.

    That's better.

    There did seem a strange absence of poo though.

  2. Damn, knew I'd missed something. It must have been all that ranting, put me off my stride. Poo poo poo poo poo poo poooooooooooooooo!

  3. Massive massive LOL! When I was having my first I was cutting celery and loading lorries right up until she popped out. Apart from that brief interlude in hospital after slightly overdoing it on the planting machine.After that, I listened to my body a lot more. It mostly said, "Eat more fruit pastilles".

  4. I am a fan of anyone who names her child Lumpy. I found you on twitter. Very funny blog, and I feel a strange kindred spiritness, although my two children have left home. I will be back. molly

  5. Wow, Twitter visitors! Twittisitors! Or perhaps not. Anyway, hello! Thank you for coming - pull up a chair (make sure there's no poo on it before you sit down) and let me rub this nappy in your face. There. Bet you're glad you came now, right?

  6. My nearest and dearest once made a comment (he swore it was a joke) about 'women looking like elephants. To a woman who was nearly 10 months pregnant. He ducked when I threw a milkbottle and nearly wet himself when it cracked the glass in the front door, but all he said (when he stopped laughing)was: 'Most people open the door to put the empty milk bottles outside.'