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The p-word

Written by: Suzanna April 28 2011 As if I didn’t already know, being in my current condition has made me even more aware of the fact that I am a prude (and always have been except for the regrettable years I spent as a miscreant teenager). Having both of the p-words—prudish and pregnant—apply to me...

Written by: Suzanna

As if I didn’t already know, being in my current condition has made me even more aware of the fact that I am a prude (and always have been except for the regrettable years I spent as a miscreant teenager).

Having both of the p-words—prudish and pregnant—apply to me at the same time has resulted in my having more than a few cases of the willies. Being “in the family way” in a time when being “knocked up” is the more popular vernacular has proven to be an odd predicament, indeed.

Take, for example, my gig here at P&N. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure I wanted to spread the word about it because I knew I would end up sharing the name of the blog—“Knocked Up”—and my retro-sensibilities couldn’t help but feel a little funny every time the words passed my lips. (It’s the same little shudder I get whenever someone uses the word “preggers” or “preggo.”) Call me a weirdo, but I even feel a tinge of awkwardness every time I hear—or even worse, find myself using—the word “pregnant.” I prefer to think of myself as “expecting.”

And don’t even get me started on the near-panic attacks I went into in the days leading up to telling my parents about my “situation.” I knew they were too clever to buy the old stork routine, and while I knew they may have had some underlying notion that my husband and I had consummated our marriage, the last thing I wanted to do was give them reason to be certain.

Although I sincerely hope not, you may be thinking that I can’t be THAT much of a prude. After all, if I were a diehard resident of Nunsville, I wouldn’t be the big “P” word in the first place. That may be true, but I prefer to keep what goes on behind closed doors, well, behind closed doors. The problem is that when you’re going to have a baby, the line from the old Charlie Rich song, “No one knows what goes on behind closed doors,” is a bunch of hooey. Once you’re pregnant, everyone—your pastor, your grandpa, the grocery store clerk—knows exactly what was going on behind closed doors, and that’s just awkward.

I will be glad when the little guy gets here for a number of reasons, but the strangest of which is that I think having a real live baby in your arms is somehow less suggestive than having a real live baby in your stomach. To anyone who is normal, I am sure I sound more than a little repressed. Don’t worry—my remaining months of being “with child” followed by going through labor in front of total strangers will probably do a lot to liberate me from my “repressed emotions,” but I hope not.

Right now, I have a lot of big ideas about what I will and will not do when Baby Palmer gets here. He’ll never be photographed in any way that would elicit an “Oh, MOM!” when he’s older, he’ll always be clothed (and, no, diapers do not count as actual clothing), and breastfeeding will be done in the Charlie Rich way. Of course, it remains to be seen how many of those things I will follow through on, but one thing is without a doubt—I will be glad to go back to being just one p-word at a time.

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