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The past 8 months have been an emotional roller coaster. I haven’t felt this much stress in my personal life since I was planning my wedding. Since we found out we’re having a baby, essentially the same key players (less one or two) have been completely stressing me out as they did before. Some have driven me crazy with their silence, while others’ feel the need to stick their nose so far into my business, I’m wondering if they can actually see the forming baby from up there.

As most pregnant women can attest, the minute you decide to share your good news with someone, they’re instantly an expert. Every decision you make from what you eat to what you wear to things you haven’t even decided yet are under constant scrutiny. And, god forbid you actually show your authentic emotion, which most will tell you is less fluffy goodness about the bun in the oven and more stress, anxiety, depression and overall frustration, because then you’re chastised for not “enjoying the blessing.”

Sure, babies are awesome. I can’t wait to meet mine. But the gestation process is anything but enjoyable. For the first few months I could do nothing without feeling like I could vomit on command. Every off smell or food or perfume was instantly offensive, and in your hormonal sensitivity, deliberately directed right at you. Some people feel that they’re entitled to weigh in on your baby as though it were their own. I was surprised to be getting dietary advice from people like my hard partying friend who spent most of her time looking for a good hook up for hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Others looked at me sideways for researching and finding I can indeed eat some of the foods I wanted, such as bleu cheese. (You can actually have it if it’s made from pasteurized milk, so says the FDA, my doctor and the awesome cheese monger.) I’ve learned to stay the heck off pregnancy discussion forums and stick only to the sites I trust. Turns out, every asshat with a computer is suddenly an expert on pregnancy.

The months ahead will be no better, I imagine. The quirky people in my life are going to magnify their annoying behaviors until I’ll barely be able to stand them before it’s all over. Because I’ll be giving birth in the winter, I’ve was told that “half the family” won’t bother to attend a baby shower if it’s held in my home state because the weather might be bad. Considering that it would be bad either way, and it would put me at a greater risk to be far away from the hospital and doctor should something happen on my commute there, I think that’s a pretty dick thing to say to someone.

This is the time when the people in my life will demonstrate their metal. Having made a majority of the effort thus far before becoming pregnant has placed a big strain on the physical and emotional distance between us. Considering that we’ve lived here for about seven years and people won’t even bother giving us a head’s up as they drive mere minutes away from our house on the way to the beach speaks volumes. Yet, we are expected to drop everything to drive the two hours north every time there’s a coupon for Applebees to be spent. Also, factoring in the a majority of the people we go to see are retired and both my husband and I work full time, the scales are inequitably tipped.

Baby will change this. I have no doubt. For his sake, I want nothing more than a stable, secure, loving family life. I will not be bogged down with dramatic nonsense and I won’t allow my child to be exposed to it. The push back I’m getting now is in response to proactive boundary setting, and for better or worse, these will remain in place or become more stringent as time goes by.