We’re the generation that wants everything now, so when are we going to come up with a shortcut for pregnancy?
A few months ago, I was diagnosed with a case of baby in the belly syndrome. It was extremely new, exciting and terrifying all at once. And, being Gen Y, I needed to know all of the pregnancy things immediately.
So, I downloaded apps on my phone, books on my Kindle and page after page of information from Google to learn the rules about eating and exercising, as well as the ins and outs of morning sickness, diagnostic tests and the many bodily changes I could expect.
But as soon as I felt I had a bit of a handle on the basics, I lost interest in the preparation stage. The excitement of buying my baby’s first items of clothing wore off. And comparing pram makes and models became nothing more than a confusing chore.
I wanted the baby to come nooooooooowwwww.
And, then it struck me – of course I did. I’m Gen Y. I can’t remember the last time I waited nine months for anything.
But when it comes to pregnancy, there are no quick-fixes, no work-arounds and – with surrogacy only realistically available to rich celebrities wanting to maintain their stretchmark-free bodies or women who medically require it – there’s minimal outsourcing.
Tolerating the long waits for hospital appointments, holding out to reach each relevant milestone before undertaking the appropriate test or scan and impatiently anticipating the results is practically torture.
Then there’s spending a whole nine months waiting for the baby to sufficiently cook.
It’s like being forced to walk around Ikea’s entire maze-like layout without using the shortcuts when all you need is some serviettes. Or Apple releasing a newer, better version of the iPhone with a mandatory nine-month wait list.
It’s nine months of dry socialising. Nine months of limiting lattes and avoiding runny eggs and Persian feta at overpriced hipster cafes. Nine months of dodging selfies so your Instagram followers don’t mistake the baby bump for brownie bulge and think, ‘Wow, she got fat’.
Basically, it’s just not Gen Y.
And how can I be the CEO of my own successful start-up while trying to look after a baby? At least my background of jumping from job to job will hold me in good stead for coping with the lifestyle change. But how can it still be all about me when my life suddenly revolves around naps and poos? And why am I doing all this study about raising a child without gaining another degree to add to my already jam-packed CV?
Plus, there’s the pressure of coming up with unique pregnancy and baby’s arrival announcements on social media (after all, we need something to temporarily satiate our narcissistic need for attention). And deciding whether to have an Etsy-decorated, cupcake-filled baby shower (mixed gender of course, ‘cos we’re trendy like that – and you get more presents that way) or a gender-reveal party.
In fact, the only Gen Y-compatible aspect of pregnancy I’ve encountered so far are the apps. There are many, many apps.
There are apps where you can see ‘your baby’ floating around in the uterus from all angles, there are apps that assign you a fruit as a reference point to the size of your baby each week (yep, that talk between pregnant women about pomegranates and mangoes is not some secret code), there are apps that show you the size of your baby’s hand each week. There are baby naming apps. Prenatal pilates apps. Kick-counting apps. Contraction timing apps. Apps that track your baby’s heartbeat. Apps that allow you to hedge bets with your friends about the baby’s gender, due date and size. Apps with the recorded sound of a baby crying to ensure your pet is well-adjusted to the new noise before the real thing arrives.
So, for now, those apps are my only hope of getting through the seemingly endless months of waiting ahead.
Well, that and keeping track of the number of likes on my pregnancy announcement. Just joking… Kind of.