The four worst seasons to be pregnant

You’re expecting a baby! Hooray! Mazel! Yippee! Sparkling grape juice for everyone! 

Whether this is your first or fifth baby, one fact remains the same: your progeny will gestate for (hopefully) nine months, which — despite my husband’s best attempts to forget this fact — equals out to three quarters of a year. My two children were born almost exactly 2.5 years apart; their birthdays fall within a week of six months apart. In retrospect, I have come to realize this age gap has logistically meant I have officially been pregnant in every weather season and come out the other side.

Most people have their own theories on which season is the “best” (or “worst,” if you’re a glass-half-too-pregnant-to-properly-understand-metaphors type of person like I was during the last month/trimester/eight months of pregnancy) to be pregnant. These theories, along with every other piece of random advice such as sibling age gaps, sex of the baby and other such inappropriate comments are always presented earnestly to the pregnant person, typically by people who are not currently pregnant.

You’ll know who the pregnant person in the conversation is because they’re shooting eye daggers back at the other non-pregnant person wishing them nine months of miscomfort, no alcohol and unsolicited advice. Also, they’re the ones with the belly and a baby inside them. But I did it! I made it through and I’m here to clear up the question once and for all, after two successful pregnancies during all seasons: which season is the worst in which to be pregnant?

The answer may surprise you. But, actually, no it won’t, because the answer is “all of the seasons.” Let’s break down the four worst. 

Winter

Getting anywhere on ice and snow presents a new challenge as slipping while walking is no longer just a nuisance but falls into the “potentially dangerous to your unborn child” category, along with “quite literally everything, apparently.” After a good snow I put David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” on repeat whenever I was walking while pregnant to remind myself there was more at stake than just looking the fool I normally do on ice. 

Your coats probably don’t fit, especially if you dress appropriately underneath them for the frigid air. Busted buttons is the name of the game, as is being frigidly cold with an open coat. Have fun with that. This leads to a new quandary: do you buy a maternity coat that probably isn’t warm enough that you’ll use for a mere matter of months or just try really, really, really hard to zip up that good puffy coat “one more time.” It’s a race to the heating lamps on the ‘L’ platform, friends. Godspeed to you. 

I don’t necessarily condone “alcohol as an escape,” but I’m just going to put this out there to see if anything sticks: “extended family time at the holidays with no wine.” 

Spring

Just when you think you’ve exhausted all your patience with winter, spring starts. All of a sudden you have to start shaving your legs because one day it can be 82 degrees and the next day, 40, and as we all know shaving one’s legs while pregnant is a Sisyphean task up there with “getting your spirited 2.5-year-old toddler dressed for school while 8.5 months pregnant.” 

The constant changes in temperature will surely give you a cold, which will either re-start your morning sickness or make your OB do that thing where they purse their lips and say, “Hm.” and, “Um, well, call back if … ” and then you can’t quite remember what the last part of the sentence was because of your pregnancy brain, which honestly could be worse than shaving your legs. 

Also, you need a different, lighter coat that doesn’t fit. Because obviously you do. 

Summer 

They don’t call it “bun in the oven” for nothing. You are literally an oven. A furnace. A blazing inferno of human-making that will never feel cool again. There is nothing you can wear that will make you feel cool. There is no walk short enough. No air conditioning cool enough. Nothing. About. This. Is. Okay. 

Two words: swimsuit season. Two more words: expanded hips. Sixteen more words: now is not the time to look at old Facebook spring break photos of yourself, fool. 

Fall

Ah, fall. The crisp air. The falling leaves. Matt Boresi kvetching on Chicago Parent about pumpkin-flavored beverages and apples and various other ochre-toned festivities. While it is indeed true that the autumnal uniform of “stretchy leggings and tunics” is quite appealing to those in the midst of gestating lifeforms I should probably remind you not to wear all your adorable sweaters because they will stretch beyond repair. Also woe be unto your beautiful knee-high boots and skinny jeans combo: your boots might not fit anymore and your skinny jeans? Um, well, they’ll be back in your closet waiting for you. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting … 

Just when you think you’ve caught a break and the manna from Heaven that is bite-sized pieces of Halloween candy hits your pregnant fingers, you’ll have your glucose test. No sugar for you! In fact, fall kicks off “eating season” (that time from Halloween to the Super Bowl when every delicious food America has is presented to you in triplicate) in which you must somehow convince yourself that all the food you want to eat to make yourself feel better is not good for you because while you need to gain weight you don’t want the dreaded, pursed-lipped OB talk about “healthy weight gain while pregnant.” 

As you can see, being pregnant is an uncomfortable, weird, body-changing flat-out miracle. No matter when you’re pregnant you’ll find challenges because, let’s face it, parenthood is one large series of challenges. So buckle up, Buttercup, because the truth is there simply is no good time to be pregnant, which I guess means every time is a good time. When you look at it like that, your timing is simply genius.

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