Ask Drs. Bradley and Kennedy: on Groping Hands, Strange Urges, and Wandering Organs

iStock_000008210679XSmallDear Let’s Panic:
Now that I’m obviously pregnant, people seem to consider my belly to be public property. How can I politely ask them to keep their grubby hands to themselves?

Violated in Kansas City

Dear Violated,
As you begin to show, family, friends, strangers, and members of the clergy are going to find themselves helplessly drawn to your abdomen. You may find strange hands wandering over your midsection at any time of the day or night. The best defense in this scenario is to wearily submit to the constant groping. Wear soft, touchable clothing. A medical supply house will rent you a gurneys so that you can pull it behind you down the street and submit to full pelvic exams by curious vagrants. (Don’t forget the rubber gloves!) Answer detailed questions about your due date, weight gain, child’s sex, and your own anatomy with cheerful patience. After all, it’s not our fault you got yourself into this mess. And if you’re going to be walk around like you’re not ashamed, the least you could do is give us all the inside scoop.

Dear Let’s Panic:
I have two lovely children yet despite that, inexplicably, I want another one. The fact that I have one bedroom, significant cash flow problems, and a limited supply of maternal patience is not enough to sway me towards sanity. Which leaves only one thing that could pull me back from the brink: After one pregnancy my belly snapped back like a rubber band. After the second pregnancy my belly began to dangle coquettishly over my waistband. Here’s my question: what would happen to my belly after pregnancy number three?

Shriek House

Dear House,
No one can say exactly what will happen to your once-taut body, and we are no exception. We can, however, use our years of education and magazine-reading to predict with uncanny accuracy what is likely to happen. And that is that your slack abdominal skin will flap around your knees like some kind of useless tote bag.  (Don’t be fooled by those whisper-thin mothers-of-three-or-more you see in the popular media. They only appear slim thanks to hidden pulleys, surgery, and science’s most advanced support garments.) And what if you have multiples? Have you considered that possibility? Do you want to sling your extra pounds of skin over each shoulder just so you can make it down the stairs? Apply cornstarch underneath each fold, lest infection set in? If you enjoy this idea, go right ahead and get yourself impregnated.

Another little-known fact is that if you have a third child, the other two will gang up on her and then eat her. One only has to watch Animal Planet for proof of this.

Dear Let’s Panic:
As we all know, during pregnancy the uterus grows to grotesque proportions, until one’s belly begins its unnatural protuberance directly below one’s bosom. My question is this: What about the other organs?

Alexa, Adrift

Dear Alexa:
It’s unclear exactly what happens inside the human body during pregnancy, and until NASA develops some kind of sophisticated imaging technology, it will remain a mystery. Frankly, some questions are better left unanswered. Ask yourself: Do you really need to worry your little head over this? Don’t you have better things to do than bother us with this kind of fact-related nonsense?

Fine, then. If you must know, there are several popular theories about a woman’s pregnancy-related organ migration.

1. Each organ is subsumed by its larger neighbor, like some kind of horrible, horrible Russian nesting doll. The resulting Ultra-Organ leaves the body while the pregnant woman is asleep and burrows under a pile of dirty laundry in her bedroom closet, controlling her bodily functions remotely using its telekinetic powers as it emits an eerie blue-green light.

2. As the uterus begins to expand, it turns every organ surrounding it into a viscous goo. Eventually the woman’s body is nothing more than a goo-sac with a baby inside it. (Whether or not it all changes back is a whole ‘nother debate.)

3. As the uterus expands, the organs shift thusly: the liver moves over to the back; the kidneys retreat to the thighs; the lungs are hiked up into the upper arms; the heart retreats into the neck; whatever is left settles into the butt. Sit down with care.

Please note: Drs. Kennedy and Bradley are not actual “doctors,” if you want to get all fancy and technical about it.

Things that will nauseate you...

...during your first trimester:


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