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Pregnancy

  • The whole thing was like a nine-month ocean voyage to which you never got acclimatized.

  • I always say that if the men had to have 'em every other time, there'd only be two babies, his and then hers, and then no more!

  • [Telegram sent (collect) after an ostentatious pregnancy:] Good work, Mary. We all knew you had it in you.

    • Dorothy Parker,
    • 1915, in Marion Meade, Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? ()
  • Envy the kangaroo. That pouch setup is extraordinary; the baby crawls out of the womb when it is about two inches long, gets into the pouch, and proceeds to mature. I'd have a baby if it would develop in my handbag.

  • It takes two to get one in trouble.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • The trouble with getting introspective when you're pregnant is that you never know who you might run into.

  • ... little fish, / you kick and dart and glide / beneath my ribs / as if they were your private reef.

  • Let the earth look at me, and bless me, for now I am fecund and sacred, like the palms and the furrows.

  • Now I am nothing but a veil; all my body is a veil beneath which a child sleeps.

    • Gabrielle Mistral,
    • "To My Husband," in Langston Hughes, trans., Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral ()
  • Because of the sleeping child I carry, / my step has become reserved, / and religious is all my heart / since I carry the mystery.

  • It is the woman who is ultimately held responsible for pregnancy. While not being allowed to have control over her body, she is nevertheless held responsible for its products.

  • If God were a woman, She would have installed one of those turkey thermometers in our belly buttons. When we were done, the thermometer pops up, the doctors reaches for the zipper conveniently located beneath our bikini lines and out comes a smiling, fully diapered baby.

  • ... carry yourself safely through your pregnancy; after that, if M. de Grignan really loves you, and is resolved not to kill you outright, I know what he will do, or rather what he will not do.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • to her daughter on her frequent pregnancies (1671), Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • Those who claim the body is only a vehicle for the soul have obviously never been sick for a long time, or pregnant. One's vision of the world depends very much on the physical conditions through which one sees it.

  • Oh God, the black rage that comes over me sometimes, especially at night. The nerve of this creature, the impudence! Placidly leaching food from my body without even an invitation. Who invited it to this feast?

  • I feel like a man building a boat in his basement which he may not be able to get out through the door. Trapped, frantic and trapped ...

  • Death has never seemed so far away, because growth, which is life, is so obviously occurring.

  • The only and absolute perfect union of two is when a baby hangs suspended in its mother's womb, like a tiny madman in a padded cell, attached to her, feeling her blood and hormones, and moods play through its body, feeling her feelings.

  • If pregnancy were a book, they would cut the last two chapters.

  • In the dark / Defiant even now, it tugs and moans / To be untangled from these mother's bones.

  • Her belly was smooth and warm and luminous, like a bright moon, and she carried it the way women admire, high and centered and round.

    • Joan Frank,
    • "Sailing Away," Desperate Women Need to Talk to You ()
  • Towards the end I looked like a rat dragging a stolen egg.

  • And home pregnancy tests? They are so last century. Nowadays, I think there's an app that calls your iPhone to warn you that if you finish that third cosmo, you may wind up with a wombmate.

  • [On pregnancy:] ... getting company inside one's skin.

  • ... it is extraordinary how much you are theirs, and how little they are yours. The child grows inside you and there is something mystical and mythical in that, but then you actually see that you are nothing more than the box in which they come. There is this total person, already formed, themselves.

  • Now I was someone who ate like a wolf, napped like a cat, and dreamed like a madwoman.

  • It wasn't just that my breasts were sore and my legs seethed with restlessness at night. A knitted cap seemed to have settled on my brain as well. Never think that pregnancy is just a spare room in a woman's house; it changes everything — the heat, the light, the furniture.

  • I don't think abortion is the problem. Unwanted pregnancies are the problem.

  • Lie in the sun with the child in your flesh shining like a jewel. Dream and sing, pagan, wise in your vitals. Stand still like a fat budding tree, like a stalk of corn athrob and aglisten in the heat. Lie like a mare panting with the dancing feet of colts against her sides. Sleep at night as the spring earth. Walk heavily as a wheat stalk at its full time bending towards the earth waiting for the reaper. Let your life swell downward so you become like a vase, a vessel. Let the unknown child knock and knock against you and rise like a dolphin within.

  • Suddenly many movements are going on within me, many things are happening, there is an almost unbearable sense of sprouting, of bursting encasements, of moving kernels, expanding flesh.

  • You're so lucky you never had morning sickness. It's horrible. Like a hangover without the good time.

  • I was slowly taking on the dimensions of a chest of drawers.

  • nine months passed and my body / heavy with the knowledge of gods / turned landward, came to rest.

    • Sonia Sanchez,
    • "Rebirth," A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women ()
  • ... as I go first one and then two weeks over my due date, I feel like a failed shaman pointing my staff at the sky, shouting 'Behold! The rain!' as the crops continue to wither in the fields and the womenfolk wail.

  • I'm glad I'm a woman because I don't have to worry about getting men pregnant.

    • Nell Dunn,
    • in Sarah Parvis, ed., Good Girls Finish Last ()
  • Maternity is on the face of it an unsocial experience.

  • I did not imagine that pregnant women were 'naturally' any more sensitive or exalted than people in any other condition; only it seemed as if — perhaps because we are in such a twilight state, a melting down and reconstituting of the self — there was more opportunity to hear strains from what must be the other side, the moral music of the sphere.

  • I begin to love this little creature, and to anticipate his birth as a fresh twist to a knot, which I do not wish to untie.

  • ... every pregnant woman should be surrounded with every possible comfort.

  • Every pregnant woman should be considered a laboratory in which she prepares a new being, to which the slightest physical or moral emotion is injurious.

  • ... amazingly, within seven months of delivering my first child, I was pregnant with my second. It was not, I'm fairly sure, an immaculate conception. I must have been asleep (my life ambition at the time). Or I was awake but not conscious. Or I was conscious but so completely addled I forgot to take precautions.

  • The only time a woman wishes she were a year older is when she is expecting a baby.

  • Sex is still the leading cause of pregnancy.

  • [On the first of many failed attempts to get pregnant:] The next morning I awoke with a smile and a craving for pickles and ice cream. I thought, 'Wow! Does it really happen that fast?' No. Unless you're 17, living at home, with a book report due.

    • Sue Kolinsky,
    • "In-Fertile Ground," in Henriette Mantel, ed., No Kidding: Women Writing on Bypassing Parenthood ()
  • [When asked why, despite her many infidelities, her five children all resembled her husband:] That is because passengers are never allowed on board until the hold is full.

    • Julia Agrippa,
    • in Clifton Fadiman, ed., The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes ()
  • She [hoisted] up the waistband of her maternity knickers (now there was a good look — undies in which you could hold a revival meeting) ...

  • During my maternity leave I haven't used many words of more than one syllable.

  • It takes two to get one in trouble.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()