The Powerful

I felt powerful when I was pregnant. It wasn’t what I expected to feel. I’d been taught that pregnant women were fragile: Balloons about to pop, eggshell-thin teacups that would shatter if you dropped them. People certainly treated me like I was fragile. They gave up their subway seats for me at least 40% of the time, more if I sighed and heaved my balloon belly around; once, when I puked after taking two incompatible supplements together, five or six people rushed over to tend to me and offer to take me to the hospital. But they also treated me as public property. For the last three months, in particular, male strangers kept stopping me on the street to say “I bet it’s a boy!”

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