This is going to take a bit of imagination (and an appreciation for science fiction). But bear with me.
Scientists have invented a pill for pregnant women. It's a special pill that only works for 24 hours, and in those 24 hours pregnant women can do whatever they want without hurting their fetus. Aka, they can drink whatever they want, eat whatever they want, and sit in a hot tub for as long as they damn well please. All pregnancy side effects cease on this day, as well - no aches and pains, no constipation, no reflux. The pill can be taken any time in the pregnancy - beginning, middle, and end, and it is entirely up to the woman. No side effects. Just a day off.
This pill has resulted in a cultural phenomenon in modern society - the pregnancy party. Much like a bachelorette party, or a "hen" party as they call them in the UK, pretty much all pregnant women have such a party (where they take their pregnancy pill). It's a rite of passage, particularly for a first pregnancy. (It's similar to weddings in that way - the first one is a super big deal, and subsequent ones are a bit more toned town. Aka, it's bad taste to make people travel and spend a ton of money on more than one pregnancy party in your honor).
These pregnancy parties run from tame to wild. Some women, who never really drank in the first place and have always kept a vegan diet, simply have the equivalent of a modern day baby shower. Cake, punch, presents (boring). Other women take it to the other extreme. They go out on the town with personalized t-shirts and tiaras and slutty outfits with their big bellies hanging out. They walk around with an entourage and are loud, obnoxious, and drunk. If you're out at a nice restaurant, and see such a group walk in, you want to leave immediately. Ugh, another one of those wild pregnancy parties, you say.
There's all sorts of judgments and dilemmas when it comes to the pregnancy party. When should one have them? Society has decided to judge mothers for doing them too early (too presumptuous - what if the pregnancy doesn't stick), or too late (ugh, it's disgraceful to see women that large prancing around town drunk). There are hurt feelings about who is invited to such parties, whether extended family is included, who gets to plan it, how much is spent, etc. There are numerous products and stores devoted to paraphernalia and gear for such parties - it's become a huge industry. It's just another Hallmark hijacked cultural milestone, along with weddings, showers, birthday parties, and grandparents day.
But this milestone? This milestone I embrace.
Let me tell you about my pregnancy party for this, my third pregnancy.
I would do it at exactly 28 weeks.
It would start off solitary, in the morning, at a spa. A full Swedish massage, followed by a long soak in the hot tub.
I would then return home where I would prepare for a garden party, at my house. We'd start around 2 pm. I would hope for a beautiful day, and host the party on our deck and backyard (having a summer pregnancy has its perks - I may be fat and overheated every day, but at least I can have an outdoor pregnancy party). I would serve a smorgasbord of food - sushi, tuna salad, prosciutto, smoked salmon, chopped liver, raw oysters, foie gras, various unpasteurized cheeses from Whole Foods, and Italian Cold Cuts.
There would be several alcoholic beverage options available, but the featured drink would be a jalapeno margarita. With salt. On the rocks. And then champagne. Lots of champagne in fancy glasses.
I would keep it small - no extended family, no coworkers, just close friends. Maybe 10-15 people. No kids allowed. (There are special companies that offer child care for the day of pregnancy parties - I would have reserved a space at one of those facilities, so all my friends could drop their kids there too and fully enjoy the festivities). Friends that couldn't make it would send well wishes and bottles of wine. I would have a facebook status that read "Pregnancy party today! Peace out!"
We would sit out on the deck and chat and laugh and get tipsy.
That evening, around 8pm, we would move the party elsewhere - to a really fabulous restaurant. Price fixed, preferably, where they just bring you food and you don't even have to order. A place like Komi or Minibar or The Inn at Little Washington (but less pretentious). I would have reserved a private room, and I would eat anything and everything that was served. We would splurge and do the wine pairings with each course.
Overall, it would be a wonderful evening, and a wonderful pregnancy party. Much lower key then my first pregnancy party, back in 2008, when I hit the streets of Manhattan with an entourage of 20 friends wearing an "It's a Boy T-shirt," sporting a pacifier around my neck, and taking drunk pictures with random babies I saw on the street.
The next day I would nurse my hangover and resume my pregnant lifestyle.
What a nice day.