This is the least creepy pregnancy stock image I could find. / Image via Shutterstock

When I first told Scott Lewis I was pregnant, one of his first responses was “I can’t wait to read all the fiery pregnancy takes in What We Learned This Week.”

Friends, there have been no takes.

It’s not that I don’t have fiery opinions about the abject misery that is pregnancy. But when you’re pregnant, most things in your life tend to become solely about that — whether you want them to or not — and this space has instead been a wonderful refuge where I’ve had the chance to continue being a person who thinks about news and politics.

That said, I’m reaaaaaaaaaaaaally hoping that any day now, I’ll be taking a break from this column, and from work altogether (and by that I mean trading it for another, very intense kind of work).

So, here’s a condensed version of some of my hot takes on pregnancy, all in one place:

  • I expected pregnancy to be terrible, and it is unquestionably terrible. That said, it was not terrible in any of the ways I expected, and it was terrible in all kinds of ways I never knew to expect. I never dealt with morning sickness. I never dealt with a single stranger putting his or her hands on my belly. But, ever hear of round ligament pain? Me either! Turns out it’s a fun, incredibly common ailment among pregnant women in which you feel unbearable searing pain in your lower abs any time you try to walk. Since walking is something you tend to do a lot during the day, this is quite a predicament.
  • I swear, the second I found out I was pregnant, every news story became about mothers dying in childbirth. ProPublica has been exploring the United States’ disturbingly high rate of maternal deaths in a series all year, which kicked off with this piece about how even a neonatal nurse with a doctor husband — people you’d think would know symptoms and the system well enough to spot signs of trouble — died in childbirth. From there, we got hundreds of profiles of women who died in childbirth just in the last year.  Vox did a piece specifically about California women hemorrhaging to death. NPR just published this devastating piece about why maternal death rates are even higher for black women. These are incredibly important issues to explore, and I’m so glad newsrooms are investing in them. That these investigations have coincided with my own pregnancy, though, has been a little unsettling!
  • The best piece related to pregnancy this year was about Kim Kardashian of all people, but I promise you, this is a thoughtful, insightful read about how celebrity pregnancy has become a sort of performance art, written by one of the best pop culture analysts in the country.
  • Though I’m not joking about pregnancy being terrible, and I feel very deeply that women should be able to express that opinion freely, it’s also true that it’s brought out the best in friends, family, coworkers and total strangers. I haven’t had anyone come up and abruptly touch my stomach, but I have had people go out of their way to make my life easier, or to just offer congratulations. So, thanks for that.

What VOSD Learned This Week

The news this week revolved around where we should build homes, and what people should be allowed to do with them once they own them.

First of all, San Diego truly out-San Diego’d itself when Councilman David Alvarez of all people torpedoed the latest attempt to actually create regulations for short-term vacation rentals. Councilman Scott Sherman unloaded after the vote, suggesting Alvarez and Councilwoman Myrtle Cole were both too beholden to labor. Andy and I talked about the epic vacation rental failure on the podcast this week as well.

Then there are the San Diego County homes that aren’t built yet. As wildfires raged in the northern part of the county this week, it’s important to remember that county leaders may soon decide whether to let developers move forward with several projects that would be located in areas of extreme wildfire danger. Speaking of the fires, we broke down what officials actually mean when they say a fire is only “(insert percentage)” contained.

And down in the southern part of the county – another area where developers want to erect more homes – some homebuyers are backing out of their deals now that methane and other gases have been discovered underground.

♦♦♦

More students have described to Ashly McGlone disturbing behavior they either experienced firsthand or witnessed in the classroom of a former La Jolla High teacher.

Meanwhile, more parents have told frightening stories of what’s happening in severely understaffed special education classrooms, including students wandering off or injuring themselves.

What I’m Reading

What a week for accountability journalism examining police misconduct:

And in other news …

Line of the Week

“In the coming weeks, we’re going to start challenging many of the tired assumptions in publishing. For example: Who said that a film review can’t be ghostwritten by a member of that film’s publicity team?” – This parody piece about a wealthy businessman purchasing an alternative weekly newspaper is a little *too* good.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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