To pass the inordinate amount of time that being pregnant seems to take, I spend some of my work days not working, but rather making dumb, obvious observations about pregnancy.
1) Some days I feel like I've been pregnant for years. Last Monday I spent half of the day either crying, or a state bordering on tears. I just wanted to get this kid and her hamburger OUT, though I of course realise preterm labour is a bad, bad thing. The horrible thing is, I'm not even at the worst stages of pregnancy yet. I am trying not to think what I will like at at 36 weeks and later. It could be worse though - the Asian elephant has a 645 day gestation period, so I'm getting off light.
2) People love to tell you how fat you're getting. If I hear one more, "Wow. You sure are big. Sure you're not carrying twins?", I will hit the fucker. I heard this four times last week. Do they not realise how insulting this is? Also, it's not so good to say to someone that has severe body image issues that pregnancy is certainly not curing. Actually, Enid is measuring as the smaller side of completely average, as I mentioned in my last post. I can still see my toes, and still (barely) reach down and pick something off the floor with only minimal discomfort. Obviously these comments have driven me to compare my stomach with those belly shot galleries online, and I am proud to say I am completely normal, so fuck those haters.
3) Fetal bladder squeezing. I swear I have a devious fetus inside of me that gets extreme delight out of putting 2000 pounds of pressure on my bladder just to watch me squirm. There are two ways in which this scenario is usually played out - I am sitting down and don't feel as if I need to pee, yet my next trip to the bathroom reveals that though I may not have felt like peeing, I most certainly did. The second way is when I'm walking around, minding my own business, until my bladder feels like it's in a vice and will soon just pop out of my vagina and onto the street. This makes me want to cross my legs and do the "I have to pee" dance like a four year old, which is not, last I checked, an acceptable behaviour for an adult to exhibit in public. When this happened at one point this week, I was walking to get her majesty some little outfits. It seems that buying her stuff is not enough to get her to lay off the bladder so her mother isn't left to pee in the streets.
4) Swollen ankles. This side effect of pregnancy is just pure evil. One of my deepest fears is developing cankles, and damn if pregnancy doesn't start to lead you down this road. I have had this cankle-fear since 4th grade, when my early 30-something teacher, Mrs Wentz, paraded her cankles for all to see during storytime. I distinctly recall sitting on the carpet listening to her read Judy Blume, riveted yet disgusted, as to how this young, attractive woman could have such hideous ankles. Ever since then, the fear of the cankles has haunted me. Pair that with the notion of support hose and I'm headed out the nearest window.
5) Personal space. I work in a university, and on the day that I was particularly hating pregnancy and faced with two fat comments, I was was given at least a 6 foot berth by a passing male student in the corridor. I have yet to decide if he thought pregnancy is a disease, or if he thought my massive stomach would brush him if he got within a few feet. In order to pass me with this amount of distance, the poor kid had to practically hug the wall and slide down the length of the hallway in that manner. This happens elsewhere as well. Walking to work on the sidewalk people often step way aside to let me pass. It does wonders for the self-esteem.
6) The perceived inability to walk without assistance. I know most people are well-intentioned, but I'm pregnant, not disabled. Every single time I say that I'm going to venture into the town or go to get lunch, my co-workers freak out. Statements such as, "Are you sure you can walk that far?" or "I hope you're not walking there!" are often heard. People, I may look as if I have trouble getting around, but for now, the legs still work and are largely unaffected by pregnancy. So much for trying to maintain a sense of normalcy through all of this. I'm one step away from the dreaded pregnancy person parking space at this rate. Kidding!
7) Titty-lookers. I've brought this issue up before, but the bigger my stomach gets, the more I am disturbed by this behaviour. Yes, I have boobs. Yes, they are particularly large at the moment. No, I cannot get a top that isn't so low cut as there seems to be this idea that maternity tops must show off cleavage to the extreme. I happen to be one of those people that is not very pleased with many of her features but my boobs are divine, so no turtlenecks for me. Calm down prudes, I still maintain a bit of modesty. Unfortunately, they are here, and they are here to stay. However, I do find the idea of construction workers and truck drivers staring at them and drooling quite off-putting. I'm gestating a kid in this body, have some respect people.
8) Bloated tick syndrome. Though not yet an official disorder, I think it should be. Bloated tick syndrome is exhibited when the pregnant woman attempts to get up from a prone position, and finds herself unable to do so without much arm swinging and unattractive writhing. It is attempted by said pregnant woman to do this when the partner is not around so as not to encourage hysterical laughter.
9) The lure of maternity leave. This is one of the things that keeps me going. Some days it seems unattainable, and on others it's my saving grace. On particularly rough days I try to focus on the fact that in a couple of months, I'm done with this working gig for one full year. Me and my hopefully cankleless legs will be free to spend entire days at home with the chunky-labia'd one. Bliss. In theory.
10) Maintaining the self. At the moment, I feel like I have to keep stressing to my friends that I will not change, at least not noticeably. I received a surprise email from a male former co-worker the other day, and as I had not heard from him for a couple of years he obviously did not know of my knocked upedness. I didn't know how to bring it up, because he and I hit it off due to our mutual cynicism, sarcasm and rather pessimistic world view. I think it is perceived, and at times rightfully so, that as soon as we become parents, we are pod people. If we used to be cynics, we now see at least a little good in everything. I do feel as if that will be me if I'm not careful. Everyone with kids tells you how much you will change, and it scares the shit out of me. I like me! The Dude likes himself, and me, as we are. What if we succumb to the pod person mentality unknowingly? Please bloggers, alert me if in the next year I start to get a little too Bree Van De Kamp.