5/28/2006

Observations from 28w5d

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.

Cupcakes, anyone?

21 comments:

Rachel said...

I hear you. I am feeling all that and more. We must be due around the same time, because you sound like you're in the exact same place as I am, physically.

Yes, my ankles swell. It's attractive. My boobs are, admittedly, quite amazing, but they're no longer simply decorative. I think the deep-cleavage cut of most maternity tops serves to lengthen your neckline and not make you look like you have exploded a la Violet from Willy Wonka.

I am so so so envious of your maternity leave gig. Is that mandated by the government there? Will you adopt me?

I have 2 and a half months to go, knowing that I am going to get EVEN BIGGER than I am now. How the hell am I going to fit in my car?

Lindy said...

What is it with the low-cut maternity tops and dresses anyway? That little overlap number is the worst... as if my boobs need any help escaping!

And, having been there and lived to tell about it, yes parenthood is a big deal. But you can still be your old cynical self too. Actually, I think a nice dose of cynicism would do many parents good. That said, please do pass the cupcakes.

Pamplemousse said...

I would love to say something funny but I think you are just needing a giant smoochy hug and a countdown calendar where you can cross off the days till matty leave. I love the thought of that year off too. Thinking of you, the Dude and Enid, sweetie.

fisher queen said...

Pamplemousse has the nicer comment- me, all I can think of is that the pee dance should be legal for anyone who needs to make #1.

Nico said...

Thank G*D gestation is not 645 days. Whew.

Other people never cease to amaze me. It is *never* okay to comment on a pregnant woman's size, big or small. As far as I'm concerned, the two options are "you look great", or keep your damn mouth shut.

I have to say, I'm still jealous of the ample boobage others seem to have acquired. I don't fit into my A-cups anymore, but I'm kinda fooling myself with a C. Sniff.

A year's maternity leave... What a dream!

Lut C. said...

28m5d already? It seems like only last week that I read about your BFP! My sense of time is a bit off. :-/

I'm sorry your PG isn't quite a walk in the clouds high on Prozac. But I'm glad to read that Enid is doing well.

Jenn said...

It's amazing how similar yet different two experiences can be.

1. I feel like it's not long enough. No way am I ready to have these boys yet. I think I'd leave them in there another year if possible. Talk to me in a month though and I might feel differently.
2. Yeah, you get that even when you ARE carrying twins. I look at least full term if not bigger.
3. Pee. Sigh. Incontinence plagues me.
4. Luckily I only get this if I've been really active.
5. I get the opposite of this. I feel like EVERYONE wants to talk to me about pregnancy.
6. lol, I CAN'T walk that far. The pain in my pubic bone is killing me.
7. Sigh. Still no boobs. But the belly pulls down my tops far enough to show off what little is there.
8. Got that. Big time.
9. n/a
10. I hear you on this one too.

Thalia said...

Sorry you're feeling so uncomfortable, but boy are you still snarky. No danger of pod people where you are. I'll keep you posted if the average snark falls off in any way.

Panda said...

In Australia, its legal for a pregnant woman to pee in public. Anywhere. On a number of occasions I was sure I would have to avail myself of this law in shopping malls.

And #10: you will change. no getting away from it. you'll still be you, but with a non-functioning brain for a while, and your entire being subsumed by another who requires your boobs and bot-cleaning abilities. resign yourself to this now.

Tracey said...

No way! Public peeing in Australia for preggos? That rocks.

Yes, you'll change. That's a given. But you won't become something you hate cuz you are aware of it. However, you may just start to see some of the rosier sides of life... Is that a terrible thing?

Good luck - pregnancy is wonderful and horrible all at the same time. And I am of the personal opinion that no one should ever assume someone is pregnant and the only comments about a pregnant belly (if any) should be on how wonderful the mom looks and how small she is! That said, from here, you look amazing!

mm said...

Consider yourself lucky (and in great shape)... I have to move my stomach out of the way to see my toes and I'm only 22 w.

And I hear you on the having to reassure friends that you're not going to change. If one more of my friends demands that any potential offspring of mine not inconvienience them in the least, I'm going to go apeshit. Hello, assholes, I've only spent YEARS of my life working towards this. I for one wouldn't mind changing my life a bit. Argh. Um, yeah, sorry for venting in your comments section!

Molly said...

You sound like a work of art to me, Pru. A bloated-ticky thrashin'-around work of art.

If only I were there to rub your cankles for you.

Em said...

Just ignore people's comments. I had people say "oh you're big. Are you sure there's just one?" or "You're small". I mean, as if I wouldn't know if there were more than one baby in there. Maternity leave is awesome, though there is a mundaness to your days. I actaully enjoy the routine and everything revolves around breastfeeding.

pixi said...

Yeah, what is it with the maternity tops? I used to wear a tank underneath them, but now it's too hot, and I can't be bothered. I can look down at my neckline and see the top of my belly as I type.

Kath said...

Dear Pru, that was a fantastic post. Snarkitude present and accounted for.

I'm sorry, but I am laughing at the image of you doing the peepee dance. I know I will get punished for this.

Georgia said...

Yes, at least we're not elephants. The gestation, plus, you know, the whole ankle/cankle thing.

I'm 6 weeks behind you, so it's nice to hear about what I have to look fwd to you.

The grossest thing going on for me is that I'm having that mole-getting-bigger thing They tell you about in The Books. And the mole in question is in my bikini area, on the edge of the triangle. Where there was one, now there are two, on atop the other like a piggybacker. It's nasty.

elle said...

Yes, it's great fun, right? But, for me at least, I've been 10 days out the gate, and despite severe lack of sleep, I feel GREAT! Being pregnant really sucked the life force out of me. So hopefully it will be that way for you too. And as for changing, I still say fuck an awful lot, so I guess I still have a ways to go before I turn pod.

I am crazy jealous of your year off - I'm getting 16 wks.

Shadiva said...

I just spent the weekend reading your entire blog. Basically, I have no life. It's ok. You can say it.

Anyway, I'm 26 weeks pregnant so I'm totally feeling you on your complaints.

The cankles, the peeing, the kicking, the maternity leave on the horizon. All of it. I feel ya, homey.

Ova Girl said...

You have officially put the fear of cankles in me. Will be monitoring for all signs of swellage.

MC said...

It's weird how people comment on how pregnant women look. It's happened to two friends of mine who I work with.This particular person told one friend that she looked unfortunate but at least the people she worked with knew she was pregnant and not just fat. Then she asked my sister-in-law if she had had the baby yet, a week or so after she had given birth.
Hope the ankles hold out.

AmyLew2 said...

I was at the grocery store pregnant with my first. I had to pee but wanted to check out first. Standing in line the little bugger decided it was a good time to let me know that my full bladder was taking up his space. It took a few moments to realize my bladder was emptying on its own.
I picked up my purse and walked out of the store as calmly as possible. I was very pregnant with what became a nearly 11 pound son so hopefully people thought my water broke.
Its funny, being as big as I was with both of my kids I always appreciated it when people commented on how big I was. It was almost like they were validating my discomfort.