Monday, July 14, 2008

22 Weeks and Counting

Thank goodness, I seem to have finally reached that stage where people no longer have to guess too much to know that I am pregnant. Well, this weekend I was offered a beer, but I think that's because older men are more likely to play it safe and pretend they don't think a girl is pregnant than assume she is and be wrong. Unfortunately, the side affect of this is me wondering if I still look plain fat instead of pregnant, but most of the time I have strangers asking me when I am due. At which point I respond "mid-November," and they reply with a look of horror and a quiet "Oh." Yes, I am large for my dates. I know. This kid will be like The Incredible Hulk when it comes out, a GIANT ball of screaming anger at being ushered into the cold world from the cozy, aquatic environment that is my uterus.

The baby kicks a lot these days, and also does full-on summersaults and flip-turns in my belly. Oh, baby, I can't wait to have you squirming in my arms. In the meantime, think you could slow down a bit? Maybe not grow so much? Mommy wants to retain some shadow of her former figure.

I've decided that there are a few different classes of pregnant women... I fall into the "showing early" class, as opposed to a bunch of other women whom I've know who have been pregnant in the last couple of years... they would be in the "gained very little weight and showed late and even in the 7th month didn't look as large as Amelia does at 5 months" class or the "was slightly overweight to begin with so mercifully didn't have the bloated-no-clothes-fit stage to go through and then ended their pregnancy by promptly dropping down below their pre-pregnancy weight" class. Someone asked me recently if I thought I wouldn't gain any weight while pregnant. Well, no, of course not, it's just that I had hoped I would be one of those girls who all of the sudden went from wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans with a rubber-band through the button (which haven't fit since week 9, rubber band or no) to hiding a basketball under my shirt. Not this.

So my question is, when people say things like, "wow, you sure are getting big!" or "Amelia, you look like you've put on a little weight! Ha! Ha!," do they not understand that the last thing I, or probably any pregnant woman needs, is to be reminded that the body she once knew, had come to accept with all its flaws (or most of them, even if she was on a perpetual quest to firm up and lose another five pounds), not only no longer exists, but also is not for her personal use any longer? These hips? Which a casual acquaintance noted immediately upon meeting me at a party a couple of years ago were "birthing hips"? Not mine. They've widened for the baby. These breasts? Which receive such lavish attention from my husband, who continues to be awed by their increasing proportions while I continue to be shocked that my bra size has gone up again? Not mine. They've grown to fantastical dimensions to one day soon sustain life. This face? I can't tell you why, but it too belongs to baby. Because God in His infinite wisdom sees some reason for me to break out like a horny teenager who eats too much chocolate in order to grow a child.

Some advice: we won't believe it about 50% of the time (because 100% of the time we are irrational, hormone-crazed, baby-making machines who see no connection to the body we once had, the body we have now, and the body others assure us we will have later), but when you see a pregnant woman, perhaps one you haven't seen for awhile or one with whom you usually share a bit of self-depricating humor, tell her she looks beautiful, glowing, lovely, or something else nice. Because even though we don't believe it about half the time (half the time we do-- and we are amazed that such a wonderful miracle can take place in our own bodies and we feel beautiful in our blatent display of fertility), we certainly don't want to hear anything else. Like how our thighs now have cellulite, our arms are getting a bit flabby, and our cheeks round (oh, yeah, and our buttcheeks too). We know all those things, we have mirrors.

When I get up the courage, and I decide I like the outfit I am wearing that day, I will have Tony take another photo. So you, too, can see my belly in all its glory.

And, I just want to say that I am so stinkin' proud of my husband! He kicked ass on his triathlon on Saturday and even managed to stay awake through the whole night at Skagit Speedway and drive his dozing wife home at 1 am. I don't know how he does it. But I do know that I love him and I was happy to cheer him on at Clear Lake. I guess he's doing a couple more races this summer, so I'll get to see him compete again-- so cool!


Sarah said...

If it makes you feel any better, my friend Yolanda, who was due in April, was asked at the end of December if the baby was due "any day now". Yikes. Talk about putting your foot in your mouth. Maybe you could make a little button that says, "I'm due in November, whatcha gonna make of it?" or something of that sort...

Mom and Dad said...

I think you are beautiful. Being pregnant adds to that. the picture with your friend shortly before you went to Baltimore was so lovely. I did print it for the baby book. I am sorry you now are carrying the genes of the Johnson family that have perhaps bigger babies, but they are healthy and like i said before they love to eat after. That is good for Mom's calorie usage and their system. It's a win-win. Love ya