Friday, June 10, 2011

Notes From An Extremely Pregnant Woman

Right now, you’re probably making one of the following three assumptions:

1. Wow, she must be overdue! Time to down some Castor Oil!
2. There’s definitely twins or triplets in there!
3. Well what do you know, swallowing a watermelon seed actually WILL make you grow a watermelon in your belly!

But you’re wrong – on all counts.

That doesn’t stop every stranger and their brother (and their mother, and their mother’s brother) from making one of the above comments. Sometimes they change up comment number three with something like – “You look like you’re carrying a basketball under your shirt!”.

Oh stranger, how unoriginal you are.

I thought I’d be used to it by now, considering these comments have been coming at me for a good three months. Yet, the only thing that’s changed is my ability to remain cool when I hear these things. They’ve stopped wounding my ego, and I don’t walk away with steam pouring out of my ears – so I guess that’s improvement. The closer I inch to my due date, the less offensive and completely off base these comments seem, so I give the offending stranger a touch of credit. Plus, they sometimes throw in a, “and you’re so thin, too!” or a, “it’s ALL in your belly, you don’t look like you’ve gained an ounce anywhere else!”, and despite not believing them at all, I file those phrases away as tiny triumphs. They don’t have any clue that in reality, I’ve gone up two sizes and gained, ooh…somewhere in the ballpark of 40 pounds already. They also have no idea that the stretch marks on my thighs (left behind from my first pregnancy) are now sprouting their own mini-stretch marks. Or that my underwear has become so tight around my hips they now leave red marks behind. No one needs to know those things.

In reality – I’m quite large. However you want to slice it – in the belly, all over, whatever – I’m big. If you want proof, I’ll show you the collection of XL tank tops I’ve recently acquired since they are the only things that can sufficiently wrap themselves around my enormous belly. My doctors are saying that baby and I are measuring three weeks ahead of schedule (and have determined so with both fundal measurements and a sonogram). So, even medicine says I’m too big!

This is truly no surprise to me. After giving birth to my nine-pound-five-ounce son two and a half years ago, I kind of assumed big babies were my specialty! And truthfully, the signs of looking like an Octomom wannabe were there from the get go!

This was me at 4 weeks and 6 days:

Some women don't even know they're pregnant by this point! And look at me! BABY BELLY! Not even 5 weeks along! Meaning my baby was technically only alive in there for 3 weeks! And no, my dating was NOT off.

Here's me at 28 weeks, looking all kinds of ridiculously huge:

And THAT, my friends, was 6 weeks ago.

I'm now 34 weeks - aka, 5 weeks away from my scheduled c-section. I AM ENORMOUS! There's really no other way to put it at this point. Knowing that I have over a month of baby growing left is depressing - how much bigger can a girl get?!

When I look at my full term photos from my pregnancy with Luke, I think I look SMALL!
That's just not right.

I can't stand for long periods of time, or exert myself by doing things like - vacuuming (yes, seriously). The muscles on the underside of my belly are destroyed and stressed to the max, and the littlest effort - including a laugh or a sneeze - can cause excruciating pain. Rolling over in bed has become a comedy routine. And let's not even talk about the severity of my waddle.


But above all, why do strangers feel the need to make comments and reach out for a rub? Don't they have any idea what it's like to feel THAT uncomfortable in your own body? Being treated like a freak show on top of things is NOT my idea of a good time.

Overall - baby boy #2 and I are hanging in there. We're large, and uncomfortable, but doing well. We passed our glucose test with flying colors (YAY!), and are struggling to stay on top of anemia - but it could be worse. Matt and I toured the maternity ward where I'll be giving birth, and aside from being the biggest bellied woman with the latest due date in the group and feeling like a whale, it made me feel good about our impending stay.

Now, if only I could get his room together...


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