Depending on what I’m wearing, I get the unsolicited question, “How far along are you?”
Now, among people in the know, this does not faze me. Nor does it bother me when strangers ask if I brought up the topic that I am pregnant. However, if I have given no indication that I am pregnant (as far as I know), I have to fight the irrational response to be offended by the question.
Girls, you know why.
See, last year, I had an apron that was adorable but had the unintended side-effect of making me look preggers, especially to people who worked with me. In such cases, the tentative question are you? would sneak in and ruin my day. What? How could you think that? I mean, I have a bit of a pudge, but that’s mostly the pocket of the apron and the fact that I have a high waistline. Right?
Logically, I should never have felt offended by the question since it was never meant to offend. Honestly, I should give mad props to anyone brave enough to pose the question even to someone they know because we have ALL felt mortified by the insinuation that we look so out of shape we must be harboring a human parasite in our wombs. That kind of misunderstanding is hurtful for everyone.
And now that I am harboring said parasite, I have to turn off the part of my brain that’s all EFF YOU FOR THINKING I LOOK PREGNANT SINCE WE ALL KNOW THAT’S A HUGE INSULT TO A WOMAN. Isn’t it weird how brains work? I’ve been pregnant for 5 months now and I’m still in denial.
For instance, I had my second prenatal group meeting a couple weeks ago, which involved a brief check-up (blood pressure, weight, etc.) with the nurse and midwife. An insidious part of my brain kept insisting that this is all a ruse and that when they went to listen to the heartbeat, it wouldn’t be there. The universe is playing a massive trick on me. My boobs are huge and I haven’t needed a tampon in nearly half a year, and yet…
I don’t look pregnant enough. I haven’t felt it moving much. I mean, a few butterflies, but that could just be indigestion. I’m acting on faith that there is something in there that I can’t see or really feel, hanging out, sucking my energy and eating my food so that I feel like I’m always hungry and I absolutely can’t risk real hunger SINCE I WILL PROCEED TO EAT EVERYTHING. I have to trust that there is a reason I can’t sleep comfortably, can’t stand for more than 30 min without my ribs hurting from holding up my boobs (did I mention they’re HUGE?!?), can’t go an hour without peeing, and can’t decide if what I’m feeling is my normal reaction to a situation or some over-blown hormone-induced response.
I spent the last two days trying to find a boob solution. You ladies who have bazungas know what I’m talking about. Finding a bra that fits is only half the battle. It has to have enough support and has to be comfortable regardless of what you’re doing. And it has to keep the ladies in check. Bras are the bane of our existence and when we find one that works, we do NOT deviate. However, my bras stop fitting month 1.
Things that I didn’t expect to happen the first trimester: frequent urination, mood swings, and bazungas. Why is it that only thing I expected (morning sickness) wasn’t as bad as I thought while also being worse in unexpected ways? Who called it “morning” sickness? Was it a man? I bet it was a man.
Did I mention that right before we found out about platypus I had just bought several new conventional and sports bras since it was time to replace my stock? I bet I didn’t. In June, I bought new bras bc reasons. In July, they stopped fitting. Ugh. August, I went out and got a few more that offered more coverage, avoiding the nursing bras like the plague. In October, they got bigger. Now the problem isn’t the embarrassment of spilling out. It’s the fact that part of my job involves being on my feet for 4 to 6 hours. Which recently has started causing pain and not where I expected.
It feels like someone has taken rib-spreaders to my side, especially my right side right underneath my right boob. And I LOVE how inadequate the solutions are for this problem. Apparently, all I can do is buy more GORAM bras.
If you enter the lingerie department of any major store, you will find all kinds of solutions for hiding your tummy or back or thighs. Because that’s what really matters to a woman: stuffing everything into an appeasing spandex shape underneath their business skirt or LBD. What you won’t find is a section for “My boobs are temporarily too big and I just need a tank top that will help reign them in for the next few months until they stabilize enough for me to shell out money on nursing bras – also, it needs to be comfortable enough that I can sleep in it without cramping because this problem doesn’t seem to go away just because I’m not vertical.” Seriously, that’s all I want.
What I don’t want is to spend hundreds of dollars repurchasing undergarments for the next 5 months. Bras are expensive and I already have a whiny panic in the back of my head about all the stuff we have to buy for the human being we’re going to be putting up with for the next 18 years. This is not when I want to be frivolously spending money on myself just because the industry thinks it’s more important to put my girls on display than to have them cinched in and supported. I swear, if they focused more on back support than tummy control, well, they’d lose money because I wouldn’t have to keep buying more bras.
In the interim, I bought six new cheap sports bras to sleep in. And I might start doubling up my camisoles. Thank goodness it’s starting to cool off around here.
Okay, enough boob ranting.
Here’s something uncomfortable I don’t really want to put out there, but I’m going to or it will continue to scare me.
I don’t want to buy anything for platypus. Earlier I said that I’m in denial still, which is very true. I look at me in the mirror, I run my hand over my belly that won’t let me suck in my gut, I wonder if that was Platypus or just my imagination. The topic comes up every day and it still doesn’t feel real. Which might explain why I haven’t filled out the baby registry or done serious research on cribs and strollers. It doesn’t, though.
The thought that makes me avoid making direct eye contact with the baby department is a nugget of paranoid fear. Preparing for this baby is tempting Fate. Picking out names, painting the nursery, fawning over baby clothes, all these acts are simply begging the universe to change its mind about this baby actually happening. It doesn’t matter that I just heard its heartbeat a few weeks ago and next week we’re having the second sonogram. If I make any decisions on the assumption that this is reality, the universe will kill my baby.
Okay, that’s the extreme dark end of the spectrum of this paranoia, I promise.
How about, if I commit to this then the joke will be up and it will all turn out to be some freakish mistake. All the piss tests and blood tests and machines and symptoms will turn out to be a fluke. And it’s too late for me to be okay about that because I picked out a breast pump system so I’m invested in this being real.
And I’m scared about it being real. This is normal, I know. So normal, in fact, that most of you will say that me not being scared about my first kid would be disconcerting.
What I’m trying to say, badly, is that there are so many things that can go wrong and I’m not sure I can handle it so I’m trying not to get attached to Platypus in order to protect myself. And don’t say that nothing is going to go wrong. It doesn’t have to be with this pregnancy or with its childhood or teenage years or adult life or even directly to Platypus. Things go wrong because that is life. And knowing that means I will fail this kid somehow. I won’t respond the right way, say the right thing, make the right decision, whatever. I will not be able to protect my kid from the world and I know, I know, I shouldn’t want to. And I know that I have no control over whatever is going to happen and no amount of unhealthy denial about reality is going to change that fact.
So this is definitely the hormones talking. That’s got to be it. I’m going to eat some pudding, good night.
Stage: 21 weeks (2nd Trimester)
Boobs: More than a handful, according to Buddy
Mood: Not that great, a complete 180 from yesterday
Periodically, we hold little potlucks at work where people leave food in the break room that we shove into our faces during our 15 min breaks. The last couple of days, the boss decided to do our Holiday potluck since the actual holidays are a freaking nightmare. They also decided to have a mini-baby shower for me for lots of reasons, including Halloween being my favorite holiday and the other pregnant girl is further along than me (she actually quit right after they decided to do the baby shower, but they chose to do it anyway).
I got some wonderful gifts, all very practical and adorable and I don’t feel worthy of having such considerate and talented people to work with. And it’s definitely the hormones that are making me tear up right now.