My husband has started calling me Duckie. No, it's not because of the stuffed duck he bought me for Easter one year when we were dating. It's not because I have a newfound love for water and the way it seems to to cradle the extra baby weight. It's not because he likes ducks, though there is a certain teasing affection in his voice when he says it.
No, my husband has started calling me Duckie because I walk—err, waddle—like one.
As soon as my belly became noticeable, a slight change in gait become noticeable as well, at least to me. But, with an extra thirty pounds packed all into my stomach and a baby dropping lower into my hips everyday, there's nothing slight about it anymore.
It starts with a rather awkward move from a chair that makes me feel three times my age. Then it's a rather stiff robot-like walk (robo-duck anyone?) until my joints feel a little more normal and a little less like nuts and bolts. And even once my hips feel a little looser, they still move like something is in the way (because, well, something is in the way). Walking becomes less of a right-foot-left-foot motion and more of right-hip-left-hip swing—which is about twice as slow as a non-duckie walk. Trying to pick up the pace just intensifies the duck effect.
I have a daily calendar that tells me what baby is doing at each stage of pregnancy, and it's becoming frighteningly accurate. The day after the calendar said baby would be dropping lower, giving my lungs and ribs some relief but making walking more awkward, I earned my newest nickname.
I keep telling myself in another month he will be here and my body can start getting back to normal, or as close to normal that it will ever get postbaby. But I've tried to tote around a little one while multi-tasking and I know carrying him just becomes more difficult as he grows. At least, in another month, I can share that responsibility with a handful of people more than willing to help (not to mention all the baby gear already assembled and ready).
But until then, I can at least laugh at all the nicknames my new walk is generating (Duckie, Mother Goose…) and imagine carrying my little man in my arms—no duck walk included.