Written by: Rachel Reiff Ellis April 16 2012
Iam ridiculously pregnant. Imean, really, stupidly, obnoxiously pregnant. When I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my midsection and impending birth were all people would talk about when I was around, Ididn’t consider that Iwould soon also become one of the conversationally afflicted, struggling for topics that don’t involve a baby or a belly or a due date or the like. But you guys. I can’t help it. It is all I can think about. There is no escaping it. When Isit, when Istand, when I drive, when I sleep, when Ishower, when Ieat, when I laugh at a joke—I’m doing all of it pregnantly. And with a lot of heavy breathing.
There’s a crossover that happens at some point in your third trimester, and it occurs earlier for some than for others. (Annoyingly, for a select few, it doesn’t happen at all. But we will not speak of them at the moment. Or ever. Jerks.) You go from feeling like a glowing, somewhat-charmingly round, expectant madonna to Jabba the Hutt’s mother-in-law. Like a virus, your gestational state starts to affect everything—your walk becomes a painfully cliched listing waddle, your face spreads out like doughy shifting tectonic plates, your upper arms melt into gelatinous pools of their former selves, and your stomach rests on top of your thighs when you sit, sticking to them like a sweaty, fleshy child that will not leave your lap. At week 37 this phase has begun in earnest for me.
Instead of hanging curtains, Ijust put on a maxi dress and stand in front of our windows.
Ikind of thought maybe I had escaped it this time, that the swelling gods had smiled with favor upon me, but I think it just took a little bit longer for The Spread to arrive than it did previously. Now the temperatures are rising, the baby (slash my backside) is packing on the pounds, and my circulatory system is looking around at all the extra fluids swimming through my insides, going, “Yeah. Good luck with that. Peace out.” I’ve seen it happen to celebrities, I’ve seen it happen to friends, and I’ve seen it happen to me twice before, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise. But somehow the vision I have of myself in my head and the person I see in store windows as I lumber by is not jiving. Not jiving at all, man.
Pregnant belly:the consummate photobomber.
This will only get worse before it gets better. And unfortunately it will get better in very incremental stages. Luckily, the most prominent swole nose and cankles are the first to kick the curb after the baby exits stage center. Iremember turning my head slowly from side to side in front of a mirror two or three days after Noah was born, saying “My nose!It’s so pointy!” The fleshiness, however, well, that’s a different story. I anticipate floppy bits for many, many, mannnnny months after delivery day. But in a crazy way, there’s kind of an elegant design to it all. You’re pregnant long enough to get completely sick of being pregnant, and then things change. Sure you’re left with wiggly, saggy parts and a bellybutton that looks like a droopy eyelid, but things are different!Hurrah!And so you feel relief. (Plus, you have a delicious, delicious baby to hold in front of the mushy midsection and cover up the larger-than-usual arm-age.)
Of course, then comes the part where you don’t fit into maternity clothes or regular clothes and you still look about four months pregnant and you’re not getting any sleep and your muffin tops have muffin tops, but let’s not go too far down that rabbit hole. That’s all talk for another day. Another day that will involve beer. And probably nachos.