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Posts Tagged ‘pregancy weight’

This is the infamous phrase my dear friend Mandy uttered to me a few years ago, when she was about five months along with her first son. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Max that I finally understood what she was talking about. I’ve written about this before: I didn’t get a cute basketball belly; in fact, it was somewhere after month five that I actually popped out enough to look pregnant. Prior to that, I just looked like I’d been binging for a few months. F-a-t, fat.

By the time I reached the third trimester, the belly comments were rolling in. And not from uncouth, uneducated strangers. No, most of it came from my own family. After sending a pic of our fabulous crib assemblage (around month seven) to friends and family, one of my cousins immediately responded: “Your belly is HUGE!” Sometime in the next month my mom became very concerned about me driving myself to my prenatal appointments, because she thought my belly wouldn’t fit behind the wheel of my car. And then, of course, there were those that participated in our online baby pool, optioning for me to give birth to a 10-pound baby.

This time around, it is not the people that know me that have jumped in on my belly size. It’s random strangers. This time, my belly popped somewhere around month four, and people have clear opinions about it.

Seriously, I’ve now take to answering the question, “When are you due?” with a vague, “This summer,” instead of “August.” Too many women with bug eyes, or “Really?” or “Oh my GOD! You have so much further to go!”

Here’s the basic truth in life: Women in general, do not like being told they’re fat. Pregnant women especially do not like this. And pregnant woman that were rocking an extra 30 pounds before they got pregnant really, really do not need to be reminded of this while shopping for baby clothes. Seriously.

Add to it my own personal issue; I’m 6’3″ for goodness sakes, and have spent most of my teenage years and early twenties having to endure the constant barrage of comments and opinions about my looks and my stature. Whispers from across the room; children yelling out to their moms in the grocery store about the tall lady; men of all shapes and sizes making comments of every color imaginable; well-meaning women telling me “at least your pretty.” I’ve heard it all.

Dammit, I really don’t want to deal with it again, strangers commenting on my body. And certainly not when it has to do with my unborn child.

So I started some archival research. See my evidence below. First pic is me, at 5 ½ months with Max. The second pic is me now, at 6 months pregnant.

Baby Shower 091MC Apr 13 034

So um, what’s the difference? Really. None. I look the same. I know for a fact that I’ve not gained nearly the amount of weight as I did with Max, despite my 30-pound head start. But what does it matter? I’m I a failure as a mother already, because my belly is big? Why are people asking about my due date at all, if they can’t offer a socially polite response of “That’s nice,” or “You must be excited!”

And then on Sunday, Ned and I are at church and we bring up the topic of baptism in a conversation with the pastor. My husband starts explaining that we baptized Max at a church in Florida, which causes a great deal of confusion for said pastor, who assumed that we meant we need to baptize Max. And the next thing I know, I, the woman now 6-months pregnant, am explaining to my pastor that yes indeed, there is a baby in there.

Yeah. I’m not fat, I’m just pregnant!

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It is Saint Patrick’s Day, and a tradition in my family is to head over to good old Mickey D’s and score a Shamrock Shake. My mother and I used to do this for two reasons. One, we enjoyed the mint along with the exclusivity of the annual treat and two, we enjoyed giving a sip to my father who would scrunch up his face and say, “Ewww. It tastes like toothpaste.”

Years long since my father’s passing, and in the first year of my son’s life, I am searching again for a Shamrock Shake. I come up empty.

My thinking on this sinus-headache-filled morning is this: I will take my son from story time at the local library to run a quick shopping errand to the McDonald’s on the way home. The headache has caused us to attend the late 11:15 story time, so I spend the five minutes between the Bed, Bath & Beyond and the drive thru justifying not only picking up a shake, but lunch as well.

This is what happens at noon, in cities across the nation, when new moms are carting around a sleeping 6-month-old baby and a loud, quavering stomach.

So the irrational justification goes like this: if I get a “medium” size meal, with a Diet Coke, I’ll score a small shamrock shake. If I had given up and scrounged through my own fridge at home for lunch, I’d have been doing it with a giant shamrock shake.

I’ll admit, the fries are good. But by the time I get home and get the baby out of the carseat he’s awake again, so I have to occupy him, and by the time I sit down with my food, the fries and burger are cold. And the burger doesn’t look as Angus-ey as it does on the commercial, and the shake I’m tasting is not at all toothpaste-like, because when I pulled up to the drive through and asked if they had the Shamrock Shakes today, the girl’s response was, “We should today of all days. But no.”

*sigh*

So the meal wasn’t that great, and now I feel slouchy, and my stretched-out size 12s are starting to feel tight all over again. And it’s taken me more than six months to get here.

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