Happy second anniversary to David! In case you’re wondering, on the scale below, he’s at Defcon, like, 10.
So it’s Week 33 and I thought it’s about time to just talk about the tadpole swimming in my belly (although she’s more like a bullfrog at this point). Nothing’s been moved around our apartment in a week, but as my baby shower is on Sunday, I’m sure I’ll have exciting news next Monday. In the meantime, some highlights of my ever-expanding waistline, and answers to your questions:
Yes, I am a Cranky Pregnant Lady
No, I’m not having mood swings—really— although of late I’ve gotten a little more teary-eyed at movies and TV than I used to, which is to say, not much, because I’ve always been one to flip on the waterworks easily. Sunday I was watching The Two Towers, though, and when the elves began their march up to Helm’s Deep, I lost it a little bit, which is a new one on me (I usually only cry when Pippin and Mary scream FRODO! and run for the Black Gate).
That said, I’ve never been a patient person, especially with repetition, and that condition has worsened. It’s completely unfair to the nice people who are only trying to be polite and curious, especially since my patience varies according to your parental status. This scale does not apply to everyone, and I can’t tell you where you, personally, would fall on it (if we’re friends who go way back and you’re at Defcon 1, status-wise, you might actually elicit only a Defcon-5 reaction from me). It’s unpredictable, unfair, and I’m pregnant so screw you if you don’t like it.
NOTE: This scale does not apply to comments like “Oh, you’re eating cold cuts?” That immediately sends me to Defcon 2 or 1.
|Defcon 5:||Women who have been pregnant. You can say or do virtually anything. Including touch my belly.|
|Defcon 4:||Men who have had a pregnant partner.|
|Defcon 3:||Women who have not been pregnant.|
|Defcon 2:||Male friends who have not had a pregnant partner.|
|Defcon 1:||Single men, who are not friends of mine, who have not been around babies or pregnant women pretty much ever.|
So you get an idea of how the scale runs, say a mother of two asks me, “Have you been having cravings?” My answer would be, “No, not really. I’ve been drinking a LOT of milk, though, and eating yogurt and ice cream like crazy. So mostly just the dairy, although I wouldn’t call it a craving.”
Male not-friend guy asks, “Have you been having cravings?” with a big knowing smile, and my answer is, “Nope.” The “Jesus Christ, can’t you think of ANYTHING more interesting to ask than about fucking cravings? What, I’m going to say, “Oh, yeah, sardines and pickles on Super Fudge Chunk” so you can rest easy knowing pregnant women have crazy cravings? Shut the fuck up and leave me alone, asshole,” is mostly silent.
The same goes for “How are you feeling?” Depending on how I actually am feeling, I might answer with “A little tired, but great” or “I’ve been getting shooting pains down my leg, which sucks,” but Defcon 1 guy gets “Great!” with another silent tirade hot on the heels. It wouldn’t be so bad if they just said “How ya doin’?” like normal people. No, it’s “How are you FEELING?” I feel very well, thank you. Come closer so I can test my feeling ability up the backside of your head.
My Pregnancy Advice
If you are pregnant, or plan to be pregnant again, my advice to you once the seventh month hits: GO SWIMMING. Around week 32, the baby went from fetal size to actual-baby-size, and my sciatic nerve exploded in shooting pains running from my lower back to my knee; it took two hours lying on the couch to release the pressure at all, and even that didn’t help much. Tylenol did squat, and Advil is a no-no. But a warm bath seemed to help. So I headed down to the Y Embarcadero and rejoined, figuring they have Aqua Fitness and all that, and maybe a little exercise would help.
It’s been a week, and while I haven’t gone to one class, I’ve spent about 15-20 minutes a day just drifting around in their activity pool, and let me tell you: West Virginia’s got nothing on the YMCA activity pool when it comes to heavenly surroundings. I didn’t realize how much 30 pounds actually weighs until the first time I climbed OUT of the pool, when WHAMMO! Gravity reactivated and yanked my belly back to earth. But the beauty part is, my knee and back didn’t hurt that night, and every day that I’ve taken that 15-minute dip, the pressure on my back lifts and bye-bye to shooting pains. On top of that, the hydrostatic pressure of the water drained all the puffiness out of my hands and feet, and my wedding ring now fits as well as it ever did. Brilliant!
The only drawback is, of course, me in a two-piece bathing suit not made for maternity wear. The first day in there, I walked back to my locker, fresh from the shower and stark naked (well, except for the tea towel draped over my belly) to greet two 12-year-old girls getting ready for a workout. My only hope is that I scared them off sex for another 10 years or so.
Aside from the obvious, I’ve found pregnancy affecting my body in other, small ways I hadn’t expected. For instance, I’ve been a lifelong sock-and-a-sock-and-a-shoe-and-a-shoe person. Now I’m a sock-and-a-shoe-and-a-sock-and-a-shoe person. Why? Because lifting my ankle to rest it on my opposite thigh takes so much effort that I don’t want to do it twice. It’s one of those patterns we don’t realize we have until they change, and even now, it makes me stop almost every morning—wait, don’t put the foot down, time for the shoe. It’s a little hiccup in my morning, somehow more noticeable than the fact that the tadpole is sitting so high that my posture has improved dramatically; if I slouch, my ribcage (or maybe it’s what’s left of my upper abs) aches. I shaved my legs the other day, and between the bowling ball in my lap and my erect posture, I could barely reach my ankle. Lately, as I sleep, when I roll onto my back from my left side— my right side is the shooting-pain side, and it hurts too much to sleep on that side—I wake up because lying flat on my back makes my pelvis ache.
But all of that’s nothing. And I don’t mean it’s because the door prize is so fantastic; I mean it’s because up to this point, knock wood, I’ve had a pretty breezy pregnancy. A friend of mine couldn’t make a fist or hold a knife, she was so puffy, and had to take asthma medication; my sister peed every half hour because my nephew’s head was so cozily nestled onto her bladder. Of course, all of that could happen in the next seven weeks. But I recognize I’ve been lucky so far.
That, of course, doesn’t change the fact that you asking me how I’m feeling still pisses me off. Jackass.