FRIEND, PHD: hunger relates to calories needed vs calories consumed.
ME: yeah, but calories burned => calories needed. we don’t burn calories sitting at our desks!
FRIEND, PHD: if you are gestating a baby presumably you do.
ME: presumaly, cuz otherwise, this [i.e., eating like a Sumo wrestler in training for a marathon] is ridiculous.
FRIEND, PHD: maybe the baby is more of a manual laborer type, not a diaspora Jew
ME: hee! or a little sabra in training.
FRIEND, PHD: exactly. farming the land inside you, building towers and stockades, fighting off the natives, etc. th
ME: fleeing cossacks, crossing the seas …
FRIEND, PHD: right, maybe it is fleeing persecution. let’s not assume it has already achieved proud sovereignty in its homeland.
ME: the story usually begins with trauma and adversity, the overcoming of which brings the emigrant to the holy land
FRIEND, PHD: that’s the typical teleology!
ME: and prepares him/her for the toil of settling this new empty* barren country
FRIEND, PHD: no
ME: that’s several generations later. why am i giving birth to the past, anyway?
FRIEND, PHD: on
ME: sesquipedalianism obfuscates pellucidity
FRIEND, PHD: shut up
ME: my journalism teacher in HS had that on her wall
FRIEND, PHD: no, but really! don’t you remember that from high school bio?
ME: OH PLEASE
FRIEND, PHD: I think that was actually very clever of me, if I don’t say so myself. the development of the fetus somehow mimics the status of human evolution from fish to human, or amoeba to human. ontogeny = fetal development, phylogeny = development of the species. recapitulates = looks something like.
ME: uh huh.
FRIEND, PHD: i.
Be that as it may, although there are pregnancy resources up the wazoo, I haven’t found anything to help me deal with the fact that suddenly, under these circumstances, big does not equal bad. Having a belly has been a source of shame since I was little. Once, I remember, I was looking in the mirror in my bedroom and my mom came in. “Look, Mommy, I have a belly!” I said. “I know,” she said. “That’s because you don’t exercise.”
Of course it’s not her fault — the world she lives in, and knew that I’d have to live in too, measures your self-worth by your waistline. You over there! You’re taking up too much space! Only in clothes sizes do we strive to be zeroes, but we strive for that nothingness with energy and resources we dedicate to few other endeavors. For almost two years, I forewent dinner except for vegetables, and in the process I lost two dinner companions, because they ate hamburgers and couldn’t stand sitting across from me evening after evening as I picked morosely through my salad.
A fixation on appearance — specifically, wanting to be slim down as far as possible — is a common affliction among women in my cohort. That being the case, why isn’t there more attention drawn to the fact that it’s destabilizing to get pregnant, wake up every morning feeling like a stray dog who hasn’t eaten in weeks, and visibly expand? It’s just so strange. Suddenly, I’m supposed to listen to my body and eat what it wants. (Up to and including two  cheeseburgers, my first since I was 13.) When my pants start feeling tight, that’s a good thing. When I look down and see the beginnings of a dome, I’m supposed to rejoice. I keep thinking, “Really?”
I’ve been sucking in my stomach since high school and now I’m supposed to throw my shoulders back and bear my belly proudly. The cognitive dissonance is intense, and it’s taking me time to adjust.