Month 9 from Outer Space

My pregnancy is going fine. Anytime anyone asks, that’s what I tell them, and it’s the truth — comparatively, I’ve gotten off easy and I feel grateful. Yes, I was nauseous but not too drastically or for too long. Yes, I gained weight but my body didn’t morph into an entirely other formless, unrecognizable being, comme ca:¬†

Largely I’ve been able to continue living my life with an acceptable level of inconveniences. I have been able to travel, I have been able to work. Of course, the inconveniences started to feel a bit like they’ve been piling on as I got closer to full term, including:

  • More uninvited interactions with strangers — in elevators, on the subway, at the coop.
  • Less breath for climbing stairs, let alone the gym. At this point, walking from my door to the door of the gym is all the exercise I can handle.
  • More waking up at dawn to feed the ravenous, insatiable creature that is [in] my belly.
  • More crying triggered by sudden, terrifying realizations, like that I don’t know how to change a diaper.
  • Less attention, time, money, and brain power available for anything besides Planning for Squee.

 

Once I blew by the milestone of Full Term (i.e., MORE THAN nine months pregnant), the pace of the piling on began to accelerate. One of my ankles decided to swell. Just one — but it had been my favorite! For a day or two, I looked like a pirate with a peg leg.

The swelling went down, and then the waddling started. For every step I take forward, I also move side-to-side, calling to mind a very poor imitation of Marilyn Monroe. (“Like Jell-O on springs!”) My boss, fondly, started calling me “Fatso.” It was definitely time to (maternity) leave.

Today, on my second day of baby-free maternity leave, I got my hair chopped off. (“Jo, your one beauty!”)¬†Once I waddled all the way home, I realized I’d been wearing my dress backwards. Then I hoisted myself off the couch and had my third breakfast of the morning. This is just the way of things: the way pre-motherhood breaks you down, like the Marine Corps, so that you can be built back up again without your old, no-longer-useful standards of dignity. After all, soon you’ll be handling someone else’s poop on a daily basis; you have to get used to a certain amount of humiliation.

Squee, aren’t you eager to join the non-stop embarrassing hilarity that is the outside world? How can my womb compare? Come join the party, little one. We’re all waiting for you.

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