When I was almost 7 months pregnant, and almost 3 months from D-Day, I was convinced that I looked like this:
I wasn’t too far off, either. I comforted myself with the knowledge that it could be worse, of course: I could look like Cookie Monster. Then I went to Vermont for my 2-week residency. The key to pregnancy self-esteem, it turns out, is:
1) wear maternity clothes from Brooklyn outside of Brooklyn (the other fellows exclaimed over my dresses, none of which would get a second glance in Park Slope);
2) be the only pregnant lady in the immediate vicinity, which guarantees you affectionate attention; and
3) live in an artificial, artsy, heady world totally lacking in full-length mirrors.
Returning to the real world took some adjusting, of course, but it was good practice for the summer’s real challenge: attending, at 8 months pregnant, my brother’s wedding to a bona fide Santa Barbara princess at her parents’ ranch. I knew she would look gorgeous, and she did.
My brother was no slouch either in his custom-made three piece suit — he looked, as I told him, like a young Roger Sterling. The setting itself was as lush, flowering, spacious, warm, and sunny as anyone could have wished. The female guests, not to be outdone by the wedding party or location, tottered around in blow outs, tiny, brightly-colored cocktail dresses, and heels that were almost as high as their hemlines. The one pair of fancy sandals I attempted to compliment turned out to be Miu Miu; after that, I realized I was unqualified even to express admiration.
Were all the girls blond, or did it just seem that way? Regardless, altogether it was the best-looking wedding I’ve ever attended. And there I was, the groom’s short, curly-haired, boob-splosion of a sister in platforms from Aerosoles and haute couture from Madison Rose maternity that may well have cost less than my corsage, and a belly that looked like it contained a Thanksgiving turkey. In a way, it was a gift. How can you be expected to compete with a bunch of tanned, skinny Real Housewife-types when there’s a second, almost-full-term human being inside you? I probably got more sorta-compliments (“You’re carrying so well!”) than those glamazons got actual compliments.
Now I’m back and heading into the home stretch. Wedding accomplished! I made it across the country and back again, lugging around a 4.5 pound, very energetic octopus of some kind, and I even managed to dance. (The band was incredible and also, duh, attractive. Total hipster chic.) In two days, I turn 30 — THIRTY — and after that, in mere weeks, I unceremoniously expel Squee from her comfortable, portable bio-dome and become a parent. What should I be doing with my last precious minutes of youth and freedom?