Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Just say it (like I could stop you)

Pregnancy opens up all kinds of different conversations, particularly with strangers. Or should I say, when you're pregnant, strangers feel free to open up all kinds of different conversations with you. It's like the more room your belly takes up, the more people feel free (or in some cases compelled) to discuss it with you. Even your friends' and family members' normally-halfway-decent verbal filters get a little looser.

I can't remember being the least bit phased by comments about my belly during my first pregnancy, but in your second pregnancy, you just start showing so much faster and apparently in my case, so much more. So the comments have come earlier with almost everyone assuming I'm further along than I am. I'm not really bothered by it. I'm not bitter. But I'm also not feeling the need to keep these comments to myself. So in the same spirit of walking up to someone and saying whatever comes to mind, I am feeling free (compelled) to share with you some of the gems I've heard lately.

Of course, there are the numerous you-look-like-you're-just-about-to-pop's, and there are the strangers in the neighborhood calling across the street to me that it must be getting close (when I had 3+ months to go). Then there are the people at the coffee shop or the park who want to guess how far along I am and the gender and explain all the reasons that my profile led them to guess what they did (however incorrectly). But here are the stand-out comments of the past several months.

Guy friend: "Your belly just looks so much bigger today."
"Well, usually I don't wear a baggy shirt like this," I say, pulling the shirt closer to my belly.
Guy friend: "Well, now it looks like a torpedo."

A woman I adore: "Wow, it looks like a salami."

Different guy friend (at 33 weeks): "So, they think your belly is going to just keep on growing?"

Then this weekend, a stranger at the local coffee place asked how far along I was. When I said I only had a few weeks to go, she acted surprised at the short time I had remaining, and I was like, "You're awesome," since most people assume I'm at least that far along, if not overdue. Then she said, "So just one baby?" and I was like, "You're not awesome."

Yes, just one baby. No, I'm not having twins. Did I mention you're not awesome?

Don't get me wrong. Though I wasn't prepared for all these comments, I am repeating them all here in fun, and I'm keeping in mind that they are balanced by others. Most of my girlfriends kindly insist that my belly is the only part of me that looks pregnant, and whether true or not, I'm hanging on to that. Plus, when you're pregnant, people smile at you for no reason. And though I don't really like attracting attention, I'm trying to soak that up because in a few weeks, I'll no longer be a sweet anonymous pregnant person reminding them of the beautiful part of the circle of life. I'll be the mom of two attracting glares instead of smiles as I accidentally block the door to Starbucks while struggling with the infant stroller and trying to convince my preschooler to keep moving in the same direction for more than a few steps at a time.

So though I'm nearing the end and pretty uncomfortable and though I'm now more likely to have a potty accident than my three-year-old and only slightly less likely to burst into tears from being overtired, I'm raising my glass (of ginger ale) to pregnancy and all of its craziness. See you on the other side!