Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I just eat that stuff up

"Oh, you have the perfect little baby bump," said the woman behind the counter of our neighborhood put-yourself-in-debt-to-buy-dog-food store. She was, maybe, 26 years old. The slightly older woman next to her concurred.

"You look so great!"

I thought they were going to reach over the counter and caress my belly. Like the grandparents in the "She's gotten her boobies" scene in Sixteen Candles. But seeing as they worked in a high end pet supply store, I'm sure they knew better than to reach out and touch an irrational animal without asking permission first. Hands get bitten that way.

"When's the baby due?"

"In about five weeks," I replied.

And then I waited for it.

3... 2... 1...

"Five weeks? But you're so small!" she practically screamed.

"I'm not that small now and I'm not pregnant," said the other woman.

I hear this nearly every time I go out of the house. Do I mind perfect strangers telling me how great they think I look?

What do you think?

I freaking LOVE it.

Especially since I feel like I'm smuggling a beach ball under my shirt.

I like my baby bump... for the most part. It's cute, it's round, and it hasn't taken over my thighs or ass too much. It sticks out proudly as if to say I am PREGNANT. Huzzah! Worship me for I am making life.

There are those times late at night when there's no one around except me and Mr. C and I can really be my miserable self when I start cracking tug boat jokes or referring to myself as "the blimp who ate Boston". But overall, I feel I can say with only the slightest bit of pride and vanity that I make pregnancy look good.

(Okay, maybe a little more than just the slightest bit. Sue me.)

In fact, if my pregnancies weren't so heinous I'd be pregnant all the time. Normally I don't get a fraction of the compliments I do when I'm pregnant. Let's get knocked up again! Just so grandmotherly types can stop me at Target and look at my stomach longingly!

Of course, there's the sticky little situation about having lots of screaming babies running around and that ain't happening.

"I hope I look that good when I finally get pregnant," the young woman continued, sighing and looking at my bump hungrily.

And that's when I start to get uncomfortable. As a woman who can't take a compliment to save her life, I'm getting pretty good about accepting them about my pregnant belly. It feels like a separate entity anyway - like it's not really me but something I threw on that day. Maybe something manufactured by 5 year old children in China. Oh this old thing? Aw, go'awn - but when women, and there have been many, say something like "I hope I look as good as you do when I'm pregnant" I'm torn as to whether I should tell them about my struggles with hyperemesis or just keep my big yap shut. The constant morning sickness, the visits to the ER, the 9 month struggle over medication and maintaining that always below the surface but never full blown nausea after month five with the aid of said medication. I don't want to scare the poor girls.

I have mentioned it as a cautionary tale to a few woman - You don't want to be like me, girls. You don't want to be puking your guts up 24/7 for three months and then be a slave to a pill or two every day for the rest of the nine months, living in fear that the insurance company will just decide to stop approving your claims. Even if it does mean that after you have things under control you too can have a steady diet of Twinkies and eat an entire tub of Gouda cheese spread in one sitting because you're playing catch-up with your weight. But then I see their faces fall and then turn into looks of disgust and horror and I realize that maybe I went just a smidge too far.

I don't share my story with strangers very much anymore. The awkwardness is just not worth it.

Besides, does it matter why I'm this size? Maybe I just take really good care of myself and I'm not eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's after each meal. As far as you know.

There's very little to enjoy about the third trimester, between the swelling, the pain, the exhaustion. I may at least enjoy what I can until this baby comes and strangers go from telling me how great I look to looking at my puffy red eyes and spit-up stained clothing with pity.

Yes sir, I'm going to soak up the compliments now. I'm making a baby here, for chrissake. I'll take it where I can get it. With a side of Girl Scout cookies and an entire jar of pickles, please.

Oh, and another tub of cheese spread.


Avalon said...

Mrs. C~~~ Not saying that I don't believe you, but really, we could use some photographic evidence out her.

Anonymous said...

I bet you DO look really, really cute. (Can I come over and brush your hair? Oh, shoot! Did I just write that?) I loved my baby bump. I just didn't like the 9 months of barfing and the migraines that never went away. And to think I did it 4 times. What IS wrong with me?
Enjoy the compliments! Every pregnant woman should get them.

motherbumper said...

Honestly you do look super cute, and it is almost like a little beach ball under your shirt (gawd knows I couldn't stop reaching out to touch her). Soak it up, and don't scare the naive or there will be a dent in population growth.

Oh and I'd totally do pregnancy again (except for that pesky "take this baby home with you" bit on the end ;).

kittenpie said...

Geez. I truly got huge with Pumpkinpie - my belly was massive, and I'm sure it won't be any better this time. People are telling me how great I look right now - but I'm only halfway there!

Then again, you're always cute.

Blog Antagonist said...

I suppose lucky is a relative term right? I was big as a literal house with both pregnancies. But that's because I hadn't a smidge of morning sickness ever. You're lucky to be small and cutely pregnant. I was lucky that I could eat. Would I trade? Ummm, no. And you probably wouldn't either, if you had seen me then and if you knew how I have struggled to take those pounds off.

Bottom line is...we all have something to be grateful for, right? Or maybe we're just really good at making lemonade. I think any woman who chooses to reproduce has to be.

Amy Urquhart said...

Oh sure, motherbumper, NOW you warn against scaring the childless out of pregnancy...not that repeating the vajayjay-hammock talk from Camp Baby had any sort of impact on me, no.

Chicky, you looked terrific in the photos I saw of you from that weekend, and if I saw you in person I'd probably wanna touch that li'l bump, too. Enjoy it!


Heather said...

Hey, are you living my life or something? I get those comments all the time. Of course I was bigger to begin with so I'm not nearly as cute as you, but last time I went to the OB my weight was up only 6.5 pounds over my pre-prego weight, sooo I wasn't that big.

I fear that I have ballooned over this week though. 5 weeks left for me too!

Greens and Pinks said...

See, while pregnant my random compliment rate drops precipitously. And by "drops precipitiously" I mean the only comments I get are "WHOA! Are you sure there's only ONE in there?" Or, "WOW! You really gain ALL OVER, huh?"

So, while I have problem-free, sickness-free pregnancies, I am literally the broad side of a barn. And have already mapped out 1, 3, and 5 mile running routes around my house because that's the only way for me to get back to semi-normal. Oy.

Alex Elliot said...

I looked like a beached whale with both of mine but I loved the pregnancy compliments. I say enjoy it while you can; just like having people open the door for you etc because for some reason when you have two screaming kids that you're dragging out of the store, no one will do that for you!

Anonymous said...

What do you feed your dog?

Ali said...

everybody needs to make some sort of comment...i guess saying you are small is better than saying you are huge, right?! :)

Backpacking Dad said...

I'm completely the opposite.

I hate it when strange women comment on how I great I look despite being obviously pregnant.

petite gourmand said...

the worst is when someone asks when are you due?
and you aren't even pregnant.
I have made that idiotic mistake once and felt so bad.
Now I never say a thing.
lucky you to still be small..

ShannanB said...

Morning sickness sucks. I had it really bad. Glad there is an upside...the compliments and getting to eat all the crap you want!!

Tania said...

I was getting those compliments. Now all I hear is that it's amazing how much I've grown in just a few weeks. My Twinkies betray me.

Girlplustwo said...

whatever. i wear flip flops all year round.

(kidding, dude, i've seen you, you are gor-geous)

ps. WTF up w/ the Sox tonight?

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I love Anon's random comment about what you feed your dog!

I ate the world with my first pregnancy and heard "are you having twins?" more times than I care to count. I learned my lesson, and the next two were just cute bumps in the front. Much more pleasant.

And, I think that everyone has something crazily scary or freaky about their pregnancy or birth stories. It is best to keep those stories away from the young and not-yet-knocked-up lest we stop mankind from reproducing.

Her Bad Mother said...

I've seen you recently, and you DO look pretty fantastic.

And I'm totally with you. I love hearing it. Especially because I feel the opposite. ;)

(Oh, and happyhappyhappy birthday to your lovely girl today!)

Kyla said...

I'm sure you are totally adorable. Soak it up. Postpartum isn't quite so glamorous, unfortunately.

Sarahviz said...

And now I'm sad I haven't seen your baby bump in all its glory yet! I think the last time we got together you were just barely able eat my cookies, instead of tossing them. Har har.

karengreeners said...

I'm sure you're totally adorable. Was selfishly hoping for a picture of adorable you.

Kristin said...

You and Nicole Kidman and your wee little baby bumps... listen, I was the size of a mountain, so I envy you!

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