Apparently, I’ve “popped.” That’s what I’m told, anyway.
When I look in the mirror, suddenly I see Violet Beauregarde staring back, with a horde of Oompa-Loompas dancing around me in a circle.
Recent developments include:
1. I’ve become unable to perform any activity without making a loud grunting sound, like Monica Seles delivering a game-ending slam. This happens whenever I’m getting in the car, getting out of the car, getting out of bed or trying to lift my foot.
2. Basic activities cause me to break out in a body-drenching sweat. Like typing. Or breathing.
3. I’ve started to walk with a distinctive pregnant-lady swagger: a lazy waddle that involves tilting the shoulders back, jutting the belly forward and moving slower than a toddler who’s just learned to walk.
All these things add up to one thing: my pregnancy has become impossible to ignore. People are now comfortable assuming my inflated girth isn’t just from an increased consumption of jelly doughnuts. As a result, I’ve been getting some pretty bizarre comments. Reference the conversation I had with one of the cooks in the cafeteria at work:
Cafeteria Guy: That thing doesn’t even look real!
CG: Looks like you got a pillow stuffed up under your shirt!
Me: Oh. Yeah, it’s definitely real.
CG: Gonna be a big baby!
Me: Well, I hope not. For my sake.
CG: I was a big baby. I was so big my mom had to have a hip replacement after giving birth to me!
What is it about pregnancy that brings out so many inappropriate comments? It’s nice when people congratulate me or ask me when I’m due (as long as they don’t assume it’s within the next 24 hours). But there are a lot of weird exchanges too — like when strangers call out, “Hey, mommy!” And can someone please tell my male co-worker to stop referring to me as “Preggers” (this is the same guy who asked me the other day if I “stopped at Denny’s for a big-ass breakfast” on my way into work)?
I’m often reminded of the scene in Juno when, referring to the very public nature of her pregnancy, the knocked up title character tells her baby daddy, “At least you don’t have to wear the evidence under your sweater.” Like Juno, I have days when I wish this big belly were one of those fake pregnancy suits forced upon unsympathetic husbands and promiscuous teenage girls, just so I can take it off for a little bit.
It’s been hard to get used to my new reflection in the mirror. Inside, I still feel like me: a friend, a daughter, a career woman, a wife. Most of the time I feel like a kid, just trying to figure it all out. I can’t get used to the idea that I’m going to be someone’s mom. That word carries a lot of weight.
Being pregnant creates more questions than answers. I feel like the most common phrase out of my mouth these days is, “I don’t know.” I don’t know if this baby is a boy or a girl. I don’t know what direction my career will head after he or she is born. I have absolutely no clue how we’ll ever choose a name. But, thankfully, this little one doesn’t give me any uncertainty about its vitality; there seems to be a party going on inside of me all day, every day (and night).
If only those Oompa-Loompas would sing me a charming little song with a helpful moral at the end.
Oompa Loompa, do-ba-dee-doo,
What do you do when your belly gets huge?
Oompa Loompa, do-ba-da-dee,
Try to relax and let it all be.
I’ll try, Oompa-Loompas. I’ll try.