Thursday, February 17, 2011


I'm just short of thirty weeks pregnant, and a customer that I've been working with for a few weeks finally looked down at my swollen midsection, point awkwardly and ask, are you...?

Why yes. Yes I am.

I was elated to have someone notice. I've spent the last few weeks rubbing my stomach as I sit with customers, touching my lower back in a signature pregnancy pose while standing at the copy machine and playing up an exaggerated pregnancy waddle as I head back to my desk in hopes that someone, anyone, would make a comment.

But once the floodgates had been opened, there was no stopping them.

That night, the checkout lady at the grocery store gave me the side eye when she saw the pack of soda I purchased for my husband, and I knew immediately that she was judging me for being a pregnancy caffeinated junkie. And the lady at the gym asked if I had any children as she gazed point blank at my stomach, a nice way of avoiding the possibility that I may just be chubby-since I was at the gym after all-while still safely considering that I'm most likely expecting.

And my favorite was the Zee rep from work who comes in every month that matter-of-factly congratulated me and asked when I was due as he loaded up our supply cabinet with a fresh supply of eye rinse and band aids.

So it's apparent that this child and I have grown like rockstars overnight, which I was more than fine with.

Until I went to the gym last night, where I encountered the full length mirror setting to the left of my treadmill and quickly discovered where my body has been hoarding those extra thirty pounds.

My entire life I've been average. Never noticeably overweight, but never stick thin, either. I have curves that I'm proud of, plenty of height and for the most part I've been happy with my appearance. So it's been such an adjustment for me to hear people use the word tiny to describe my countenance while pregnant, especially this late into the pregnancy.

Because we all know there is nothing tiny about thirty extra pounds.

But as I tried not to fall off the treadmill while awkwardly checking myself out in that horrid full length mirror, I concluded that my rear end had not grown; it remains as flat and shapeless as ever. But my lower back, upper back, shoulders, upper arms, neck and face have definitely blossomed, giving me an unattractively thick, trunk like midsection, and making it appear that my baby filled uterus just isn't sticking out very far.

But the truth is, the rest of me just swelled up around this child and ate it for dinner.

It's OK though, because I was at the gym when this discovery was made; not sitting on the couch, a fistful of potato chips in one hand and a remote in the other. I have to trust that God knew what he was doing when He made my body, and remain grateful every day for the blessing of being pregnant, no matter the temporary physical results.

Because when I hold my baby for the first time, I can guarantee you that I won't care one bit that arm flab and back fat are present.

So I avoided looking to my left, continued on joyfully with my exercise and all was forgotten by the time I came home to find these in my mailbox:

Baby shower invitations.

For my baby showers.

And the reality of our blessed situation suddenly became enough to pardon my body from swelling, distorting, and swallowing up my uterus whole. Because I'm thirty weeks into growing a tiny human, and I have less than a week to find an attractive ensemble to wear to my very first baby shower to which I am attending-with a miracle child in utero-as the guest of honor.

And even a full length mirror and a junkless trunk can't steal the happy out of that.

"To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and undoubtedly inhibited."
-Anne Buchanan

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Well, it's finally happened; my stomach protrudes further than my chest.

After taking my twenty eight week photo in celebration of my official entry into the third and final trimester, I was elated to find that the full, round, swollen shape of my stomach slightly overpowered the twin mountains on my chest.

I never thought I'd see the day, but it's about time.

I'm starting to feel heavy, and it's no wonder since I've got the scale tipping up almost thirty pounds. I have to laugh at myself every morning as I flip oh-so-gracefully over the mountain of pillows and scoot over to the outside edge of our high setting king sized bed, placing one leg off the edge and praying I'll find the ground before the rest of me-and this child I'm carrying-complete our stomach roll and exit the bed.

I love it.

There is nothing more amazing then carrying around my tiny human, and despite the sudden increase in volume and extra water retention, I'm obsessed with every aspect of being pregnant. I want to meet this sweet little one so badly, but I also don't want this season of my life to end just yet; I want to soak every single moment in.

Getting to this point was such a struggle, and it takes my breath away to realize that in three short months I'll no longer feel the pulling and tugging of this little life growing inside. I'm so eternally grateful for this pregnancy and I'm thankful every day for the blessing God is growing inside of me.

The pregnancy I honestly doubted I would ever get to experience.

And with the nursery finally coming together with the help of some paint, a little furniture, and some of the most amazing gifts for our precious little miracle, I couldn't be happier. I really want to be annoyingly stubborn and wait to share share pictures, though; because I'd much rather present the complete project at the end and divulge-in full detail-all the aspects that make our little one's nest so very special.

But since our dear friend-the doppler renter-came in from out of town and started his amazing artwork on our walls but won't be back until late March, we still have a ways to go before completion.

Great for building anticipation, but not so great for those of us who are impatient.

It's all so cruel, I know; not sharing the nursery until it's complete, not finding out the gender of my child or giving away names until he or she is born, and not posting larger, more unique belly photos that include my face until I have actual maternity photo's taken professionally. I'm aware these antics of mine are driving people insane, but coming from the world of infertility where modesty and suspense are all but lost, I've really come to appreciate the element of surprise.

I'm pretty much just trying to drag on this amazing time in my life on for as long as possible, I think.

However, I'm not completely heartless. So in the midst of all this secrecy, I'm willing to share this one piece of information that has helped keep me sane for at least a week, now that I'm sure it works just like google says it should.

A cucumber a day keeps the cankles away.

Seriously, it works. And it's a good thing I love cucumbers, because while this child may very well come out in the form of a firm, crunchy, dark green vegetable, at least I can can see the veins in my feet and my scrawny ankles once again.

And in the midst of a situation that forces me to loose complete control of my body, that makes me very, very happy. Now if only I could find a healthy, safe way to make those seven pounds I gained in one week disappear-though my chiropractor did let me know it was perfectly normal for that fluctuation to happen because as the baby grows it simply needs more blood and fluid- I'm still not quite convinced.

But that doesn't really matter, because I'm pregnant. I have a tiny, perfect little human in utero, a secret nursery in production and cucumbers have saved my ankles.

I am blessed.

"Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain-your life will never be the same."
-Catherine Jones