And it's not just the horror stories of being in labor for 135 hours, or 16 pound babies, or using the jaws of life on your hootch to get the infant out.
It's comments like these:
One (well meaning?) grandma-type lady spouted out, "Oh, don't worry honey! You'll be gaining like crazy in a few months! You'll lose that waistline in no time at all!"
"Oh! You're pregnant! You must not be that far along."
"That's so funny, because you don't even look pregnant!"
"I had no idea! You actually look SKINNIER to me!"
And my all time fave:
"Well, if it's any consolation, you only look pregnant from the front."
So meanwhile, while I am turning sideways in the mirror, checking out my bump from every possible angle, wearing strategic wardrobe that emphasises the baby in there, watching my caloric intake, trying to wear makeup, shoving my feet into heels whenever possible...people still, still do not know I'm pregnant. And they make these aforementioned comments, perhaps in an attempt to make me feel like LESS of a barn side, but in reality, they just make me growl inside.
"Actually, I'm 23 weeks this week. That's 6 months, give or take so...I'm pretty big!"
"Well, he's not a pound yet so, it's normal not to be THAT big right now."
"Oh, skinnier? Well, I haven't gained that much."
"I'm working out regularly, because it's not healthy to gain a ton of weight..."
And I find myself justifying why my belly isn't bigger. Why I haven't gained more weight. Why it's important to me to stay fit and healthy while I'm making my son. Do you know of any pregnant woman who is exhausted constantly, who can't eat her favorite foods because they gag her, who is so terribly excited about the life growing inside her that she says, "Oh, I don't REALLY want to look like anything is going on in there."
And then it hit me!
Women LOVE other women getting fat. Especially in pregnancy. Because it gives them something to talk about. Jessica Simpson just had a baby and she was HUGE. She was on every magazine cover and late night show talking about just how big she was. She actually has a deal now for a TV show about her LOSING said weight. She's making a ton of money off of her lack of self control during her pregnancy.
I'm picturing ladies chatting about me and my pregnancy.
Lady #1- Did you see Libbie?
Lady #2- She's pregnant! Did you hear?
Lady #3- Yes, she looks great. I hear she's working out through her pregnancy.
Lady #1- Libbie is amazing.
Lady #2- Yes, a goddess among women.
Lady #3- I aspire to be her.
(everyone smiles and nods affectionately)
This is a convo that's never going to happen, because women don't like to talk about how other women are better. Scenario #2 is more accurate:
Lady #1: DID YOU SEE LIBBIE?!?
Lady #2: YES! SHE'S PREGNANT!!
Lady #3: SHE LOOKS LIKE THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN!
Lady #1: HOW'S SHE EVER GOING TO GET THAT WEIGHT OFF!
Lady #2: I GAINED 100 LBS WITH MY FIRST!!
Lady #3: I GAINED 300 LBS WITH MY FIRST!!
Lady #2: I HAD GESTATIONAL DIABETES AND THEY HAD TO SAW MY ARM OFF RIGHT BEFORE LABOR!!
Lady #1: I WAS SO LARGE THEY NEEDED A PULLY SYSTEM TO GET ME OUT OF BED!
Lady #4: WHY ARE YOU GIRLS TALKING IN ALL CAPS?!
Oh it's accurate. Just take my word for it. This is what I'm working with here.
Today is 23 weeks. My "What to Expect When You're Expecting" journal tells me this is month 6. In 17 (or less) weeks, I'll be holding my tiny son in my arms. Tomorrow is another ultrasound- checking out that little spine of his to make sure everything is okay. Hopefully he is cooperating and we can get a good 3D look at his tiny face. Here are his pics from last time: (sorry they're upside down)...
Are you sure it's a boy? Yes, yes we're sure. (Look at this pic and think knees and winky...)
This is also one of his favorite tricks- laying ALL on the left side of my stomach. So when I wake up in the morning, my belly looks like this:
Cannot wait to meet him :)