The other night, I was under attack by pregnancy hormones. Those things are wicked and relentless. They make you sound crazy, do insane things, say things you never dreamed would fly out of your mouth and, and this is the most important, suck all the joyous life right out of you.
Baths do not help against the onslaught of tears and hysteria.
Tubs of ice cream and pools of chocolate sauce are not adequate armor.
Cheeseburgers oozing with melted cheddar and dripping with ketchup and mayo only cover the front of your borrowed maternity shirt. How are you going to explain that when you return it? I was trying to dry my tears with a warm sesame bun...?!?! Sorry?
On this night, I pulled myself out of the bathtub, the water suddenly dramatically reduced in depths. I carefully dried off, bending awkwardly to dry parts of my body that I could no longer see. Giving up mid-way though, I jerked my arms through the sleeves of my robe and waddled off to my bedroom, hot tears already stinging my eyes. I sat at the edge of the bed, shrugged off my robe and lathered cocoa butter between my hands, warming it before smearing the smell of salt water and beach sand all over my stretched tummy....
That's when I saw them: bright purple claw marks stretching across one side of my belly. My heart sunk. This is the third time my belly has been stretched to monstrous proportions, and yet, fresh stretch marks were rippling across my skin. Come on skin, I wanted to shout! You've done this before! Why are you acting like this is something new?!
And the tears burst through the tiny veil and ran unchecked down my cheeks.
I suddenly pictured the day my two daughters would catch a glimpse of my bare belly. They would have disgust in their eyes, though I am sure they would try hard to disguise it. They would silently beg God to never to let them look like THAT! They would pity me while silently resolving to do whatever it takes never to end up looking like their mom...
My husband walked in while I was crying, still picturing the horror stricken faces of my daughters...one of which was (is) presently still in my womb. I waited for the disgust of my exposed skin to unfurl across his face, but it didn't. He just wrapped me in his arms and I sobbed a little. He had no idea what I was thinking. He didn't know I was also afraid he was going to be a little more than grossed out when his newest baby arrived and my belly deflated.
It isn't easy.
Being pregnant is hard.
I'm sure there are women out there that love every moment of it. More than likely, they didn't wear sea sickness bands for three months straight or discover that fiery hot Cheetos magically fight morning sickness. Maybe they never saw stars when their BP shot through the roof, or have to pump engorged breasts a month before the baby even arrived. Or maybe they did...and they're just super human and fantastic. I don't know...
But I am not super human. I don't love it (being pregnant). I'm counting on the magical moment when a flood is unleashed and my water breaks, because that means she will be born soon. I don't care if I am standing in line at the Apple store (which is always crowded) and my amniotic fluid ruins three different men's oxfords. I don't care if they turn green in the gills or squeal like little girls. I will be busy jumping and shouting, "Hallelujah! I'm nearly through!" (Also, I have no idea why, at this point in pregnancy, I'd want to be standing in line anywhere, let alone the Apple store))
Because, mostly, this is what pregnancy is really like: