I’ve never really liked people who make things seem effortless. Not much is effortless for me, and I often feel as though I expend more energy than the average bear trying to accomplish something made to look very simple by somebody else. Like College Algebra 101, for example. True story, I failed that class 4 times. It took a hideous amount of energy, multiple tutors, and a good stroke of luck for me to finally pass it on my 5th try. Even now, I would have more success levitating, than ever figuring out what the crap “X” equals in a basic math problem. If it’s so important, maybe give it a value? Take the mystery out of the whole thing? It’s just an idea.
Similarly, women who appeared to breeze through pregnancy effortlessly really burnt my muffins. Oh, you still fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes? That’s really fantastic, but I’d rather spend a week’s wages on unflattering teal stretch pants that, fingers crossed, make people think maybe I’m a court jester. Oh, your pregnancy hormones actually make you look like a glowing, golden angel, sent down from heaven? I can see how that is alluring, but the skin around my nose is pealing off in sheets, and I think I heard leprosy is in this year. Oh, you are actually craving kale and broccoli veggie wraps, on organic whole wheat tortillas? You know, I’d eat that, but… actually no, no I would never eat that compost heap of crap you are calling food, because pizza.
These feelings of mild to moderate annoyance towards the pregnancy goddesses around me were particularly heightened in my third trimester. While I was very fortunate to have an easy pregnancy in the sense that both my baby and I were healthy, come the third trimester, one of us (that would be me), wasn’t exactly happy. After returning from our idyllic Ireland vacation, I slowly transformed into a mopey, pouty, eye-rolly, sneery version of myself. But in my scrunched up, hate-filled, eyes, it wasn’t entirely my fault. The deeper I got into my third trimester, the more people thought it appropriate to say things like: “Emily! You got so fat!” (It should be noted this is an actual, honest-to-God quote, delivered in all seriousness, by a dear client who if I didn’t love like my own grandma, I would have slapped.) They also felt it a good time to share stories of their own 192 hour labor, where they didn’t take pain medication and successfully delivered a 35 pound baby vaginally in a jungle hut, and then fully recovered at home in 2 days by listening to Enya and taking placenta pills. High-five, sister!
As mentioned above, the other factor pushing me towards man-slaughter was being, to put it simply, hotter than the asshole of a volcano, at all times. The only time I wasn’t sweating profusely, was when I was in a cold shower. I found it cruel and confusing that Giselle never looked sweaty when she was strolling around Boston in her non-maternity wear, vintage Rolling Stones shirt, her baby bump poking out just saying “Hey, Girl!” The Duchess, who I nearly shared a delivery date with, always looked like you could use her as a human air freshener. Even the every day women in my birthing class would show up with their hair in a cute pony-tail, their little bellies zipped into cute little hoodies. Hoodies, I say! I looked like Dennis in Jurassic Park as he is frantically trying to cut the power before stealing the dinosaur embryos, sweat beading off his oily forehead and rolling down his double-chin. Now I know, things could have been infinitely worse, and I mean that whole-heartedly. But I can only say that now, as in the moment, I felt like I was dying.
For those of you not familiar with Jurassic Park, meet Dennis, my third trimester doppelganger. This will not be the last time I compare my life to Jurassic Park, the greatest movie of all-time.
Being this hot lead me to make poor decisions. Like, for example, breaking down and stuffing my giant, fleshy lady lumps into my extra small honeymoon bikini, and joining my drunk, 100 pound undergrad neighbors in the dodgy kiddie pool they had put in our shared backyard. It wasn’t the age difference, or the weight difference that made me uncomfortable, but rather the plethora of mosquito larvae wriggling about the tepid water, and the fear of exposing my unborn child to any number of STDs potentially seeping from my pool-mate’s nether regions. Days later I discovered they’d been “treating” the pool with pure bleach, a fun fact that lead me to wonder if I’d soon be giving birth to the female version of “Powder”.
For those of you not familiar with “Powder,” meet Jeremy, an albino who derived mental super-powers after his pregnant mother was struck by lightning, which admittedly is different from taking a bleach bath, but concerning none the less. This will be the only time I quote this movie, because it was awful.
There was, however, an unexpected fountain of joy I feel must be mentioned, something that caught me by surprise and still makes me smile. While moms would often use my bulbous belly as an invite for some quip about how hard life was after having kids (which I now have a painful understanding of), dads would use it as a time to talk about the birth of their children. Almost daily, I would get the pleasure of listening to men open up and melt while they reminisced about the day their baby was born. They would beam with pride as they described the enviable strength of their wives, their faces lighting up as they recalled the first time they laid eyes on their wee one. They were so sincerely grateful and joyful, something that isn’t well portrayed in today’s media and society. It was truly touching, and hands down one of my favorite pregnancy memories. I hope that as my kid gets older and starts making me want to rip my hair out in public, I remember NOT to try to scare the exceptionally pregnant woman into thinking this was a giant mistake. Unless of course it’s hot outside, in which case all bets are off. I’m going to be an asshole.
Did someone try to scare you with a story of their own 192 hour delivery of a 35 baby in a jungle hut? I want to hear it!