Pregopotamus

Have you ever overheard someone making a generic comment and wanted to declare, “You don’t know the half of it!”?   Recently I overheard,  “It was just so hard to get out of bed this morning!” Yes, I am sure it was, you dear girl. I am sure your exhaustion was legitimate. I too had a little difficulty.

Upon waking to my son’s cries, my pregnancy body pillow sprang to life and became a fluffy boa constrictor. The pillow is shaped like a C, so I was hooked around one shoulder as well as between the legs with the curve wrapped around and under my belly. I was wrapped and stuck.

I began my epic battle with desperate kicks for momentum so that I could roll over the pillows and get untangled from the sheet. The problem was that my middle section was encumbered by the weight of life. Halfway through this operation, son #2 sprang awake and started kicking my ribs. Not helpful.  I’m now flailing with a curved, light green body pillow  around just half of me, with every other body part tangled in something. I managed to break free and roll, resembling an overstuffed egg roll that is desperately trying to escape a square appetizer plate. Feel free to add your own music to this ridiculous struggle. My pride was a casualty, but I made it out of bed without major injury. (Olympic dismount…tadaa!) THAT is a picture of having a hard time getting out of bed.

I am now in my 6th month and a full-fledged basketball smuggler.  I am actually feeling quite good but no matter what effort is put into maintaining a healthy and feminine appearance, there are days that a pregnant woman just feels a bit enormous and encumbered.

My younger sister will be getting married in the winter, only about 8-9 weeks after I am due to deliver another son. Now, I’ve been asked what I am going to wear as the Matron of Honor. Two things I know for sure- under-eye concealer and Spanxx. While I was home, I had the joy of going wedding dress shopping with my now-grown up baby sister. On one glorious trip she emerged from the dressing room in a stunning dress that she will walk down an aisle in. This lovely, heart-tugging moment was quickly followed up with, “Do you want to try on a bridesmaid dress I like for you?”

Oh boy, can I? It is one thing to walk down an aisle in a tailored dress with everything sucked in, but quite another to try on dresses in the full-blown second trimester. My first attempt was when I was much smaller, and strangers gasped in horror- truly. It was ugly. A sister’s love drives us to unreasonable things, I tell you.  She handed me two dresses in a pretty, deep blue that were both about 8 times my usual size and I made my way to the dressing room. In such stores, dresses run in large sizes and an attendant clips the girl into the gown to show what it would look like tailored. At the second attempt at trying on a dress, I emerged with a chuckle.  I walked out in the floor length gown and stepped up in front of the mirror. My sister looked delighted. The attendant looked pleasantly surprised. With one tiny clip at the top, a billowing blue tent rounded over my beach-ball and became an ideal maternity dress.

Of course, no matter how a woman is gussied up, there is only so much that can be done in the second trimester.  I looked a bit like this.

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During my first pregnancy, Josh gave me a very endearing nickname in honor of my ‘condition’. I am his “Pregopotamus”. Again, reference the picture above.

A few Sundays ago I sat on down and looked down the pew. Despite my dress, heels, and lip gloss, I had a striking similarity to a few others nearby. Sadly, the others with the similar silhouettes were men over 60. Not so glamorous. Even with a good reason to have not only a new center of gravity but a gravitational pull, knowing that you look like a male Luby’s fanatic can be a little humbling. There were days of my first pregnancy where I lamented feeling like a hippopotamus. This time around, I decided to don the proverbial ballet skirt from the start. That hippo rocked her moves and had no issue with being lifted by a smaller crocodile. That’s about what the welcome-home-hug looked like last time (at 39 weeks). I may have a little more jiggle in the wiggle but I am the Pregopotamus.

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Yes, pregnancy is natural and lovely and could be so much worse…etc… yeah, I know. It’s really not a weight or body image issue here. Whether you’re carrying around the weight of another person, a few unwanted pounds, or some unwanted physical affliction, extra burdens that can feel crushing and knock the wind out of us.  The question is, do you decide to rock it?

A few friends are currently battling cancer and in the face of all that chemo does, I see smiles, awesome wigs, and seriously sparkly accessories. It takes a lot to get out of bed, let alone look nice in that condition. (Round of applause, girls!) I know a few older men with significant war injuries that make it hard to get around, but they don a snazzy suit and walk tall into the church on Sundays, regardless of knee replacements and back surgeries that make it difficult to walk. That’s resolve worth saluting.

Lots of things in life wear us out and make it hard to get out of bed- not all of them physical. My goal is to maintain some grace and dance through the “weighed down” times of life, even if someone else has to tie up my ballet shoes. After all, if a hippopotamus can do it, so can the Pregopotamus.

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