Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pride and Pregnancy

Have you ever noticed how, when you're pregnant, your body kind of becomes public property? It's like, just because your stomach happens to protrude a few inches (or feet, as the case might be) further in front of you than usual, it has suddenly entered the public domain.  

I mean, the first few months of pregnancy, sure, you're sick as a dog and feel as if Mount Vesuvius will erupt if you get the tiniest whiff of a cooking pork product, but at least it's a private agony.  Then suddenly, month five or six hits and your belly pops out and you become a one-woman petting zoo.  One of my little piano students rubs my belly enthusiastically every time she comes for her lesson, announcing matter-of-factly, "Yep!  It's getting bigger!"  And quite honestly, eight-year-old piano students are entirely preferable to the random strangers in the supermarket who get this irresistible urge to touch my stomach and comment on its size (something nobody would dare do if, instead of being pregnant, I had just overdone it on the twinkies and doughnuts).

And sometimes the comments are worse when they're trying to be nice.  Like the sympathetic friends who try to make you feel better by asking, "Oh, are you pregnant?  You're so tiny, you hardly even show!" when you know for a fact that this morning you split the seam on your hugest pair of maternity pants and you've started wondering if they make maternity clothes in size "Hippo".

Then toward month seven or eight you know it's getting bad because instead of asking "How are you doing?" people start asking in this sad, concerned voice "How are you feeling?" and what they really mean is, "Holy smokes -- you've bloated up like a whale.  You must feel awful!"

So between all the comments and belly-rubbing and weekly doctor visits, by the time you're ready to deliver, you've completely lost all inhibitions regarding your pregnant body.  When Will was born, I had been poked, prodded, and checked by so many random doctors, nurses, groups of interns in training (and I'm sure there was a janitor or two) over the course of twelve hours of labor, I felt like getting on the hospital P.A. system and announcing "ATTENTION HOSPITAL VISITORS, IF ANYONE ELSE IS INTERESTED IN CHECKING TO SEE HOW FAR THE PATIENT IN ROOM 475 HAS DILATED, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DO SO AT THIS TIME." 

To tell the truth, though, most of the time it's not so bad.  It's kind of sweet the way, when you walk into the room, people look at your belly before they look at your face and it makes them smile (Or laugh out loud.  Or dive out of the way like a steamroller's coming through).   It's nice to know that just a glance at my stomach can brighten someone's day.  Hey, I try to do my part to make the world a better place.  And if all it takes is looking like I've swallowed a giant beach ball, so be it.


Anonymous said...

Your blog cracked me up! I'm eight months pregnant, and I get tired of all the comments and stares, too! Keep on blogging!

jumping stroller guy said...

Wow! Even at the store?

Katie said...

I laughed! I cried! My water broke!

momkey pox said...

You are sooooo great! I laugh so hard and love reading it.

JHS said...

Thanks for participating in this week's Carnival of Family Life hosted at Vanilla Joy. The Carnival will be live tomorrow, Monday, April 21, 2008, so stop by and check out all of the other wonderful submissions!

Melitsa said...

Totally hit the nail on the head.
Thanks for the smile. :)

Dreg said...

How can you stand it!?! At least you are pregnant, and not just burgeoning with an overabundance of Danish dessert.
Even worse is the extra attention when you aren't actually expecting. "When are you due?..." Always an embarrassing question for everyone involved when the question ends up unintentionally meaning "When are you due to arrive at the gym?"

Pumpkin Soup

An easy soup that my kids love to help me make.  They can help with everything except heating it on the stove.

1 tsp. onion powder
3 T. butter (melted)
1 can unsweetened pumpkin
1 can chicken broth
1 C. half-and-half
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 T. brown sugar or honey
1/4 t. yellow curry (if you like curry)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot but not boiling.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

This is a Russian recipe that usually uses "Tvorog" or farmer's cheese.  I can't find any in my area so I just use cottage cheese, and it works fine (though it doesn't taste exactly authentic).  My kids help me mix them up, and I fry them up.

1 C. cottage cheese
2 eggs
3 T. sugar (Jack's favorite part!)
3/4 cup flour
dash of salt

Combine ingredients and drop by spoonfuls into a frying pan coated with oil or cooking spray.  Brown on both sides and serve with butter, jam, or even sour cream on top.

Easy Peach Dessert

Another fun recipe to make with kids -- just toss in ingredients, mix, and stick it in the oven.  

1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
1 can peach slices
1/4 C. brown sugar

In a baking dish, combine flour, sugar, egg, soda, vanilla, and salt.  Mix in peaches.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes.  Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.