It has come to my attention that the average person may not actually know what a pregnant woman looks like. Sure, they could pick one out of a line-up (the pissed-off scowl and basketball belly are among her many distinguishing features) but I guarantee you they will – one way or another – find the image “wrong”. She will be too big or too small. Carrying too high or too low. Visibly pregnant only when viewed in profile or, from behind, two blocks away (both scenarios wrong, wrong, wrong). I know this because at 32 weeks I am yet to look “right” and frankly, I’m running out of time to nail it. I went directly from not really looking pregnant for about 25 weeks to hearing (the never clever line) “are you sure it’s not twins?!”
While I personally feel huge, I can assure you I don’t need to hear it. I can also assure you that my preggo body is not – in any technical way – remarkable. After some initial early weight loss, my weight gain has been slow, steady and smack-dead-middle-of-the-road average. I was advised to gain 25 – 35 lbs and have thus far gained 22 lbs (or a full Twitchy, using the International Cat System of Measurement). With 7.5 weeks left, during which I am projected to gain about a pound a week, I’ll probably come in right around the middle of my “healthy weight gain” range. I am yet to resort to maternity pants (a huge bonus of the fact that I am carrying really high, so I can get away with wearing leggings or unbuttoned pants with belly bands low). I’m not retaining fluid (my ankles, feet, hands etc. aren’t swollen –rings and shoes fit just fine). I am not spectacularly gargantuan. I’m just fucking pregnant.
If I could suggest a rule of thumb, it would be this: a pregnant woman looks just like however the woman standing in front of you who says she is pregnant looks.
And, talk behind peoples’ backs if you must – I certainly do, it’s one of life’s joys – but there is probably no more need to comment on someone’s weight gain in pregnancy than there is at any other time. Think about it. Can you imagine if we said things like, “Whoa, you’ve really chunked out since the divorce eh?”, “You must’ve gotten a membership to the donut of the month club for your 4oth!”, or maybe, “Hey, congrats on the promotion, but it looks like that desk job hasn’t done your ass any favours!”
That is all. For now.
Topics coming to the blog soon: childbirth classes, vacationing pregnant (or, why sand sucks), two book reviews, the results of the Big Purge.