It has begun. The wide-eyes, the stares, the gawks, the looks of disbelief paired with a quick glance at a phone in case an ambulance needs to be summoned on my behalf. I fully acknowledge that I am indeed, at this point, all baby, as I’m reminded of this in a plethora of ways throughout the day.
My mornings typically begin with me scooting myself out of bed one ligament at time, all the while thinking to myself, “Can this be the day? Please let it be today. I want it to be today.” But then similar to how cartoons portray the shoulder angel from Heaven and the shoulder angel from Hell, a more sensible voice fights back and I instead think, “No. Nope. Stay in there, Elliott. It’s still too early.”
Thanks shoulder angel (from Heaven) for keeping me wise.
Then I come to face to face with the mirror. Or stomach to counter. The mirror in our bathroom is much higher than my torso so I can’t really see the growth that’s taken place overnight, but I can always tell when I’m a little further away from the sink. I didn’t know simple tasks like brushing your teeth or washing your hands would become increasingly difficult as I get increasingly larger, but I suppose that’s to be expected when you’re trying to accomplish such activities with a basketball in the way. Eventually I make it into our cute and petite kitchen – a.k.a my personal war zone. I say this because if I stand with my back against the fridge, I take up over half of the kitchen space. I’ve hit myself with the refrigerator door countless times and I swing into the oven knobs at least 10 times a day. I told Will I need to start tying a pillow to the front of my stomach for additional protection since I can’t seem to cook or clean anything without accidentally wounding myself.
Once I get tired, which is about every 13.5 seconds, I take to the couch. But even the couch is an enigma for my large self to figure out. Is it best to swing my legs to my left side or my right? Should I sit on 1 or 2 pillows? If I lie down, will I be able to get back up again without help, or will I have to wait here for hours until Will gets home from work?
Ultimately I choose a position that’s made up of all the choices, and from there, flip and flop and readjust as necessary to accommodate my sweet baby who insists on snuggling up in my ribs. When it’s time to get up off the couch, I count to 3, throw my arms in front of me, and hope that the rest of me will rock forward with enough momentum to get me on my feet.
It’s not until I go out into the world that I become extremely aware of my size. In my second trimester I used to get stopped by strangers maybe once a week to undergo the regular series of questions:
Do you know what you’re having?
When are you due?
Are you just so excited?
Do you have a name picked out?
This isn’t a question but I’m going to scare you by telling you about my horrific labor experience.
But now that I’m really just unavoidable, strangers stop me once or twice a day. Not really to chat or ask the questions above, but to comment on the orb they see before them. This week alone I’ve heard, “Whoa, girl.” and “You’re about to pop!” and “Um, you look like you’re about to give birth.” True.
Though comments like these do remind me that even my maternity shirts don’t fit anymore or that my stomach now hits the steering wheel, I’m not offended, because I agree with everything they say. Yes, I do look like I should be going to the hospital any day now. Yes, I do look like I’ve shoved a soccer ball up my shirt. I even compare myself to various large animals, the latest being a hippopotamus-whale, which I realize is not a legitimate creature, but if it were, I’m sure we’d be similarly shaped. But I also don’t feel offended because the fact that I am so big is the ultimate goal. If I weren’t very big this late in the game, there’d be some concern, so it gives me an odd sense of joy when people’s eyes bug out of their heads as I pass or when little boys cover their mouths and point right at me without fear (until their mom spots ’em).
Just 5 more weeks, guys. 5 more.