Did You Really Just Say That? Part I

Posted on Nov 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

As I more and more resemble a house, and my husband more and more makes comments about me resembling a house, I’ve begun reflecting on the statements people – not just any people, but complete strangers – have made to me regarding my weight and appearance throughout my pregnancy.  For some reason, pregnancy seems an excuse to disregard all normal social boundaries regarding a woman’s weight.  You would (hopefully) never volunteer that my face looks puffy if I weren’t pregnant, but for some reason now that I’m preggers, it’s okay to point out my cankles.  What gives?  You realize I’m a hormonal mess, right?

I’ve already written about Alan Simpson calling attention to my wide hips, but here are a few of my favorite “Did you really just say that?” moments over the past several months.

 

CASHIERS AT GAS STATION IN NORTH CAROLINA

Damon and I were driving home from a long weekend in Charleston when we stopped somewhere in North Carolina to get gas.  I went inside to pay, and as I was waiting for our total to ring up, I heard the cashier ask, “How far along are you?”

I glanced around me looking for the pregnant woman the cashier was speaking to.  I quickly realized – much to my horror – she was talking to me!

OMG – She can tell I’m pregnant?!  I knew I shouldn’t have eaten the french toast AND the cinnamon bun this morning!*

I wasn’t obviously pregnant until fairly far along, and until this point, no stranger had been bold enough to assume I was.  This turning point in my pregnancy caught me completely off-guard.

“Oh, um…” I stuttered, trying to remember that I was indeed pregnant and this question was not an insult in any way, “I’m almost 28 weeks.”

“Laaaaaawd, you tiny!” a second cashier exclaimed.

Why thank you, I work out, I thought smugly.

“Yes,” the first cashier piped up, “You’ve gained all your weight in your face and legs.”

Say what? 

Just what every woman wants to hear – the place where I’m supposed to be gaining my weight is “tiny”, but the rest of my body is inflating.  Fantastic.  I hastily paid and left the premises, wondering how the cashier could tell I’d gained weight in my legs.

 

Hair Stylist

The hair stylist was washing my hair and going through the usual list of pregnancy questions – How far along are you? Boy or girl? Any names?  – when she then hit me with a doozy.  “How much weight have you gained?”

Wait – you’re allowed to ask me that?

I know plenty of women offer up how much weight they gain after they have the babies and get their figures back – but I was not used to being asked such a seemingly personal question point-blank by a complete stranger.  But hey, I had nothing to be ashamed about. Or so I thought.

“About 20 pounds,” I replied, confident that 20 pounds was healthy for my 8 months.  Just like the cashier, the stylist cut me to the core with a loud gasp followed by, “WHAT? 20 pounds!”

“Um, yes?” I responded, hesitantly.  “I think that’s normal…” I continued, all of a sudden feeling the need to justify my weight gain to this woman.

“My daughter – she gained 16 pounds her whole pregnancy.”

Not sure how to respond to that, I dumbly repeated myself:  “I think 20 pounds is normal.”

“Well,” the stylist responded, unconvinced, “You are tall. Maybe that’s why you can’t tell so much.”

Since my hair was in her hands, I deemed it best not to fight her on the healthy norms for pregnancy weight gain.  But I did resolve to find a new stylist.

 

Random Wedding Guest

At the 12,345th I attended this fall, my husband was conversing with a fellow wedding guest.  As I joined their conversation, this man asked, “When are you due?”

I told him, and this is what he followed up with:

“I never ask that question to women – but in your case it’s pretty obvious! Har har!” he chortled.

Easy for you to laugh, Mister.  Wait until someone one day asks you if you’re pregnant!  Oh wait, that won’t happen.  Because you’re a MAN.  And being a man, you are obviously idiotic regarding what to say about women and their weight.

 

My Husband

Speaking of idiotic… just kidding!  Damon has actually been very good – for the most part – when it comes to building me up.  Not an easy task when your wife is dismayed that she somehow gained three pounds in a single week or that her freaking maternity dress won’t zip up.

Early on in my pregnancy, I sent Damon an article of things you should and shouldn’t say to a pregnant woman.  The first thing on the list was, “Pregnancy becomes you.”  Somehow forgetting that I had only hours ago sent him this list, that evening Damon came home and confidently announced, “Pregnancy becomes you!”

“Damon, are you really using a line I just emailed to you?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Seriously?  I just sent you an article where it says to say that exact phrase.”

“Diana, I didn’t read that anywhere!  Really, pregnancy becomes you!”

“But you did read it.  In the article I e-mailed you this afternoon.”

‘But pregnancy does become you.  Even if I did read it, it’s true.”

From then on, Damon repeated that phrase to me on almost a daily basis.  Recently he’s taken to telling me I look “lovely”.  I have no idea where he read to say that, but I’m assuming he read it somewhere since “lovely” is not a word oft heard from the mouths of fighter pilots.

Despite his good intentions, he has had moments:

“Your stomach is like a perfectly formed, 40-year old beer belly!”  Really.  He told me our baby looked like a beer belly.

“You can really tell you’ve gained weight this week!”  To be fair, I had stopped gaining weight and my doctor had instructed me to pack in the food in order to pack on the pounds.  Damon was trying to be encouraging, but definitely missed the mark.  You can think it, but don’t say it!

“Let me see your cankles.”  Yes, he asked to see my cankles.  After shooting him a death stare, he desperately backpedaled: “…Which you don’t have.”

Sorry, hon.  Too little, too late.  You can remove your foot from your mouth later.

 

I hope you readers have found this instructive.  To recap:

-Do not point out where exactly a pregnant woman is gaining her weight.  Especially if it’s her face – the one thing she can’t cover up in baggy clothing.

-Do not audibly gasp in shock when a pregnant woman tells you how much weight she has gained.

-Do not compare a pregnant woman’s baby bump to a beer belly.  Only she’s allowed to make that comparison!

 

But this is only Part I.  More to come.

 

*During our stay in Charleston, a local couple recommended we go to Wildflour, a bakery that features “Sticky Bun Sundays.”  Despite the fact that we had just gorged on a breakfast of ricotta-blueberry stuffed french toast, bacon, and fruit, I felt it very important to seek out these sticky buns.

It. Was. Heaven.  If you are ever in Charleston on a Sunday, go to Wildflour and get one – or several – of these pastries.  Your taste buds will thank me.  Even if that sticky bun is what tipped me over into the “definitely pregnant” phase, it was so worth it.

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Pregnancy: Proof of God’s Existence?

Posted on Nov 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

This is not a “children are little miracles” post.  Sure, fine, whatever, that’s true, but that is not where I’m going with this. Where then am I going with this?  To Eve.  You know – Eve who ate the forbidden fruit?  And what happened when she ate that forbidden fruit?  God punished her!  “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.”  While God doesn’t specifically mention the 40 weeks of pregnancy, I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s included in the “pain in childbearing” part. This may not be the most theologically sound argument you’ve ever encountered, but think about it.  How many crazy ways have humans adapted and evolved over time?  A lot.  I’m no scientist (as well as being no theologian), but the human body and mind seemed to have – and continue to – transform in response to new circumstances, environments, etc.  All, non-scientists would assume, in order to make living/survival/whatever a little easier, a little less painful. But not pregnancy.  Nope.  Still 40 endless weeks of discomfort and restrictions.  Childbirth?  Still excruciatingly painful (so I’ve been told).  Okay, we do have modern medicine to assist with the pain should one so choose (as I most definitely will).  But drugs or no drugs, your body still has to go through some pretty serious stress – not to mention the recovery – in order to give birth. How is it that our bodies have not found a better way than this by now!?!? I’ll tell you why – Because God intended His sentence to stick.  And oh how it has. If you can’t tell, I am thisclose to being DONE with this pregnancy, and each day seems agonizingly long.  I have some very strong negative feelings directed toward that fruit-eating rebel right about now.  Color me bitter. Share...

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Identity Crisis

Posted on Nov 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I was whipping up a batch of homemade chocolate-chip cookies (that I did not screw up, thankyouverymuch), when my dad called me.  He usually asks me what I’m doing, so I prepped my response, even though the question never came.  But my would-be answer shocked me to my core. What was I doing, exactly? Baking. For a mom’s group. Where there would likely be crafting. OMG Who am I!?  What have I turned into? Obviously there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned things.  But I honestly did not expect that life would take me to a crafting table so soon.  Or ever.  We already know that’s not my thing. With this revelation I just about dropped my KitchenAid to log onto Gilt and buy some fabulous pair of shoes, if only to assert that some part of my former urban-dwelling, fashion-loving, non-crafting self still exists.  But breaking such a fabulous appliance would really have been a shame… Perhaps it is time to accept that my destiny may include a level of domesticity I am currently unprepared for.  Maybe it’s time to embrace the crafts, the cooking, the conversations revolving around teething and tantrums.  But I’ll be damned if I don’t still accessorize well while doing so. Share...

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Fitness Freak!

Posted on Nov 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

I haven’t been feeling so hot today, and reluctantly decided to skip my daily workout.  So instead of actually exercising, I decided I would write about exercising while consuming massive amounts of leftover Halloween candy. I have always been a bit of a fitness freak.  When I found out I was pregnant, I assumed I would have to drastically change my normal – sometimes intense – workout routines which had up to then included long distance running, kickboxing and body combat classes, bikram and power yoga, etc.  Knowing I would never be that annoying pregnant lady who gains zero body fat and has only the teensiest of bumps (you know who I’m talking about), I still was not going to resign myself to ballooning to unhealthy proportions.  Thus I turned to Amazon to scout out the best pregnancy workout DVDs. I may have gone a tad overboard.  Unable to decide between the plethora of pregnancy exercise DVDs, I just bought them all.  Well not all, but five.  Considering I didn’t have to stop running and could still weight lift and do pilates and some milder yoga, in retrospect five DVDs was a bit excessive.  So for any of you preggos out there who might be interested in what – if any – DVDs might be worth investing in for your nine months, here are my reviews.  Or perhaps you’d just like to know my opinion anyway.  But please note I am not a doctor or fitness professional, so take my advice at face value. Lindsay Brin’s Second Trimester DVD. Lindsay, Sweetie, I’m pregnant, not dead!  I couldn’t even finish this workout I was so bored.  This workout included single sets of light weight lifting and cheesy aerobics that I felt silly doing even in the privacy of my own home.  Perhaps if you’ve never worked out before and are just trying to stay active while pregnant, this might work for you.  But if you are at all an experienced exerciser, skip it. Pilates During Pregnancy, Volume 1 If you enjoy pilates but can’t find a studio or instructor that...

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Why Yes, Senator, I Suppose I Do Have Big Hips

Posted on Oct 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

This past weekend I was invited to Regent University’s annual “Clash of the Titans” debate, this year featuring Lawrence Summers, Robert Gibbs, Karl Rove, and Alan Simpson discussing how to solve America’s economic crisis.  Frankly, this is not my idea of a fun Friday night, but a dinner followed the debate at which I was erroneously told I would meet James Carville.  Miss an opportunity to meet that raving but entertaining Lefty loon?  Never!  However, given the “erroneously” in the past sentence, you have probably deduced Mr. Carville was not actually in attendance; he had actually been on the panel a previous year.  Despite my disappointment at learning this information, I had already committed to the dinner (but I did skip the debate).  And hey, a free dinner is a free dinner. The highlight of the evening came from the delightful Alan Simpson. After the dinner, Simpson approached me. “Let me see you,” he amiably demanded, crouching (as much as an 80-year-old can crouch) in front of my baby bump.  After getting a good look at my belly, he turned me to the side to observe my bump in profile.  “I’m 75-25 with this, okay?” “Okay…” I replied, unsure of where he was going with this. “You’re having a girl!” he announced. “Yes!” I replied, concluding he must not have heard someone just mention my baby girl.  “How did you know?” “It’s the way you’re carrying.  You see, boys just jut out in front.  They don’t add the width to the hips that you’ve got.” Say what? Now, I would expect that kind of comment from my husband or my mom, both of whom have at some point in time referenced my “good childbearing hips”.  But Alan Simpson?  That was unexpected.  Thankfully, I have a sense of humor and waited until I got into the car to cry to my husband about my fat hips. Kidding.  He was so enjoyable and good-humored that I couldn’t be offended.  And hopefully some day my daughter will appreciate the humiliation I have suffered for her – from everyone from my mom to...

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An Undomestic’s Guide to Nesting

Posted on Oct 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Early on in my pregnancy, a woman styling my hair told me I would become so obsessed with preparing a clean home for my baby that I would be on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush and then pulling  out the ladder to dust the chandeliers.  I politely disagreed, and not just because my home doesn’t have any chandeliers. “You don’t know me.  I’m not the most domestic of women.  I find it hard to believe that I will ever feel the need to clean that badly.” The hair stylist insisted. “Just you wait.  It’s called “Nesting”.  It happens to all pregnant women.” So I waited.  And waited.  I’m 37 weeks along today, and am still waiting for that whole nesting instinct to kick in. Obviously I want to bring my baby home to a nice, clean living space.  But my idea of nesting is picking up the phone and dialing a cleaning service.  I find that to be much more efficient, and allows me to keep my hands free to for more important pregnancy activities, like eating. I will admit that I did sort through piles and piles of papers and magazines in an effort to de-clutter the living space.  But that was mainly because my husband probably would have left me if I hadn’t.  And there are still plenty of piles left that I need to tackle.  (I hit a wall pretty early on in that process.  That tends to happen when I attempt to tidy up.) Perhaps in my last few weeks of pregnancy that urge to organize closets and scour all my surfaces will strengthen, but I’m not holding my breath.   In the meantime, for anyone else lacking a nesting instinct like myself, here is what I recommend: 1) Buy Groupons for cleaning services whenever they are offered – which is all the time.  So worth it. 2) If you’re not into Groupons, direct your husband to all the chores you want done.  Why don’t more pregnant women utilize this tactic?  Having a huge belly, achy back, extreme fatigue, etc.,...

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