3

The hierarchy.

I’ve recently become aware of a hierarchy among pregnant women (courtesy of Facebook, which never fails to leave me feeling a little worse about my own life each time I log off).

At the top of the pyramid are the “Glow-ers.” The ones who progress gracefully into pregnancy like it was made for them.  Or rather, they were made for it.  These are the women you see on the poster in the dressing room at your local maternity store.  They’re typically laughing, with sparkly white teeth, and long, slender limbs that haven’t gained an ounce of maternity fat.  This is the part where I’m sure you’re saying, “Lindsay, don’t be silly.  Those women aren’t really pregnant.  Their bellies are fake!” Well, guess what? They exist.  I’ve met some of them.  And they make me sick.

Wait.  Before I continue this rant, let me put this out there.  After 2 miscarriages, I was determined to be a “Glow-er.” I just knew that I would come into my own, that all of that suffering had to be for something, and that once it was ‘for real,’ I’d be the most kick-ass pregnant woman out there.

Ha. When I look back on that naive perspective of mother nature, all I can do is laugh. If the pregnant population were sorted into castes, I’d be part of the Untouchables.

DH and I got married on my 2-week break between basic training and AIT.  Most soldiers don’t get a break, but with the Christmas holiday, we got lucky.  And I do mean, “we got lucky.” Because, really, what are you gonna do when you’ve been sharing a room with 60 females for 2 months, and had no privacy? You’re gonna go home, and immediately jump your man.  Duh.

Fast forward 3 weeks, and now I’m in Virginia.  God, I hate that place.  AIT is not where you want to endure your first trimester.  Everyone knows what the recommendations for morning sickness are, right? Get plenty of rest.  Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day.  Suck on “Preggie Pops.” What a joke.  I woke up in the middle of the night every other night to pull fireguard for 2 hours.  And even on nights I didn’t have fireguard, wake-up was at 0430, so we’re talking about a maximum of 6 1/2 hours of sleep.  Needless to say, most mornings my roommates waited for me to run to the bathroom to toss my cookies before bothering to get out of bed.  And the only time I snacked was when I snuck contraband into our room (i.e., the occassional apple). Otherwise, I ate when the army said so – 0745, 1130, and 1700 every day.  Yes, that’s 3 hours between the time I tossed my cookies in the morning to the time I got my first bite to eat.

On top of that, I’ve broken out all across my back, and nothing helps.  Once summer gets here, I’ll be covering up my dresses and tank tops with jean jackets and cardis.

My attitude has swiftly nosedived.  Whereas before I was a mild-mannered, kind, patient young woman who cringed at the thought of hurting someone’s feelings, I’m now more like a raging bull – don’t piss me off.  And if you do, run.  This is probably more unfortunate for my husband than for anyone else.

And, ironically, I cry now.  I don’t remember crying a whole lot before.  But these days, it doesn’t take much.  A song.  A commercial.  A glimpse at my waistline which, 5 months pregnant, still looks more like I ate too many cheeseburgers than it looks like I’m housing another human being (why didn’t I take more pictures of my post-basic, rock-solid body that I’ll never see again?!).  And, oh dear, my poor counselor.  Each time I step into her office, it seems like we’ve barely spoken when I let loose with the waterworks.  We’re talking snotty-faced, mascara running, twisted-eyebrows crying on those visits.  But hey, I always feel better afterwards!

I’m starting to accept the fact that pregnancy just isn’t very becoming of me.  It’s not everything I wanted it to be (except the ‘growing the baby’ part.  I’m glad that’s going well!).

But I must admit, each time one of my pregnant friends shows me her clearly-pregnant belly, or tells me what a breeze her first trimester was, or one-ups my baby news with her “twins” news, I briefly consider never speaking to her again.

“Glow-ers,” beware.  I’m happy for you.  Really.  Just be careful what you say, or I might bring out my combatives training.

Parting words of wisdom: It’s true what they say about recruiters.  They lie.  Don’t listen to a word of it! Especially that part about how they don’t allow birth control at basic training.  Just sayin’.

1

Kick me, baby, one more time!

Today, I am a proud mama! Last night, I was watching American Idol with my mother, lying on my back with my palm on the bump just below my bellybutton.  Candice Glover was singing a song by The Cure, and my Tiny Dancer must have loved her voice, because I felt the teensiest little ‘thump’ on my hand! Twice! So of course, I promptly freaked out, and grabbed my mom’s hand, and she felt it, too.  By then, I was in tears, and my heart was racing, because in one single moment I realized that all of the mood swings, and breakouts, and morning sickness, and looking like I’ve eaten one too many cheeseburgers, and the constant fear that I will lose this one, too – it was worth it. There is, in fact, a baby in there, and it’s strong enough to kick my belly!

No, my fear won’t go away until I have a living, breathing, healthy baby in my arms. In fact, as all of this was going on, I had to push the thought out of my mind that maybe Baby is allergic to the peanuts in my Peanut Buster Parfait.  But, as I’ve learned, God has His hand in everything.  It’s out of my hands and, thankfully, into those of One much more competent than I.  All I can do is love my child with everything that I am.  And pray.

…And maybe lay off the Peanut Buster Parfaits.

Parting words of wisdom: Storms have a way of teaching what nothing else can.