...is going out in public and hearing the comments people make. For those women who hate talking to strangers about their pregnancy, I can see this being annoying. I, on the other hand, find it kind of amusing.
We went to the zoo today, as has been our weekend routine for the past few months now. It's beautiful outside, Luca LOVES it, and it's a good excuse to get out and walking. We see some of the same zoo staff and volunteers there, and today one of them (who works in the Common Squirrel Monkey exhibit...a definite highlight to the Phoenix Zoo!) asked when I was due. I told her "This week." and she was like, "DAMN! Good for you! I was in NO MOOD to walk anywhere when I was that pregnant!". This, from the zoo chick who looks as though she has no problem hiking up and down Camelback after an invigorating sunrise yoga session.
Another favorite was the grandparents who were with their granddaughter (maybe 5) and grandson (maybe 2). They asked how old Luca was, and after answering, Darrick pointed to my belly (in one of those circular waving motions) and said, "And another coming soon." She asked when, and I responded, "Any day now!" She was like, "You're a good mama, out here walking that baby out. Looks like it'll be here soon with how low it is." The irony here is that, 4 weeks ago, had this woman commented on the size or position of my belly I probably would have wanted to cry. But at 39 weeks pregnant, you wear a badge that says, "I made it this far, I couldn't possibly get bigger, my body is an amazing machine, and I'm growing a life. Nothing you could say can fuck with me now."
Last, there was the super-fit woman in the kids' play area who asked when I was due. I told her "And day now!" (fingers crossed) and she looked shocked. She responded with something about how I don't look big enough to be due any day now, and even though I know she's a filthy liar, I chose to believe it and responded, "And I LOVE you!".
It's funny....just a few weeks ago I was telling a pregnant friend that I don't mind being pregnant. I can even appreciate the beauty of the changes a woman's body goes through to create and sustain life. And even though I've loathed some of the changes and I've felt unattractive and uncomfortable in the past weeks, I feel so lucky to be able to do this: to decide I want a child with my husband, to make it happen, to carry that baby to term, and to bring it into the world. It's not this easy for everyone, and I am truly one of the lucky ones. But there have been times lately where I think the last 3 months of pregnancy would be more bearable if women could be sequestered away from public view (and scrutiny) and have handmaidens bring them food and drink. I was starting to lose my mind with the comments on my size (I know they MEAN my belly, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a woman who hears "You are HUGE!" and doesn't internalize it to think everyone sees her butt through the same eyes she does).
But now...this far into the game? I am ready to get out and show my giant 'Orb of Life' to the world. I'm happy to tell people I am due any day and see their jaw drop. I feel a kinship with other women who are going through or have been through this...even the super-fit women who will be back in their pre-pregnancy clothes while I am still wallowing in sweats post-baby. I don't dread the stares and the comments, because I know I can say a few words ("I'm due this week.") and their reactions, their demeanors will change. And I know that someday soon, MOST of my 'Orb' will be gone...though the same can't be said for a man who shall remain unnamed who recently asked me if I'm having twins.