Not Impatient Yet

Posted: January 15th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Preg-o | No Comments »

I’m at the point in this pregnancy–the very end–where just seeing me can’t help but illicit comments from people.

Today at Baby Gap a woman with a toddler in a stroller and I walked up to the door at the same moment, leaving her to kindly try to reach around her stroller and fumble to get the door for me. “Oh wow. Any day now, huh?,” she said.

“Yes. Due date’s Saturday!” I offered. “But of course, who knows when it’ll happen.”

“Oh wow. I feel for you! I remember those last days!”

And later in the day as I sat in a spa waiting room with a bunch of other women, a massage therapist came around the corner and walked up to me. “Let me guess,” she said smirking, knowing her next client was in for a prenatal massage. “You’re Kristen.”

“Yeah,” I said as I scrambled to put down an Us Magazine and heave myself up off the padded bench. “What gave it away?”

Later, walking—okay, waddling—down the street, two men were looking me up and down. “You got twins in there?” one said. Thankfully I was too relaxed from my massage to run up to him and belly-bump him into traffic like a tsumo wrestler in a ‘roid rage.

Of course, I could also go into the comments from the other parents picking up kids at preschool, or the teachers, or Kate’s intermittent, “You pregnant, Mama” remarks. But it’s as boring repeating it all as it is for me to hear it.

Hey, everyone. I know I’m pregnant! Very pregnant! And yes, the baby is coming soon!

Perhaps I need to wear a t-shirt (or a sandwich board, if they’d make one that could accommodate my girth) with all the information that I need to convey throughout the day when I’m simply trying to order a hot chocolate, check books out of the library, or buy groceries.

It’d say:
Yes, I am pregnant! Good for you for noticing and thanks for filling me in, lest I were one of those women who shows up at the emergency room with stomach cramps and leaves with an unexpected bundle of newborn joy. [And don't even get me started on how that sub-plot has marred an otherwise perfect season of Mad Men.]

Due soon? In fact I am! Saturday!

No. Second child. I have a two year old.

We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. [This receives all manner of comments and often spins off into another diatribe from either the stranger, or, admittedly, myself.]

Of course, many people are asking because they are sharing our excitement in a way that is very sweet. And heck, I’m not someone who’s ever scoffed at receiving attention. It’s just the ones who act as if they need to reinforce their seismic retrofitting when I daintily thunder into their stores that I can do without. As well as the endless sea of holiday party goers who seemed after a glass of eggnog or two to make their way over to me, grazing at the food table, and bellow, “What! Were you due yesterday or something?”

I spent a lot of sober time at drunk holiday parties chanting an internal mantra that my red maternity dress from Target really was slimming, and delighting in the thoughts of the miserable headaches and dehydration awaiting those who made ungracious comments to me about my largess.

Of course, when asked in mid-December I had to admit that I still had a month to go. But towards the end of the party circuit I just started lying. “Yeah,” I’d say, beaming a sprightly smile into the face of the person panting booze all over me and my mini peeled carrot stick. “Any day now!” I’d saying looking down and patting my belly.

And to all those women who’ve done this before who have tried to empathize by suggesting that I must “really be ready” and “they remember how hard those last days of waiting were” I feel kinda bad for letting them down by saying, “I’m actually doing okay.” I mean, having done this before I know that the trade-off for no longer having maternity shirts sufficiently cover my belly without having to wrench them down, and for having to get up and pee in the middle of the night (something I’ve felt superior to other mortals for never having had to do before), and, sure, for often feeling like a turtle on my shell when I’m utterly baffled by how to hoist myself off the floor—the trade-off for all that is labor (ouch!), followed by the exhaustion and intensity of caring for a newborn. It’s not like once this mild physical discomfort is over I’m being sent on a 2-week paid Hawaiian vacation with no one else to care for but myself and my tanning and mai tai needs.

Don’t get me wrong. I really want to meet this wee one. I’m curious about whether Kate will have a sister or a brother to push around. And the planner in me doesn’t like not knowing when “it’s going to happen” so “it happening” will of course eradicate that.

It’s just that in the home stretch I’m staying grateful for the nice little life our family of three has. I’m cherishing being able to indulge Kate in only-child-level attention, and enjoying the amount of sleep I’m getting at night, even if I do need to get up to tinkle a couple times. When it’s time for me to trade this in for gratefulness about having a family of four, I’ll happily go to the front of the line to do so. At least today, I just don’t see any reason to begrudge the here-and-now for the soon-to-be.

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