I can’t breathe. And it’s not a beautiful “I’m so in awe of having another child that I can’t breathe” kind of can’t breathe. I literally can’t breathe. Whether this is due to said pregnancy or this screaming cold remains to be seen. Either way, I’m stocked up on Kleenex, Vicks, whiskey… just kidding. I think. I honestly can’t be responsible for my actions at this point, can I?
Ah, the homestretch. I’m ready. At least, I’d like to think I am. Lots of contractions, insatiable ice cream appetite, potty breaks so frequent, I might as well have a catheter, unexplainable crying spells and/or fits of rage. I think of myself as the grunting troll that sits in its office throwing things–or insults–at poor coworkers and students as they walk by.
And I’m sure my pregnancy-laden retorts are getting old.
Student ~ “I’m tired.”
Me ~ Blank stare. No, no…a glare. Wait. Maybe I started them on fire with my mind. Been a while since I’ve seen ‘em.
Weird how not many people come to my door lately.
Just last week, I found out one of my coworkers is taking first responder classes. I’m both frightened and comforted by the fact that this single, fatherless man knows what “bloody show” is. You know, just in case. (If you don’t know what it is, don’t Google it.)
And is it just me, or do overly pregnants drop things a lot? When did my fingers become meaty, giant sausages? I can’t hold onto anything smaller than my box of tissues. And God help anyone within spitting distance if I drop my lip balm. Because lip balm rolls.
If you are now imagining me bending over, grunting, and chasing an impossibly tiny tube of lip balm, you might be laughing. You’re welcome.
On the flip side, I’m very grateful for the “You look so cute” comments I sometimes get, sincere or not. And the random student who passed me on the sidewalk and declared, “God bless you and your pregnancy, ma’am!” Minus the “ma’am” crack, that kid is a keeper.
But then there’s the random guy who guesses how far along I am each time he sees me. He does not greet with a “Hello, how are you?” When we pass, it’s simply a gestational guess. “Seven months?”. The first time he did this and got it right, I was amazed. Like he was somehow reading my belly via some sixth sense. “How’d you KNOW?!” Subsequent meetings have resulted in me realizing simple math is this guy’s BFF…even though he pretends we’ve never met. Move along, buddy. I’m onto you.
So that’s work, but how’s it going at home? Well, it’s super fun having an 8-year-old ask questions about pregnancy and child birth. We’ll call them ‘teaching moments’…those times she becomes an accidental audience to my morning routine. And then there are the straight up questions, such as, “How does the baby get out, Mom?”
“The doctor takes her out.” I would never lie to my child, but I’m not about to explain this very beautiful and delicate process (ahem) to my 2nd grader. I can just imagine notes being sent home from school… “Amelia talked about bloody show AGAIN today.” or “I think Amelia has European royalty mixed up with crowning.”
And Olivia just pokes at my belly button with fierce fervor. Thanks, kid. Now move along.
Overall, anyone who knows me well knows I’m very grateful to be carrying this child. We had a rough start, and with the upcoming end, it’s difficult to forget about the last time we were in that maternity ward. Fighting for normalcy in a new world filled with Down syndrome, a heart defect, and the unknown…just trying to breathe.