I have been asked by several friends to post photos of my pregnant self. I am currently 7 months along and have the sex appeal of a giant sea lion. Most of them are non-mothers and don’t understand that’s a taboo request. There is a reason Moms stop posting photos of themselves and resort to babies only. Contrary to popular belief it is not because we think our kids are now the center of the universe; it is because we look like shit and would rather fall in a pit of spikes than be seen in public. Baby pics are merely cute diversions from the harsh truth.
My husband and I happen to make huge babies that I carry like a two tonne truck and with the grace of a donkey. My belly is enormous; but pregnancy is an equal opportunity offender for me and makes its way to my face, arms, fingers, ass and chin. I am also borderline for gestational diabetes. In simple terms, when I get pregnant, my body stops absorbing nutrients properly and tries to compensate via quantity. So, despite eating the equivalent of a mid-sized zoo and putting on 40 pounds in 7 months, I rarely feel full, have the energy of an elderly sloth and the aptitude of Sarah Palin. I need a nap after a Skype call and am tempted to submit nursery rhymes instead of reports on organized crime in Africa.
I know, I really do, that pregnancy and motherhood are miracles. Anybody privileged enough to do it should be tarred and feathered for complaining – just ask someone struggling with fertility. I am beyond blessed to be able to conceive and carry my children in good health, with first-rate medical care and a spectacularly supportive husband to boot. But in the spirit of the ‘real’ movement and 3rd trimester hormones – sometimes it sucks balls.
Much has been said about motherhood, including calls to buck the pressure to be perfect and learn to appreciate the scars and stretch marks as tokens of a most meaningful journey. I love my kid and kid-to-be, but that doesn’t stop me from hating my butt for falling down my legs or the fact that I recently forgot my shoes at a friend’s house and walked barefoot across a driveway of loose stones without noticing something was amiss. Nor does it make me less nervous about the compounded effects having 2 kids in 2 years will have on my body, career and life. I don’t suffer from delusions of grandeur – I was never a swimsuit model or a budding Hemingway, but it is not just my vanity that misses my body and my brain. Some of my most sincere fears involve losing myself in the shuffle or failing to balance the growing list of important things.
Adding insult to injury, this is certainly not true for everyone. Many women love pregnancy. In fact, I happen to be surrounded by a bunch of bitches that glow in both pregnancy and motherhood. Typically, I find great strength and purpose in being to close to awesomeness. But in this case, if I didn’t love them so much I would voodoo some extra chins on their over-achieving asses.
My Mom, 2 months after her 4th kid. She “flew through pregnancy and had easy births”. Needless to say, I didn’t get those genes.
My sister-in-law Chloe (doctor) 4 months after having Gisele. The J-Lo look-alike on the right? Anaise, also a working Mom (EY transaction advisor, whatevs). I owe it to the women of the world to line the shores with shark bait next time these 2 go to the beach.
Tuesday – besides the spectacular T’s & A and striking children, worked as a UN consultant and completed her MBA during pregnancy. She returned to class (and got straight As) 2 days after giving birth. I owe her a report but am writing this blog instead.
Tove, the toughest and coolest person I know, back to pre-pregnancy weight and frolicking in the snow 3 months after the hardest birth I have ever heard of.
Lerato – this is definitely what I looked like as the first time mother of a 2 month old. Anyone who disagrees with me is wrong.
Trish traveling through 4 European countries with a ‘piece of cake’ 7 month old. She also produced so much milk she didn’t know what to do with it all. Hmmmph
Carmi’s daughter once said “Mom, your belly looks like a man’s” (ripped 6 pack). She was insulted, I’m mad jealous. And forever wearing tents to pool parties.
This picture doesn’t do her justice. But 3rd place in a half marathon and carrying your 6 month old (3rd child) to the medal ceremony? Yep, that’s my BFF Kelly.
Wani, believe it or not, gained almost as much weight as I did. Here she is 6 months after child #2, in such high demand as a TV Director she works when she wants.
Julia, Yale MBA and working mother of 3 kids under the age of 4, lost her own Mom at age 7 and more recently her 2 closest aunts. I love and admire her for many reasons, including her willingness to be vulnerable, ask for help and admit her fears about f*#king it all up.
In all seriousness, it is not that serious. I am sincerely grateful to be on this journey and so stupidly blessed to be surrounded by friends and mentors to share it with. I hope that all my trivial woes will melt away with a bit of time and hard work. Even more so I pray they are not replaced with something real. Regardless, I will do my best to handle what comes with wisdom and grace.
And for those looking to appease me with lies about looking good, please don’t. I have already lost my cheekbones and knees, don’t steal my sense of humour too.