Nine Months, 65 Pounds




“I hope you don’t take this personally, honey,” I said to my husband, “but sometimes I just want to run away.

It seems that the more pregnant I get, the more I miss being single, and living alone, and not having to take care of anyone but myself, and being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, with whomever I want.“

He looked vaguely hurt for a second and replied, “Why would I take that personally?” He then shook his head and walked away in his now-signature state of disbelief.

“Wait!” I called after him, “that’s not what I meant!” But it was too late. He was gone, presumably in search of that section of the pregnancy handbook that tells fathers-to-be to essentially ignore all the stupid things their wives say during this nine-month period. I’m pretty sure he’s made copies and hidden them throughout the house so there’s always one close by.

Yep, this thing sure is wreaking havoc on pretty much every aspect of life. I don’t know why, exactly, although I blame it on the hormones and that seems to work. It just seems to bring out every element of fear, insecurity, selfishness and immaturity that ever existed. He’s working on it, though – hahaha! Kidding. I was actually talking about me.

And just to set the record straight, let’s clear up a few scattered areas of apparent concern. No, it’s not twins. And I know – now - that when they say it’s OK to gain 35 pounds, they don’t mean in the first six months. And I also know, intellectually, that this child is not deliberately mistaking my bladder for a park bench.

I also know that I’m really happy to be pregnant. It’s just that everyone always talks about how beautiful the process is (and it is, in a theoretical, textbook kind of way), how sexy a pregnant woman can be (which she can, if she’s Elle McPherson), and how joyful these nine months are (and they are, particularly if you consider planning any given outing around proximity of toilets to be a joyful experience).

No one talks about the other stuff, the realities and fears that first-time moms can experience. For instance, sometimes pregnant women can’t exercise like they used to. I can no longer run or take karate. All I can do is walk, which was always enjoyable with my dog but which now seems painfully like a day job. I walk my dog his two miles, and I walk me my two miles, and I look like the neighborhood moron going up and down the street all day long.

And the closer I get, the more I realize I don’t know any of the songs kids like, or the games they’re supposed to play, or the shows they’re supposed to watch, or the books they’re supposed to read. Heck, I have a hard time remembering high school. I mean, sure, I watch “Nickelodeon,” but it’s for “Mary Tyler Moore” and “Bob Newhart.” Oh, all right. Sometimes I watch “The Brady Bunch” too, OK?  Jeez. Tough crowd.

Oh, yeah, and what is this Barney phenomenon all about, and how come every time I see him, I think fondly of football season and what it must feel like to punt him across the yard? I’d better have some input in that area, that’s all I can say.

See what I mean? There’s a lot more to think about here than I ever imagined, and though much of it is really nice and warm and fuzzy, some of it is just plain scary. I’ve got to believe my husband understands this, that it’s just a little overwhelming sometimes, and sometimes I just want to hide. I bet that deep down, he knows I don’t want to run away.

I bet that deep down, they both do.