Nine Months, 65 Pounds




“Hop on,” my nurse said.

“Can’t I use the other one?” I asked. “This scale always makes me about fifty pounds heavier! Can’t I use the one in the hall? Please?”

She tried not to glare at me because she likes me, but I knew she wanted to.

“There is no whining in this room. Get on the scale.”

Pouting, I did as I was told, because I really respect this woman and didn’t want to irritate her. That, and she had access to what I assume was an entire drawerful of needles. This being my third trimester, I’m pretty familiar with where they keep things. . . LIKE THE LIGHTER SCALE, I thought to myself, pouting some more.

And of course when I got on the scale, she had to keep sliding that blasted weight to the right and more to the right and more to the right until I finally had to point out that it had no place left to go. Apparently I had gained more than the allotted three pounds this month . . . according to that scale. Which, of course, was wrong.

She duly noted my chart and brought me to the examining room, somewhat pleased, I think, that she didn’t have to hurt me, and closed the door.

Ah! But she didn’t lock it! Her mistake! I stealthily slipped off the examining table (as “stealthily,” say, as a beached whale making its way back to water, but you can’t blame a girl for trying, OK?) and slowly, silently opened the door.

With “Mission: Impossible” music playing in the background (in Muzak, of course, but darn good timing nevertheless), I slipped out the door, ducked under the nurses’ station to avoid detection, and scurried along the hallway in search of The Good Scale. I was determined to correct this glaring error before the doctor had a chance to see the chart.

I had one close call when I heard my nurse’s voice coming from another exam room. In retrospect I must have looked pretty silly flattening my back against the wall when my stomach reached clear to the other side, but I tingled with the danger of it anyway. Sad, but true.

When the coast was clear once again, I scurried around the corner and behold! There it was! The Good Scale! Justice was in sight as I approached it and carefully climbed aboard. When I was sure the needle had stopped moving, I opened my eyes . . . and almost fell off the darn thing. How could this be? The Good Scale had gone over to the dark side!  I stood there, paralyzed, transfixed by the exact same number shown to me by the Demon Scale! It was a conspiracy. It had to be.

I stepped off and back on again. No change. I took off my socks. Nothing. I took off my watch. It didn’t budge. I was about to take off my clothes when I heard the doctor’s voice around the corner. I fled back to my room, heaved myself back on the examining table (which was neither easy nor pretty, I might add), and waited, defeated.

Afterwards I ran into another nurse friend.

“I don’t understand it,” I said. “I’ve done everything right. I take my vitamins, exercise, I’ve kept my keen sense of humor, and I’m still packing on the pounds. I just don’t get it.”

“There, there, now,” she said, sympathetically. “Tootsie roll?”

“OK!” I cried happily. “Thanks!”