I walked out of a bathroom stall in the women's locker room this morning to find an elderly lady pointing and laughing at me. Normal people might be alarmed at such a sight, but alas not me. Nothing surprises me anymore, not since I got pregnant and persisted in the foolhardy exercise of putting on a bathing suit. To some people, the sight of a pregnant woman in a bathing suit (or walking, or picking up anything) is hilarious and merits immediate comment. I'm not sure why, but I have a theory. It's not fully flushed out yet, but it goes something like blah blah blah... the world is filled with assholes.
Anyway, the woman this morning was particularly point-and-laughy because standing at the sink was another pregnant woman wearing the exact same bathing suit as me. Which, I admit is coincidental, but not THAT coincidental. At our local mall there was exactly one maternity bathing suit available for purchase when I went looking. But the other pregnant woman and I got to talking about how nice our mutual bathing suit was, and I encouraged her that it would stretch far beyond the strain she was currently putting on it. Then she asked the inevitable question, "When are you due?"
(Which when it's directed at me is usually followed by a "soon, huh?" or "you're not here alone, are you?" or "how many babies you got in there?" Because I make big babies and, again, the world is filled with assholes.)
So I'm like, "About a month and a half still to go." And she's like "Oh! Me too! My due date is May —" and then she says a date that is EXACTLY THE SAME AS MY DUE DATE, even though I was expecting her to say she was only 6 months pregnant or so, because her belly is maybe half the size of mine.
And then she goes on to say that it's her second child, and out the window goes my "second pregnancies are bigger" excuse.
And all of a sudden I realize why people are such assholes to me, why it's hell to walk outside my house for the last two months of each pregnancy, why I have to weigh the need to buy groceries against the hassle of being called fat by a check-out clerk, two stockers and someone in the cheese department. Because if this is the kind of pregnant lady everyone sees walking around, then maybe my belly does look a a lot bigger than normal. Maybe, just maybe, I AM the gargantuan disgusting freak show that everyone has been pointing and laughing at these last few months.
Or maybe I could believe my midwives that my pregnancy is healthy and normal and the world is just filled with assholes.
Up to now I have not had the same shame complex about my size that I did with my first pregnancy. Since I've put on week-by-week the exact same amount of weight that I put on with Harvey, and since I eat healthfully and walk a mile each day and swim three miles a week, and since I'm a mom and have bigger things to worry about than what I look like in a bathing suit, I figure that the weight I gain while pregnant is simply the weight I gain while pregnant - no value judgement. Last time I gained 50 pounds and I lost it in 5 months. This time it'll probably be just the same. The process may not look pretty on someone who's only 5'1, but who asked you anyway random lady standing in the locker room?
It's like I just want to put on a t-shirt with answers to everyone's most commonly asked questions:
No, there's only one baby in here.
No, my due date is not tomorrow and beyond that it's none of your business.
No, I don't know if it's a boy or a girl, but you probably want to tell me it's a girl because I look so fat. Your opinion has been noted.
No, YOU "take it easy." I came here to swim.