"Just don't drink any alcohol, smoke any cigarettes and try not to fall down."
Another go-to has become: "Bigger idiots than you have done this." (This is applicable in all facets of life, including parking a car that feels like it was designed for moon landings).
Right now this is getting heavy repetition: "Of course you feel weird. There is an heirloom-tomato sized person reorganizing your internal organs."
I didn't even panic last weeken when I Googled "Pregnant sore belly button." I typed it at a leisurely pace without a quickening of pulse. Curious, but not freaked out. I sensed this was a normal, albeit uncomfortable situation involving a new tenant in cramped living quarters. It doesn't feel nice, though. When prodded, the belly button feels like a funny bone. It also feels like someone is trying to escape from this hole. Maybe, in T-minus 5, this little knot will shoot out of my midsection like a BB pellet. When nicked, it shoots voltage down ones lower abdomen and creates tingles in places I don't want to talk about (mostly because I don't know what they're called). Already with the annoying and we aren't even to the the "why-why-why" phase, I said the Heirloom Tomato, conceding to lie down until it cooled its explorations.
For some reason JCrew thinks this is relevant. I'm not convinced she's wrong.
She was walking cruising through the Skywalk at a nice clip, an adorable Preggo dressed in green. Her sweater bulged in a perfect circle -- like when you were a kid and stuck a basketball into your T-shirt to simulate, I don't know, teen pregnancy. I tried to make eye contact with the woman. I wanted to shoot her a "Me too! This coat is masking it right now, but ME TOO!"
I wanted to know if she's ever felt like an heirloom tomato had affixed a rope to the inside of her bellybutton so it could repel down the walls of her uterus. She didn't look at me, though. Instead she clacked along with purpose and in my head I quoted from the many pregnancy manuals that crop up in my Googling: "In the second trimester, you may begin to feel more energetic." She was a portrait of that.
I saw her again when I headed back in the opposite direction. She still wouldn't look at me. Her loss.
A few weeks ago one of my friends asked if I was feeling alienated and I said yes. But I'm also feeling very not alienated. Like, everyone who has ever inconveniently dropped a 7-pounder into the world is willing to talk about the most gruesome of things with me. There is no need to whisper the word "Hemorrhoids." Not around here. We also burp freely in these parts. Not to mention what happened involuntarily and loud as a toy from a novelty shop while I was shopping for Cinnamon Toast Crunch at Walgreens.
Naming a human being is not nearly as easy as it was to name two cats. That time we just considered a favorite novel and yanked names of favorite male characters Hal and Orin Incandenza. Madame Psychosis if one had been a female. This time he's made a rule: No naming our child after a messed up female character in a novel. That's how Lady Brett Ashley got ix-nayed.
I like a lot of names -- at least for girls. The process goes like this: I think of a name, test it against the last name (the last name is a verb, incidentally, which can get dangerous) text name to Chuck.
He responds something like: "Really? You don't look at the name Annalise and immediately see Anal Ize?"
And so it goes with every name.
This week my body has changed shape every day. For the first time in a long time I stood naked in front of a mirror. My circles have begat circles. I tried to remember who I looked like. The answer: A crude pencil drawing from an antacid commercial, animated to show a person's bloat after daring to eat chili.
Today in the car I was singing along to Stray Cats and felt movement from the litter bugger in the lower middle quadrant. I wondered if I'd triggered it with my warbled "Stray cats strut, I'm a ladies' cat." Maybe you like the music I roller skated to! I thought. But there was no response to Phil Collins, so that theory is out.
I also wondered if all this togetherness between us is why I can hear my mom's voice so clearly in my head.