What, Me Pregnant?

I am very fortunate in that my first trimester has been mostly without incident. Except that time when my mom died. Other than that one massive tragedy, I’ve been in pretty good shape.

I’ve had minimal nausea, one or two flair ups of acne, and some seriously tedious constipation. There was that time I experienced cramping, called my doctor’s office in a panic, only to become “that patient” who freaks out over nothing. But honestly, this pregnancy has been fine. So fine that I was almost in denial that this was happening. For serious, there were times when I sort of forgot that I’m pregnant.

That is until “things” started growing. My body is a-changin’, kids. This all started about a few days before I left for my mom’s memorial, and realized I had nothing to wear. I have two pairs of pants that fit me without considerable grunting, and exactly one bra. In my heart of hearts, I know that this situation has to change or I’m going to end up naked. Which will be fun for NO ONE. Even when not bloated and pimply, I still look better fully clothed.

I’m not sure if it is my state of pregnancy denial or my general glumness at losing my mother, but I have no desire to go shopping for maternity clothes. It isn’t how ugly they are or how expensive they are. I just can’t imagine walking into a store, taking things off a rack, trying them on, walking over to the cashier, making small talk about the weather, taking out my credit card, putting it back in my wallet, and exiting the store.

Did I make that sound sufficiently boring? Because that’s exactly how it sounds to me. Why do that when I can frantically build work appropriate outfits around sweatpants?!

I also don’t like this eating business anymore. This is, perhaps, my biggest complaint. With the exception of a brief animosity toward brussel sprouts when I was 5, I have always been an excellent eater. I like to eat with relish (ha!) and in quantity. Now I have to eat these teeny tiny meals or I end up like a groaning beached whale.

I know what so many of you are thinking. “Stop complaining, ass hat. You’re actually pregnant so you should just shut it.” I know you’re thinking this, because I too have thought this. There are times when I find myself whimpering, and I think “But oh, I should just be sooooo thankful I am here.”

Yes, I am grateful to be pregnant. But I am not grateful that I cannot take a shit. This doesn’t make me a bad person. Nor are you a bad person for thinking I’m an ass hat. All these things can coexist in a happy little ecosystem of emotion. There is no right or wrong here.

It’s hard for me to pinpoint the “Why” behind so much of what I’m going through. Why am I tired– is it because I’m emotionally exhausted over my mom’s death or is it because I’m hosting a tiny person who is sapping all my energy? Do I not want to buy maternity clothes because most are legitimately horrendous or because I’m feeling a little depressed because my mom just died?

On one hand, I’m a firm believer that understanding the “Why”s help me get to the root of the problem. On the other hand, what does it matter? I can’t make myself less tired, or more excited about muumuus with bows on them that are always in colors like “Tahitian Sunset” or “Key Lime Pie.”

Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to get pregnant like a normal fertile person? Would you be less crazy and anxious? Or just crazy and anxious about different things?

I ask myself these questions all the time, and toss in a few more. If my mom hadn’t died, would I actually be happy by now? Would I feel excited rather than hollow? Would I have accepted that I am actually pregnant?

I can’t answer these questions, and I don’t think any of us can. I know that this path– which is totally fucked up and messy– is the only one I’m on. But I can’t help but wonder if it could have ever been simpler.



  1. bionicbrooklynite · February 5, 2015

    I have nothing useful to offer to your real, substantive questions, except to say that yes, they are legitimate ones, and yes, you’d probably be a lot happier. But you knew that.

    However, if I can’t give you a brain, I CAN give you a diploma, which is to say, nothing helpful in the deep sense but something handy: boden maternity clothes. You won’t be sorry, specifically about the leggings. Gap otherwise. Both ever so much nicer than the maternity only brands. You also might consider buying a bravado silk (style, not material) bra now, in a big size, because in my experience underwires start to really suck in the third trimester. (But I am a bear of very little torso, lengthwise.) Hot Milk is a gross name but a good source for pretty nursing bras, but be aware they run small.

    • Jenny F. Scientist, PhD · February 6, 2015

      I’d like to add- in the maternity clothes department- that Old Navy has things that do not suck, and are cheap enough (and easy to return enough) to order on the internet. Word to the wise: runs big, I wear a 12 but their Medium is the right size in maternity wear. (I can’t bear to wear pants when pregnant, so sweater dresses all the way.) Not the world’s highest quality but on average one only wears them for a couple months so whatever.

      Likewise nothing else useful to offer.

      • thecommonostrich · February 6, 2015

        Hmm… Old Navy clothes never fit me right (I have a really long torso) but perhaps maternity wear is a new game. Hey, at the very least I’ll just spend a few bucks to find out.

        And no. No pants.

        Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Jenny F. Scientist, PhD · February 9, 2015

        Being as maternity dresses are basically a giant sack with a little elastic under the boobs… maybe it’ll turn out better!

    • thecommonostrich · February 6, 2015

      EXCELLENT suggestions. I had no idea Boden did maternity wear.

      I do need to get a new bra, which I’m particularly dragging my feet on. I’ve never felt more “Do I haaaave to?” in my entire life. I’m not one for undergarments… By which I mean I see them as a necessary evil, not that I don’t wear them.

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