The other day I was waiting for the elevator (which only services 3 floors, by the way, so why am I always waiting so long?), and I noticed that the woman next to me was sporting a lovely baby bump. It actually took me a few minutes to notice because she was one of those women who wear it so well that you can’t even hardly tell.
Now, somehow my second child has turned me into your usual “pregnant ladies and babies are the most amazing things ever! I will now fawn over strangers in a way that makes them slightly uncomfortable even though I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that.” kind of person. I’m not sure why that didn’t happen until the second kid for me.
So, with all my knowledge of Things People Say That Might Offend a Pregnant Woman, I simply asked her when she was due. She was sporting one of those bumps that’s actually nice to have. You know the kind- after the sickness and the is she pregnant or just enjoying too many cheeseburgers/Girl Scout cookies/glasses of bourbon? phases have worn off. But before the waddling and the Oh, wow, you are HUGE! Are you sure it’s not twins? comments have set in (WHY, PEOPLE!?!? Pregnancy does not suddenly make it okay to remind a woman of her size 12 times a day, especially when that size is rather large!) I expected her to tell me she was expecting a late Spring baby. You know what she said?
Life is not fair. When I was a few days from due, I was a WRECK, as I documented here. I wasn’t even riding elevators; I was sitting at home where I belonged because I was much too large and crabby to be out among the civilized folks. So after I decided she must be a witch and offered her my deflated congratulations, another thought hit me…..I was jealous. Not only of the cuteness of the pregnancy, but of the pregnancy itself.
Wait…what!? I hated being pregnant. I am a TERRIBLE pregnant woman. I don’t look lovelier. I had such bad progesterone poisoning (we all know it’s not “morning sickness” and that term actually makes me almost violently angry) that I could barely care for my toddler or get anything else done. I was constantly throwing up, and yet, I gained tons of weight (shouldn’t you at least get just one or the other?) I was moody and exhausted and impatient. Not to mention the PAINFUL separation of my pubic bone (pubic symphysis disorder) and instability of my spine. And now, even though those tons of weight gained were considerably fewer tons than the last time, I’m still fatter than ever at 3 months postpartum, along with stressed-out, endlessly tired, and pretty overwhelmed.
But yup, from some irrational place inside me, the thought lept up- “I wish I was pregnant.” I then spent quite some time reminding myself that ME being pregnant would be NOTHING like the delightful pregnancy that woman was clearly experiencing. But still…..
Growing a person inside you is awesome. In the actual “inspiring awe” sense of the word. It’s totally mind-blowing. Even though I have to admit that my second pregnancy didn’t have quite the same notability as my first, there was not ONE day in either pregnancy that I didn’t MARVEL at the fact that my body was producing another PERSON. A WHOLE PERSON! Living inside me! And I guess it’s turned me into a sap.
I think it’s partly because I’m pretty sure another baby isn’t a realistic possibility for us. And I think it’s also the fact that I’ve now seen first-hand how quickly they grow up. But I carry more of a sadness and a longing now, along with a deeper understanding of the preciousness of the term “bittersweet.” And for all my pregnancy-induced declarations of “thank God I’m never doing this again!”- I totally wish I’d never said that. Because really, I was so lucky. Twice.
Dude. There’s a whole other PERSON inside that body!