Monday, July 22, 2013

Half way there

I'm at the half way point in my fourth pregnancy. I'm through with the blahs that go along with the first trimester and not quite to the point where I can't wait to deliver the baby. By the half way point most women look like the picture perfect vision of pregnancy. Glowing skin and a reasonably round belly.

Then there's me.

I have the skin glow that is certainly a benefit of the increased blood production. It's just that I'm, how can I put it....ok...huge. While out I am approached by lovely curious people seeking an obvious way to strike up a conversation with me. After they sort out which number of pregnancy I'm on the conversation usually goes into the zone where I don't want to go. I know by the time it has been revealed that I am on my fourth I brace for their inconsiderate replies: "Oh, that many?" or  "My you must love kids" or  "You really want to keep trying for a boy don't cha?" or  "You can't have a 13 year old too!" or  "How many more are you going to have?" or my favorite "You know, there's such a thing as birth control". Unless they answer with that last remark I will behave nicely. That birth control remark usually lands them with a pretty cold stinging remark from me. I channel my inner Dowager Countess of Grantham to put them in their place. My family's size is my business and that is all.

After laughing off their responses I am often told "Are you sure that you're due in December?" or something along those lines. I love being pregnant. For me it's not as terrible as many women experience. What I don't love is being told I'm outrageously large. After 3 kids I know that being pregnant means increased girth. Maybe it's by the fourth that a woman's body decides to go all out knowing that the baby is going to need plenty of room. I'm an old hand by now with pregnancy and am aware of the changes that occur. However, despite all my experience each pregnancy is different because each child is different. The one thing I do know that is the same is this: I get big. I'm an average height woman with a small frame. Being this size means that paired with my very tall large framed husband my little babies in the womb tend to take after their father's side. I grow LARGE babies. Most babies in America are around 7 pounds when born at full term. You know me, I just have to be above average, I can't be standard. My girls were large: Leah the eldest was an ounce shy of 10 pounds; My second, Olivia, was 8.5 pounds; and my third, Addie, was 7.5 pounds. The trend tells me that the fourth should be smaller but I know that is not happening. Addie was 2 weeks early being born as the result of my pre-eclampsia induced labor. She would have easily been 8 pounds or more if she made it to 38 weeks. Interestingly though for as large as my girls were at birth they have taken after me being small framed. They are getting the height from Dad which means soon I'm going to be overtaken in height by the older two girls.

So back to the "Oh my I can't believe how BIG you are" comments. My advice is this don't ever tell a pregnant woman that she's huge. We know how big we are (or are not) so please just keep it to yourselves. Also NEVER argue with a pregnant woman about the due date. We KNOW it better than any stranger because, um, we were there, you know, when all that creation was taking place. There are so many other things to discuss with a pregnant woman that those two topics can be avoided. While we're at it you can keep your parenting advice to your selves too. Unless you witness my kids riding large dogs while shooting squirt guns at each other in the grocery store then you can assume that I've got a decent handle on parenting.

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