(I’m sorry if the title misled you. If you’re looking for pretty and preg-spirational I can direct you to a carefully curated Instagram account or two. Heavy on the Valencia filter.)
I’ve been hugely pregnant in the summer one other time, but it was with our eldest and I was working in a deliciously frigid air-conditioned office and was fresh off my wedding day weight and I could go to bed every night at 8 pm and Dave rubbed my back unceasingly and soothingly every evening and it just.wasn’t.the.same.
This, on the other hand, I now understand to be a summer pregnancy. And it’s not even terribly hot here this summer, and we have AC, so I know for certain that Ma Ingalls does, in fact, think poorly of me. Very poorly indeed (language, snowflakes.)
But I’m big. I’m so big, in fact, that yesterday I passed by my reflection in a store window and for a split second I did not recognize myself. And the woman whose body I caught a glimpse of? I felt sorry for her. Which is so pathetic and yet hilarious that I can’t fully process it.
Does it make me a terrible person for seeing a fat lady, pitying her, and then immediately realizing that it was my own self I was seeing?
Probably. I mean, the lack of makeup and the haggard, hollowed out eyes didn’t help her case. But I was still left questioning my basic goodness.
Let’s press on, because I’ve curated a handy list of survivalist techniques that have kept me hydrated, mostly mobile, and somewhat sane.
1. Unlimited screen time.
Just kidding, I’m actually really stingy with the screen because most days if they want it, it means I surrender my computer for 30 or 120 minutes of whatever inane toddler show is trending on Netflix that week. But I’ve been much more free with the in-car DVD player because we’ve been doing the one-car shuffle for all of June and now July and I just let it go, let it goooooooo. And Frozen is almost literally the only DVD we own. I do usually instigate a decade of the rosary before we zone out, but pretty much I’ve been putting a movie on whenever, because we’ve been in the car a lot, and because it’s so nice and air-conditioned and why don’t we just drive around for a while, guys?
Also, I’ve been throwing my completely archaic iPhone 4 (no games, no fun, no nothing) to whoever, whenever. Because I’ve just stopped caring.
2. Unlimited La Croix.
I’m actually serious about this one, because it’s $7 a case at Costco, and, therefore about as cost-effective as tap water. It keeps me going. Especially with a twist of lime and a packet of Arbonne energy fizz. Evie is obsessed with it so I can’t open them in front of her, and I’ve actually had to start drinking it out of glasses and/or hiding in the bedroom when I open one. You know how you can call cats using an electric can opener? It’s like that.
3. Letting the children dress themselves.
And they look amazing. Everyone smells like humus and faintly of urine but unless we’re going somewhere fancy, like church or IKEA, I really haven’t found a downside.
4. The popsicles are in the bottom drawer of the freezer and the hose is to the left of the wading pool. Do with that information what you will.
I was such an uptight first time mom I was aaaaaaaall about that sunscreen (I still apply it, don’t worry, because holy high altitude. But I’ve also surrendered to the fact that 20 unscreened minutes in a rash guard are not going to result in 2nd degree burns.)
I was also like, oh gosh, let me fill the pool up for you and should I add hot water to make it comfortable and here’s a cloth swim diaper.
Now I’m like, take off your clothes (or not) and jump in. I’ll be sitting under the umbrella taking furtive sips of my La Croix-tail.
Evie is much, much tougher than her big brothers were. Let’s just leave it at that.
5. Nighttime exercise.
I’ve been known to walk a mile or two at the gym in the early evenings, watching a steady rotation of House Hunters and strolling in painful but peaceful silence. It’s a nice way to bridge the gap between the witching hour and bedtime, and while I actually feel physically worse for it most mornings, I can’t fathom that it’s actually bad for me to be moving a bit, and I’m fantasizing that it’s keeping the swelling down.
Then again, I am wearing my third trimester ring as I tap this out.
6. Final thought. Tapas. Did you know if you scoop humus and peanut butter onto a plate with vegetable crudités and tortilla chips you can call it dinner? No stoves were turned on in the making of the last 5 meals in this house, and no one’s the wiser.
And if anyone complains, may I direct them to the popsicle drawer. I’m letting that department handle all complaints and personnel issues for the next 5 weeks.