Baby’s a Pumpkin, Mom’s a Manatee

So there’s this thing in pregnancy where people like to use fruits and vegetables to give an approximate comparison for the baby’s gestational size. Some of the fruits/veggies are totally normal, meaning you can find them in an actual grocery store, but others are weird and exotic.

For example, at Week 33, the baby is the approximate size of a durian fruit (I know, spell check doesn’t even recognize it). What the eff is that? It sounds like something I would order if I were with Harry Potter at The Leaky Cauldron: “I would like a pint of Butter Beer, a Golden Snitch Cake, and a Durian Fruit, please.” “Thanks, Hagrid. Next round’s on me.”

Are there not enough fruits and veggies at Sprouts to use ones we don’t have to Google? Although you would lose the cutesie factor that comes with calling your baby a poppyseed, common household objects would be much more helpful as a means of analogy. Plus, it would eliminate the whole “I’m eating my mango baby for breakfast” ordeal. That makes for an awkward meal. For example, instead of a papaya, at Week 22: Baby is a can of Pledge!” or “Week 33: Baby is the size of your cankles after walking around the block!”

Knocked up ladies across America love to compare their babies to produce. They will make these cute chalkboards with swirly writing that say things like “Week 23: Baby is a mango!” or “Week 37: Baby is a winter melon! (again, what the heck is that).” They take pictures, hand on belly pose, holding these little signs and post them on Facebook so that everyone can track their increasing fatness. All well and good, but would it not be much more entertaining/useful to see preggo ladies holding up signs that say things like “Week 37: Baby is the size of a bottle of Merlot!” Then you could look down at your bottle of Merlot and contemplate it being wedged in your belly. Cheers to that.

Well, at 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, our baby is the size of a pumpkin, and I’m venturing a guess we have one

This is not me… I promise.

of those big pumpkins from the state fair, not the kind in the five dollar boxes outside Walmart on October 30th.

So that got me thinking: they use these adorable little measurements for the baby, but there’s nothing to help moms figure out to what their weekly growth should be comparable. I think that needs to change. Here’s what I’m thinking: most women start to show sometime around 12-15 weeks (if you are one of those biatches who didn’t show until you were 37 weeks pregnant at which point you sneezed dramatically and out popped your six pound baby, save it. We don’t want to hear about you and your three pounds of weight gain).

At around the 12 week mark, baby is the size of a lime. How cute. Reminds me of the time I used to be able to snuggle up with a Corona. Mom, meanwhile, at 12 weeks is about the size of a kangaroo: starting to get that little pouchy pooch, but still all cute-and-cuddly-pregnant. At Week 20, when overnight your clothes get tighter than the thong of a streetwalker in Amsterdam, you are the approximate size of a baby seal. Week 32: Giant Panda. Week 36: Polar bear hibernating for winter. At Week 38, I’m a cranky manatee.

This scale would bring so much relief to the suffering of poor, swollen pregnant women everywhere. You too could make cute signs announcing your growth, week by week. Perhaps you could take a monthly trip to the zoo to be amongst your weekly spirit animals and feel the kindred connection of your waistlines. Or at least it would be a nice dose of reality at a time when the world is inundating you with images of smiling pregnant women who actually do their hair and put on mascara. Or pregnant women who are out for a casual jog in the mid-afternoon wearing spandex. Or pregnant women eating salad without a pound of garlic croutons and ranch, then staying up past 9pm to hang out with their girlfriends. Seriously people, get it together. These images are not helping anyone. I like to consider it a good day if I take a shower and make it outside to get the mail.

The end of pregnancy is pretty rough. For all the advances we have made in science and health, why can we not figure out a way to speed this process up a bit? It would be awesome if you could tell your baby was fully cooked the same way you hard boil eggs. If I spin around on the ground and wobble, fair enough, baby needs a bit more baking. But once I get that nice tight spin, boom! It’s time to meet my baby. I hope you are now envisioning pregnant women break-dancing to see if they are ready or not for labor, hard boiled egg style. Hang in there, pregnant people! Ready your loins, the end is in sight (supposedly).

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Life, Limb, and Labia: Grooming while pregnant

I told my husband I was going to write a new blog post. He put on an interested smile and asked me the topic. I responded directly and without hesitation: shaving my vagina. He just shook his head and left the room. So this is my disclaimer: this post is going to be about my (mis)adventures when it comes to grooming while pregnant, especially as related to feminine care. It’s been a humorous part of this whole process, and as such I find it necessary to share with a whole host of strangers on the internet, so you’re welcome. It won’t be that bad, I promise, but if you are offended, here are my sincerest (slash not) apologies. Read on at your own peril!

I recently hit a new pregnancy milestone, and oh what a terrific (see definition number three; learned something new, eh?) one it is. I didn’t even know I had hit/far surpassed this milestone until I attempted to go through my standard shower routine (apparently I should shower more). Allow me to elaborate:

Around six or seven every morning, baby starts her daily womb-rampage around my uterus, so sleep becomes akin to trying to get Sydney Leathers to keep her clothes on, aka impossible. On this particular morning, I flopped out of bed, waddled my way to the bathroom, peed, brushed my teeth, and jumped in the shower where I immediately peed again (oh, you know you do it too; stop judging).

Post-pee, there I am in the shower working my way through the standard pregnant lady shower protocol in which one must attempt to slather and lather as many body parts as can still be reached without toppling to the ground or utilizing a loofa glued to a Nifty Nabber. I do the hair and belly, and then move on to my legs. While we are on the topic, let’s talk about how hairy your legs get during pregnancy: if Chewbacca were to develop male pattern baldness, we would be twins from the waist down, though I have never seen wookie parts, so I’m going to assume that might be a noteworthy distinctive difference. But I digress..

I successfully hacked back the bulk of the hair emanating from the parts of my legs within striking distance, and then moved north to the taming of the va-hoo-ha. Now, we aren’t talking anything fancy here: I’m not attempting to sculpt an English garden down there, I’m aiming for minimally socially acceptable should I be struck by a sudden breeze or find myself in that scene from The King and I where she herds the children in her petticoats. We don’t need anyone losing an eye, so really this is more a public safety concern than anything else.

Here’s where the full extent of the terrific milestone was realized: I CAN NO LONGER SEE MY VAGINA. AT ALL. And I mean nothing. It’s been more fully eclipsed by the mountain of breast and belly than Bonnie Tyler could ever have imagined. Total panic and chaos ensue in the shower as I frantically contort myself into every position possible searching for the elusive glimpse of my lady parts. Still nothing. Goose, we’re flying blind up here.

So now I’m faced with a precarious dilemma: do I forego the shaving and add it to the list of unsightly things Lonnie has to just deal with (Chewbacca male pattern baldness being the least of his worries), or do I risk life, limb, and labia to take a crack at it?

After serious thought, I was persuaded by the realization that at some point a doctor, my husband, and countless nurses will be forced to stare at my nether-regions for an extended period of time; I imagine birth is one of those things where you want the pilot to have as clear a runway as possible. Additionally, my baby will be emerging into this world through that fuzzy portal. I am assuming she will not be brandishing a machete nor lightsaber on her way out, so I should probably make it less force-field like.

Razor in hand (this is where I intensely regretted my decision to buy CVS brand razors), I decide to give it a go. I ended up utilizing the “Shaving by Braille” technique: you just feel your way around and hope for the best. (Internal dialogue went something like this: “That is either my bikini line or I forgot to take off my underwear…Nope, definitely bikini line.”)

When it was all said and done, my body parts were mostly intact and slightly more socially acceptable. But the big take away here is that shaving while pregnant is kind of like asking all your body parts to sign up for a rousing game of Russian Roulette: it’s only a matter of time before one of them takes that hit. My guess is it’s going to be an armpit; I’m probably overly confident with the pits since they are within my range of vision. It’s always the one you least expect! I’ll keep you apprised.