[FATTRACTIVE] Notes on Being Visibly Pregnant

I am usually the only one in the room. Or, I feel weirdly competitive with
another pregnant lady in front of me in line at the grocery store.

My shape is an instant ice breaker that inspires the same series of
questions: “how are you feeling; when are you due; what is the sex; have
you picked a name.” Sometimes people ask if everyone touches my stomach.
Remarkably, only one lady, a Latina who cleans my office, placed her hands
on my belly without asking first, and I did not mind. In fact, I felt an
emotional connection with her and almost transported to some other time
period or culture where women are not afraid of each other.

Invariably, after the formality of these questions are out of the way, the
next part of the conversation is about someone that person knows who is
also or was once pregnant. A sister, a friend, a wife, a coworker. And then
I hear either a horror or fantasy story about emergency room visits or 20
minute deliveries.

No one is satisfied with the answer “I’m fine” or even “I’m great” … I
must elaborate. My general nature is to talk about myself at length, so I
can easily go on to say “I’m tired” and “I’m sore” … and, more
rarely, “I’m bored” with this topic.

Ironically, my peers often encourage me to order a beer or at least
offer “you can have a glass of wine!” They don’t understand that I do not
want one. I don’t want one in the way that you don’t want another french
fry when you are too full. You know it’s delicious, but you just don’t have
the appetite for it.

I hear regularly how thin I look which I know is meant as flattery but
really comes across as insult to the many women who gain noticeable weight
in their faces and arms or who were rotund before pregnancy. I have not
mentioned to anyone (maybe only one friend) that my inner thighs chafe from
rubbing against each other and that I worry I haven’t eaten enough of the
right food for the baby.

My dietary restrictions are not aligned with the popular farm-to-fork
movement. I am advised against eating anything unpasteurized (soft cheeses,
artisanal bottled juices), anything raw (poached eggs, sashimi), anything
with mercury (big fish, medium fish). I take a daily iron supplement along
with a multi-vitamin and folic acid. I’m advised to also ingest 100 grams
of protein everyday, eat leafy greens, high fiber grains, fruits and other
nutrient rich plants, while this creature inside me grows and cramps the
space for all this food in my stomach. I literally can’t fit it all in me.

The biggest surprise, even beyond all the miracle of life stuff, is how
much my husband cares about every detail. He does not bore of what the baby
is doing right now or what the doctor said or how annoyed I am about
whatever happened today. He is not angry when I wake us both up in the
middle of the night with my inability to get comfortable. He does not
complain about having to do the bulk of the house work.

Being pregnant is special but obviously not uncommon. On the surface, I’m
over it, but deep down, I’m savoring every moment.

Learning cloth diapering techniques at @Luludew

Learning cloth diapering techniques at @Luludew

Suck it polar vortex!

Suck it polar vortex!

Possibly buying this just for the jar (at Ralphs)

Possibly buying this just for the jar (at Ralphs)

Sausage antics (at Elephant)

Sausage antics (at Elephant)

Pick up this week’s @laweekly to see a cool ad from my delicious client in Ktown.  (at Dong Il Jang)

Pick up this week’s @laweekly to see a cool ad from my delicious client in Ktown. (at Dong Il Jang)

[FATTRACTIVE] 3/01/2014 10:18:00 PM

Last year, I won eye lash extensions from a lady who had a booth at a
bridal trade show. I liked them enough to pay her for a second set around
the time of my wedding and then again 6 months later (today). The process
takes about an hour and a half because she applies individual fake lashes
to each existing natural lash. She says that a lot of her clients choose to
sleep, but I don’t see how that’s possible with how much she gabs. Today,
we talked mostly about pregnancy and parenthood. Most of my conversations
these days are about pregnancy and parenthood just as how most of my
conversations were about weddings and bridal matters in the months leading
up to my nuptials. Clearly, I instigate the topic both because I am trying
to learn as much as possible and also because I inspire people to remember
and share their own experiences in this situation. The lady who does my
lashes (K) has a daughter by adoption and never carried a baby to term, so
she was less interested in commiserating with various ailments I am
currently surviving. Her adoption story, though, captivated me and made the
2 hour session breeze by like a good film. She had tried to adopt through
an agency with at least three different mothers. Two of them decided after
delivering to keep the child while the third strung her along for several
months and then disappeared. K says she thinks the latter was using K for
emotional support. They spoke daily on the phone, which cost K $400/month,
and K visited the mother in Texas (from California) on occasion. K concedes
that she was too involved in her life. Later, K’s husband S told the woman
who cuts his hair that they were looking to adopt. That woman put them in
touch with a family friend of hers who wanted to find a better home for her
second child, a girl. The child’s father was, at the time, being sentenced
for beating her first child (who was only four months old and blind) into a
coma. The little girl was five months old by the time the adoption
realized. She is now twelve years old. K made sure that her daughter
understood from the getgo that she is adopted but still struggles with how
much information to give the girl about her father. K had written the
girl’s father in prison to request that he write the girl to tell her about
himself, and his letter was full of stories reflecting a life full of
remorseless crime. K has not given the girl this letter, yet. Parenting is
hard for a lot of reasons. But one of the big questions that I’m struggling
with right now is how much truth do you give over time and when.
Thankfully, I don’t have any big family secrets to hide (yet!) … other
than the story about that time I danced on stage at a nightclub for money.
Maybe I’ll save that one for when my kid is old enough to read this blog.

On that Homer Simpson tip #nyfw #27weeks

On that Homer Simpson tip #nyfw #27weeks

Tags: nyfw 27weeks

The Ex-boyfriend Cookbook has the easiest best recipes. Behold: Milo Burda’s Amazing Bean Soup

The Ex-boyfriend Cookbook has the easiest best recipes. Behold: Milo Burda’s Amazing Bean Soup

Classy pregnant lady alert #26weeks

Classy pregnant lady alert #26weeks

Tags: 26weeks

Apply twice daily from the start of the second trimester for the illusion that you won’t be ravaged with stretch marks after this is all over.

Apply twice daily from the start of the second trimester for the illusion that you won’t be ravaged with stretch marks after this is all over.

Do these stripes make me look fat? Or is it the creature doubling in size in my belly

Do these stripes make me look fat? Or is it the creature doubling in size in my belly

Learning that newborns are basically repulsive. (at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center)

Learning that newborns are basically repulsive. (at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center)

Practicing diaper changing strategies. Also, practicing acceptance if the baby doesn’t look the way we expect.

Practicing diaper changing strategies. Also, practicing acceptance if the baby doesn’t look the way we expect.

Still life with prenatal multi softgel with DHA

Still life with prenatal multi softgel with DHA