I can now speak with some authority on being pregnant. And by that I mean being hugely pregnant. What you hear is true: every time is different. With Stella, no sickness. I got it this time. While I carried high both times, Stella seemed intent on cozening up to my lungs rather than my kidneys. Sure, I didn’t have to pee every time I stood up the way I do now, but dear god I couldn’t breathe for months. I feel certain that I’ve ranted and raved about all of this, so I shall move on to what is, for me, virgin territory.
Last time, I was a behemoth during the summer. And for those of you that don’t know, summer in Louisiana (or anywhere in the deep south) isn’t the “summer” that’s portrayed in books, movies, and TV. There are no children moseying down a road in overalls on their way to go fishing, chewing on a piece of straw. Instead, there are puddles where those children used to stand which somehow miraculously evaporate in milliseconds despite the 900% humidity. The children – or what’s left of them? Their butts are parked in front of a TV, listlessly staring while the AC and fan struggle to keep up. So imagine having a suit of blubber on during this time, along with crazed misfiring hormones. Misery. Each and every time I’d stand up and go outside, my feet would metamorphose into sausages.
This time? I’m a behemoth for the deep winter months. Of course, In Louisiana you’re not talking Milwaukee’s version of winter. We have no permafrost here. It may snow once every 5-10 years except for that one really freaky span from 2009-2010 where it snowed TWICE. When I say snow I mean a gentle feathery dusting which may reach the soaring height of 0.5-1” and remain on the ground for 3 whole hours once the sun comes up. But it’s funny: the way people here FREAK OUT, you’d think Katrina was coming back when it does snow. [Rapid eye blinking. Back on track. Sorry.] But you get used to whatever climate you reside in. Once upon a time, I did live up north and while I didn’t like sub-freezing temps, I got semi-used to it. Now? If it gets into the 50’s we all get cold. You need a coat. Only I’m too fat to button mine anymore.
So at risk of further meandering, I’m putting together a pro/con list for dressing your corpulent self in various climactic regimes:
-You don’t need as many clothes, so cheaper (pro).
-Depending on the current trends, you may be able to actually use some of the same stuff that’s in vogue, such as peasant blouses or maxi-dresses (pro).
-While your feet will stay pretty fat for the bulk of the season, you can wear flip flops/sandals (i.e. cheap) to allow for the inevitable spreading (con/pro).
-Since your feet will essentially be forced into open air for 4 months straight, they will need to at least not look scaly and have cute painted toes at all times. You can’t reach your feet much less see them, requiring outside and expensive intervention (con/pro – if you’re loaded).
-You need more clothes, so more expensive (con).
-Since you own virtually nothing that could be considered “winter wear” anyway, there is nothing to be recycled during your pregnancy. You have a coat, but you can’t button it. There is no way in hell you’re buying a fat coat for a handful of days during a handful of months. Scarves help. At least you can keep your neck warm and the ends trailing down over your bulging gut help to shield it from the wind when you have to go outside with your coat agape. Scarves are cheaper than coats, unless you’re a snooty, affluent woman who buys Hermes. But if you’re buying Hermes scarves, buying a coat won’t be a problem (con/semi-pro).
-You can’t really wear flip-flops and sandals every day in the winter, even in Louisiana. Therefore, you’re going to have to buy at the very least a couple of pairs of flats and a pair or two of heels if you work in an office or have a dressy holiday party to attend. If you’re lucky, you will only need to wear these cheap shoes for a short while before you spawn and your feet return to normal. If your feet don’t return to normal, well…..that’s another post (con and con: cheap unflattering shoes suck).
-Undergarments when pregnant suck. Sure, you may find something that looks frilly, cute, or possesses some other positive feature/attribute, but once you put it on a bulging body, it becomes lipstick on a proverbial pig. Indeed, I have only just stopped short of draping all mirrors in my bedroom with a black shroud so that I don’t even have to see it. Bras are no longer delicate things, but utilitarian support pieces. I realized a couple of weeks ago that I have not bought any non-maternity undergarments in about 3 years. Once this baby is out of this body, I am buying some new underwear, damn it. And once I’m done nursing this baby and the girls reach whatever size they are destined to reach (anyone’s guess at this point, really), I shall have some new brassieres (CON)!
-Sometimes, you just want to be comfortable, even at work. I recently wore my red Chuck Taylors to a big meeting, as they were the only shoes I could get on my feet in the morning that were warm enough. I figured the red was festive. Who’s going to mess with a pregnant woman? Same with jeans. I’m typing now in jeans during a non-casual day. I’ve stopped short of muumuus out of the house, but I’ve been tempted (pro).