Only one hour into the flight, I needed to stand up. I walked to the back of the airplane and stood near the bathrooms—that space where the flight attendants go for relief from us patrons, and us patrons go for relief from the people we’re sitting next to. The drink service had already happened, so the attendants were enjoying a little break in their tiny jump seats (I’m surprised they don’t point out how we think OUR seats are tiny), reading a magazine or checking their phones. (Do they get free WiFi?)
I was 19 weeks pregnant, finally starting to show (IMO). But my white denim pants still fit, so I still squeezed myself into them. I was wearing one of two maternity shirts I owned—a black V-neck tee from H&M’s Mama line, a gift from my SIL—and an army-green jacket. I guess it was hard to detect the bump, but to me it was there. Sitting in an airplane seat, in pants I shouldn’t have been wearing, it already felt huge!
One of the flight attendants struck up a conversation with me while we both hung out in that back area, seeking relief. He went right for the personal stuff: “Do you have kids at home?” he asked.
“No,” I said, “but I have one in here!” I pointed to my (isn’t-it-OBVIOUS) bump.
He was genuinely surprised, and proceeded to ask me all the pregnancy questions. Then the lavatory opened and I was like, “Bai!” (Not because he made me feel uncomfortable; because when there’s a toilet available, I go for it.)
One of the weirdest things about that 18-22 week pregnancy phase for me was that I did show a little bit. Clearly it wasn’t as noticeable as I felt, but I had a heightened sense of body awareness as I walked through the world. I went through five airports in a two week span, tried to pack a little lighter so I could lift my suitcase into the overhead bins, met 50 strangers at a retreat (two of whom were also pregnant!), and moved to a temporary suburban home. I spent a lot of time away from people who knew and saw me almost every day (by which I mean our condo neighbors and the baristas at my usual coffee shop). Suddenly, strangers—who were definitely not paying nearly as much attention as me—could know something about me that I didn’t choose to tell them.
One pregnancy thing I hadn’t anticipated was feeling so self-aware of the growing bump. It’s nonexistent (to the unknowing eye) for so long, and then THERE IT IS. And you’re walking around giving strangers an intimate glimpse into your life. You’re sharing a very personal detail about what’s going on with you right now, without really choosing to. The cocktail of feels that brought up for me was unexpected. Most of all, exposed.
That was when I thought it was obvious.
Now, at 25 weeks pregnant, it actually is.
I received my first unsolicited “Do you know what you’re having?” at week 24. It took me a minute to even put the question into context. It was at the GOTR practice—I was in a big t-shirt and running shorts.
What am I having? I had to think. Oh! A baby! I’m growing one of those. It must be really obvious now.
This is 25 weeks.
I wonder what people think when they see me take a sip of my husband’s IPA at dinner.
I wonder if I’m imagining those knowing looks, and friendly smirks, from moms toting around their strollers and toddlers.
I wonder if anyone else thinks about pregnant women as much I wonder about them thinking about pregnant women. (Probably a hard NOPE.)
I wonder if this dress will fit for another week.
I wonder if I’ll ever sleep without having to pee at 2 AM again.
I wonder if my feet are confused by the extra weight they balance on every run.
I wonder why I didn’t order a size up in Oiselle Roga shorts earlier. They fit SO MUCH better.
I wonder what the tiny human is doing in there when it’s CLEARLY bedtime, but instead of relaxing, I’m feeling a hacky-sack kicking game going on in there.
I wonder if the tiny human loves Johnnyswim as much as we do.
I wonder if January is really when the tiny human will arrive, or if life will be like, SURPRISE! Time to be parents NOW!
— — — — —
I saw one of my best friends last week, for the first time since March. We had dinner together two nights in a row while she was in town. On the second, she said, “Whoa! You look so much more pregnant tonight!” I wondered if anyone else can tell this babe literally grows by the day, but that’s been confirmed (by at least two sources).
Every Tuesday, the first thing we check is how “big” the tiny human is now.
At 25 weeks, the food comparison is finally a squash! I’ve been waiting for that one. An acorn squash takes some handling. You usually have to nestle it into the nook of your elbow. (Just me?) An out-in-the-world baby could be that size. Another email list I’m on uses inanimate objects that we do NOT eat, which I really appreciate. “Your baby is the size of an Oscar statue!” A tiny human, but a human-sized thing, indeed.
I’m running about three miles very comfortably—except on Monday when I felt like I had to pee the whole time, so I stopped in a Starbucks and actually did not have to pee. I’m doing some light strength training to try and help the running feel comfortable. I’m shocked by how hard it feels to hold a plank position for more than 30 seconds. I’m not shocked by how sore I am after doing about 30 walking lunges with 10# weights. (Standard.)
We’re still a few weeks out from “livable” status at the house. It’s progressing, though! Just like this tiny human and I. We’re not quite ready, but we’re getting there. We’re wondering what life will be like in the house, with this babe out in the world. I’m wondering if that will ever feel real.
Last but not least, I’m really into adult grilled cheeses and peanut M&Ms.
This is 25 weeks.