Week 37: Bare-Assed and Pregnant

I’ve spent much of my life avoiding women who appear to be pregnant, because they scared the hell out of me. What if I said the wrong thing? I had nothing to offer them, conversation-wise, beyond “So, what’s it like being pregnant?” Now everything is different. Today at the gym I asked the pregnant woman on the cross-trainer next to mine how she gets her recommended daily calcium intake.

Watched Sarah’s belly vibrate today. It looked like when you throw a stone into a still pond, and the splash ripples out to the edges…

I’ve spent much of my life avoiding women who appear to be pregnant, because they scared the hell out of me. What if I said the wrong thing? I had nothing to offer them, conversation-wise, beyond “So, what’s it like being pregnant?” Now everything is different. Today at the gym I asked the pregnant woman on the cross-trainer next to mine how she gets her recommended daily calcium intake.  

Watched Sarah’s belly vibrate today. It looked like when you throw a stone into a still pond, and the splash ripples out to the edges. She was looking particularly round, and so she weighed herself today; she’s gained 31 pounds all of a sudden. I can’t believe we ever worried about her not gaining enough weight. I was watching football last night, and when she sat on my back, something crunched.

The other night we were brushing our teeth, I tried to get around her so I could spit into the sink, but there wasn’t enough room.

“You’re taking up a lot of real estate,” I said.

She looked in the mirror and patted her belly. “I am a lot of real estate.”

And her chest. She is walking around naked a lot these days, and I have never seen anything like it that wasn’t on Cinemax. She recently realized that the 38D bras that she had bought were no longer doing the trick. “I need two bras,” she said. “One for each boob.”

* * *

Her stressful 16-hour days as a principal are no more. She is essentially a consultant for her old school, which means she goes in when feels like it and still gets paid her full salary. Good old CPS. I’ve never seen her happier; she’s smiling the way she did when we first met, and I know the real reason: She loves being pregnant. She loves the way it makes her feel, and she loves the way people treat her. “I can see why women get depressed after the baby is born,” she said. “Before, everyone goes out of their way for you. After, you’re just another parent with another annoying baby.”

The other day, Sarah sent the following giddy e-mail to a friend:

“We have a new computer—and I am enjoying pretending that I have more of a life than I do—scheduling things, assigning Jeff tasks, etc. Ah, the joys of unemployment. I am literally barefoot and pregnant right now, folding laundry, washing dishes, and watching Four Weddings and a Funeral - and damn proud of it.”  

Every day when I come home from work, our apartment looks like a different place. She’s nesting and re-organizing in a big way; the house is clean and dinner is on the table. And she’s shopping a lot, which means all kinds of unfamiliar things keep popping up. I was doing the laundry this morning and noticed a whole bunch of kids’ stuff with mooses on it. Mooses? I couldn’t tell if they were sheets or clothes or drapes or what. When I came home from work there was a giant stroller, a Zippy or something, parked in our dining room.

So this is what it’s like to have a pregnant housewife. A pregnant housewife who is still making twice as much money as her husband, that is.

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