Postcards from Prepregnancy

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I found these photos last week when searching for a picture of an unmade bed and was struck by how different life looked, how different Hal and I looked as a couple, dressing up for one another, touching in elevators... snaps of intimacy that seem almost foreign now.
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Pregnancy is weird because it takes on a sort of temporary identity. One becomes the "pregnant wife" in her marriage, the pregnant mother, "the pregnant chick" at the restaurant and bachelorette party, Trader Joes...

"Do you need help with your groceries, ma'am?"

"No thank you," you say. Except you know you should say yes because your doctor told you to say yes and your husband and every stranger who passes as you groan while loading groceries into your trunk.

I keep reminding myself that when this pregnancy is over, I will no longer be pregnant. A seemingly obvious concept and yet one hard to grasp from where I stand, looking down, unable to see feet that for months have been too swollen to wear anything that isn't related to a flip-flop. When I'm pregnant I become disgusted by bodies and touch, prudish and claustrophobic, not myself. I need space and alone and don't even think about touching me while I'm trying to sleep. I remind myself that (soon?) that will change. That I'll be BACK! Touch me! Oh, baby! That I'll once again be able to fit fingers through rings, feet into shoes, bodies into bodies.... things one takes for granted when she isn't harvesting human beings in her person.

I'm incredibly grateful for the saneness of this pregnancy, for two healthy growing babies who every day become more miraculous, real, adored, but I'm also looking forward to being out of this body for selfish reasons. It's getting extremely crowded in here. I miss dancing. And fucking. And walking more than a block without getting winded, crossing my legs under the table. I miss stacked-heels and being able to see them when I look down.
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GGC

33 comments:

Abby | 9:42 AM

At 3 this morning I awoke to a charlie horse so bad I had to jump out of bed to flatten my foot against the floor so I would stop screaming. As I bent to stand up I peed my pants. This baby is full term, she can come any time now, I won't mind.

lonek8 | 9:45 AM

I get completely touch phobic when I'm pregnant too. I literally had to force myself to let my husband hug me during all three of my pregnancies because I mostly wanted to slap him away like "no hugging- no bumping into the stomach!"

And the phenomenon of getting to those last few weeks when you literally feel as though you have been pregnant forever, and will never not be pregnant again, are so weird too. I'm convinced the only purpose that serves is to get you so sick of being gigantic and ungainly, that any fear you might feel about bringing a baby home pales in comparison. but oh, the lightness and agility you feel as soon as they're born! I remember feeling so svelte and lithe and graceful, despite still looking fat and squishy and post-childbirth.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:50 AM

That's actually a really good point, Kate. This week I became INCREDIBLY claustrophobic... like... I feel like I'm trapped in this body. I was in NO HURRY to not be pregnant and even though I want the babies to cook as long as humanly possible I'm REALLLLLY starting to feel like I'm done. I'm totally down with being squishy if it means I can sleep. And stand. And bend slightly at the waist.

And Abby - I want to hug you. COME ON ABBY'S BABY! BE BORN!

Arnebya | 10:13 AM

I'm smiling b/c I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I'm not done. I long to feel another baby, just one more, moving inside me. But I remember the feelings of just being done, just come on outta there toward the end. So glad you're reaching twin-cooking milestones and we'll do a 3-way Abby hug; come say hi to mama, baby!

Anonymous | 10:18 AM

This is so refreshing to read since I'm experiencing a lot of the same things but it's my first pregnancy and I often feel like I'll. never. have. sex. again.

Katie | 10:26 AM

So glad I'm not the only one who's touch phobic in pregnancy! Currently 6 months with my second and I, too have to steel myself before hugging/intimacy. So ready for that to be over!

Louise | 10:53 AM

I'm 24 weeks pregnant and I just want to be completely alone. No touching, no talking, nothing. I am excited about this baby, but I'm mourning the loss of my body, my social life, my disposable income, etc. My husband made a completely innocent comment at lunch and I cried about it all the way back to work. I hate what a cliche I have become. Needless to say, this post was well timed. Thanks for making me feel less alone in all this. I have really enjoyed all of your posts. You are awesome!

Megan | 10:56 AM

I know what you mean, I'm only 19 weeks into my second pregnancy and have zero sex drive. I feel frumpy, grumpy, and just not sexy. The thing is, I keep thinking, even after the pregnancy is over, there is still that spit-up crusted t-shirts, sweatpants, no-sleep stage that comes next. Of course it's all worth it, but it will be nice to feel "normal" again.

Vanessa Jubis | 11:14 AM

My first comment here on GGC :) Congrats on your upcoming twin girls. Wow!

I have three daughters myself (each single pregnancies). I can relate to the 'ugg...touching' issue in pregnancy. With my first pregnancy, I couldn't get enough sex. My second pregnancy was blah, zero sex, I was moody, sentimental and not into a thing. My third pregnancy was like #1, lot's of sex right up until the day before she was born. So yes, I can empathize but I bow to you darling for holding two sweet lovely girls in your womb.

Vanessa

Adrianne | 11:37 AM

I love this post! You're so right.
I was just thinking of writing a post about what I'm going to miss about not being pregnant (which granted, for me isn't much!), but this is equally appropriate! There is so much I miss about my pre-pregnancy body, but there are also a few things I've enjoyed about being pregnant and I'm really trying to focus on those in these last couple of days.....
Otherwise I might go insane!

Glenda | 12:30 PM

You are amazing for carry R&B for the amount of time that they've been baking. :)

Soon!!! Can't wait to read all about it. Their names and see their pretty lil faces.

knittybutton | 12:31 PM

Dude- I feel you. I feel like a cow and can't wait to have this baby. I am currently ONE WEEK from my due date. WHAT! It's kind of scary, and I have no idea what to expect with childbirth... but I am so ready to have my body back.

Sarah C. | 12:37 PM

I soooo feel you on this post! I just had my 2nd baby 3 weeks ago, and I have kissed my husband more in the last 3 weeks than I did my entire pregnancy. I could not get people far enough out of my personal space, and I'm so thankful that feeling is gone! I feel like pregnancy was some kind of uncomfortable purgatory where you know it's going to end and things are going to be different but you can't quite imagine what that's going to be like. When I went to my 2 week post partum appointment my OB asked if I was feeling depressed or having any baby blues, and all I could tell her was Hell no! I'm just so happy to not be pregnant anymore I feel great! I hope the next few weeks pass quickly for you. Congrats on the 2 baby girls! :)

Mrs. Kate B. | 1:11 PM

Girl, I HEAR YOU! Seven months pregnant with our third (though a single, no twins), and ugh, I cannot stand to be touched. My poor, poor husband. I feel so bad for him, but I just can't even deal with anything related to f*&king. I keep telling him it won't be like this forever, but we are both so ready to be done with this pregnancy. I read about people who have a crazy sex drive when preggo and I think, "Why can't I be like that???"

flyrish | 1:19 PM

I'm also a member of the big ol' pregnant claustrophobic/touch-phobic club. My husband tried to usher me into a crowded elevator the other day, and I was like, hell to the no, we can wait.

Also I completely feel you on missing the little things about having a somewhat agile body. It feels selfish to wish for that again, but I think we're entitled to it at this point. Especially you baking the twin buns!

38 weeks and waiting...

Whitney | 1:40 PM

You said that so well! I have almost 4 week old twin boys and towards the end of my pregnancy I was done. I was at the point that I believed I would never be not pregnant again. Although I am still adjusting to my one month postpartum body, it is nice to want to be touched again, to see my feet and be able to bend over, to be able to sit in more than one chair in the house, to not have heartburn and be able to breath! It is amazing how pregnancy changes you and takes on it's own identity! Not much longer and you will be holding your two perfectly healthy little girls!

Heli | 1:50 PM

At the risk of sounding like a stalker, I love this post and I love you. I blogged about you yesterday http://mommystwocents.com/2011/08/mission-fun/ and my friends have been reaching out to me all day saying how cool you are. Thought that might just brighten your day :)

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 2:07 PM

Thank you, Heli. That totally did.

And thank you, all. Kate B, I'm with you. I know so many women who feel sexy pregnant and I am SO not one of them... I feel like a science experiment. A cool science experiment but physically estranged from everyone... most notably my man (poor guy) who has been a tremendous sport these last few months. You're all awesome.

Sending labor vibes to you, Flyrish, Adrianne and Knitty! You're so close! May the force be with you these last few days! And beyond, of course.

Ida Mae | 2:26 PM

amen!
I am SO ready for my body back!

mom2nji | 3:42 PM

I am fine with losing my body, I am okay with touch, actually I need it ( in the form of massages because I am have separated ribs). I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have sex. But I have been banned for the last 10 weeks, because of preterm labor. I have TWO weeks to go until the ban is lifted. I am so ready. I am hoping she stays in there safely for 3-4 more weeks, but can't wait to have her out...as she kicks the crap out of my bladder.

KateFitz | 4:33 PM

UGGG...sing it sister. We've been gearing up for baby number 2 and this has been my very biggest concern (and you know practical concerns like money). Feeling claustrophobic, alienated, bummed, asexual,acid reflux, lump. It took sooo long to get back to the happy sexy couple place after our first kid. Yay happy sexy! Boo bummed alienated!

Shannon | 4:56 PM

I was one of the lucky ones who was a sex-drived maniac during both pregnancies. It was postpartum that I could not stand to be touched by my husband. Having a baby on my boob and attached to my person 90% of the day left me feeling touched-out. Plus my girl parts hurt. At least I got to remind my husband that he got like 30 months worth of sex in the previous 10.

Beverly | 5:11 PM

I am 36 weeks pregnant and feel so touched deprived. My guy is totally scared to get near me (I'll misinterpret his intentions for all kinds of irrational things!). I keep propositiong frends (of both sexes) to get it on! But if anyone actually took me up on the offer, I would waddle away as quickly as possible. So tired and heavy. Hemmorhoids are my new company. I found my fish net stockings in my drawer this morning and sighed.

with a k | 5:19 PM

It is SOOO nice to read that other women are in the no-touchy-whilst-preggers category. I felt like I was the only one who didn't want anyone to touch me. The only person I liked to have near me was my 1 year old.

Thank you for putting this out in public, GGC.

17 beats. | 7:00 PM

I was just at a birthing class, and as we introduced ourselves, we were supposed to say what we were most excited about. Everyone kept saying heartwarming things like, "I just can't wait to meet my baby." All I could come up with was "I can't wait to not be pregnant." I miss exercising, and skinny jeans, and feeling sexy, and drinking, and touch, and and and ...

thank you for this post (and these comments !). it's nice to know i'm not alone.

Maggie | 8:28 PM

I'm just getting to the uncomfortable stage. Currently 26 weeks with baby #3. I asked my son, 6, if he likes my big baby belly. He said yes, but he likes me skinny better! I love the honesty. I also tried to chase him to tickle him today and he laughed at me as I ran/waddled after him and he says "You can't get me with that giant baby in your belly". He was right.... I can't wait to run again. I can't wait to bend well. I also can't wait to not pee myself while sneezing/running/coughing/laughing although probably unlikely after giving birth to 3 children...

Congrats on getting so close. Can't wait to "meet" your little ones.

Jessicambay | 11:01 PM

I miss laying belly to belly with my husband, and not feeling like there's a basketball between us. I also miss being looked at as sexy by people other than my husband. I miss deep breaths, and running hard and being athletic and kicking ass at physical activities. I miss not having to get up at night to eat Tums, pee, eat some food and then eat more Tums and pee again.

Wendy | 6:05 PM

Aww! You are too cute! Can't wait to see those twins! You, my friend, should be ecstatic that they are going to full term! I had my twins at 28 weeks--less than ideal--so you are doing great! One love,sistreen (Caribbean rastaman talk for sister. Hang in there!

silverfinofhope | 7:11 AM

This is a total aside, but what type of nailpolish are you wearing (the photo where you're holding your purse). I dig that!

jessi ♥ | 11:38 AM

LOVE this post, totally feel this post.

Elly | 9:15 AM

Love the honesty of this post, hey. Cheers for sharing :)

Jackie | 9:30 AM

I was only pregnant with one, and I remember those feelings. I felt so guilty about feeling that way because people kept telling me that pregnancy was beautiful. I never once felt that way!

Ray | 12:39 PM

Love the photos. And love this entry because it's real and honest.