The first thing to adjust to once we announced the pregnancy was people asking how I was feeling. This happened immediately and still does all. the. time. I am not offended in the least when people ask me that, in fact I consider it a very genuine show of concern, but I worry that my answer is getting stale.
You see, I have not had a typical pregnancy. At least not compared to the stories I hear from others. My experience (so far) has been extremely easy and hassle-free. I sort of expected this, because to hear my mother tell it, her three pregnancies were akin to being carried around on a pink cloud while being fed peeled grapes by adoring fans extolling her beauty. She would be pregnant today if she could. She describes it as her ultimate state of being. She had not one minute of morning sickness.
And neither have I (all praise to our glorious Father of heavenly light and mercy and tenderness and wisdom, amen).
But I feel a little guilty admitting this out loud, because what woman who’s been through morning sickness wants to hear that someone else didn’t get it? I think I would hate such a person. Look at how women despise Gisele Bundchen, who famously gave birth to her son in her bathtub and then irritated women everywhere by saying the birth, “didn’t hurt in the slightest.” Lady, people already resent your incredible body, modeling career, millions of dollars, dating Leo and marrying Tom Brady. Don’t give them more ammo.
So I don’t drop that little nugget of non-nausea into every conversation, but I find I don’t have much to say beyond, “I feel great!” This apparently has its own pitfalls, as my friend Michelle told me when she was about 36 weeks along. “Here’s a tip from me to you,” she said to me at her baby shower. “Don’t announce too loudly that things are so easy. You’re losing your one chance at total sympathy. My husband figured out how easy my pregnancy was going and now he’s like ‘right, right,’ if I ever say I’m a little sore. Play the card you’ve got!”
It’s not just puking and pain that have passed me by — other typical symptoms have been mysterious (mercifully?) absent.
1. Intense sense of smell. Not at all.
2. Cravings. Nope. Not happening. I like sugar more than I used to, but I think that’s just my radar for treats switching from red wine to something else I can have.
3. Preggo acne. Thank God!
4. Swelling. I imagine this will hit me like an incurable disease within a month, but for now, I’m puff-free.
5. Back pain. Again, this one is probably on its way, but for now only happens if I sit in one place for far too long.
6. Unbearably tired. I took approximately three naps my first trimester, but other than that never felt more tired than usual. I kind of wanted to get this symptom, if only because I love the couch. The great big laugh about this is that my unbearable exhaustion will come after I’m pregnant, while caring for two newborns — and I won’t be able to lay on the couch. HA.
7. Super emo. I think I’ve cried five times in the last six months, one of which was the elementary school shooting. Who didn’t cry that day?
8. Heartburn. I don’t have any idea what this feels like, which is why I’m sure I haven’t had it.
9. Stretch marks. Let’s not kid ourselves, though. Twins? It has to be inevitable.
10. Increase in shoe size. This one has freaked me out the most — my feet have actually shrunken…this is beyond the explanations of science. I thought I was hallucinating that I was walking out of my flats and heels, and then I went to buy some shoes and had to buy down a half-size. Deeply puzzling.
Of course all of this is tempered by the freight train that is barreling toward me. Whenever someone says that I’ve been so lucky, I don’t disagree, but I do remind them that I’m going to have to keep two people alive at the end of this. Two infants screaming at once. Twice the diapers. Twice the feedings. Twice the nighttime demands. All of it is my dream, but it’s not all going to be pleasant.
With that in mind, I’m savoring the last two-plus months of this incredible experience, wearing an enormous smile as I grow and eat and walk and rest and operate this body for the three of us.
Here we are at 27 weeks: