In the last week I've thought less about the baby and more about my butt. People's persistent oblivion to the fact that I am pregnant has lead me to conclude that all of the weight I've gained must be going somewhere other than my 'bump'.

I've had a few people notice over the past month, so I thought I'd reached a milestone, but now I am back to getting the 'oh I didn't know you're pregnant.' Either the rest of my body is zealously trying to keep up with my expanding waistline, or I'm just going crazy. When I first got pregnant I immediately purchased a fantastic pair of Seven maternity jeans, looking forward to the chance to flaunt my bump in style. I love these jeans, they fit, they DID fit, perfect. Any then my butt ruined everything.

I could feel last week that they were getting 'snug' and thought "uh-oh" but hoped it was due to my recent growth spurt and that as my belly continued to get bigger it would simply rest above the expandable waist and everything else would stay just as it was. No such luck. One week later and I can't tell if they are too tight in the waist because I can't even get them over my butt!

I struggle to pull them half way up my round derriere and they stubbornly refuse to cover another inch of skin. I curse at them and franticly shimmy my way out of them, trying to forget that awful suffocating feeling of denim that is all too constricting. I thank heaven that my husband isn't home to see me slink to the floor crying, face pressed to my wadded up Kleenex/Seven jeans. I cry as though there will never be another pair of jeans in all the world- these were the last, and I have lost them forever.

There are days I feel great, even though I feel pregnant, and there are days when I feel that my whole body has turned against me and I feel utterly betrayed by my physical state. Sometimes I feel I've lost myself in all the hormones, weight gain, and physical changes. This is something I could never explain to my husband. To him I look pregnant but I still look like me.

Everyone on the outside looking in likes to see those changes, and even the little blossoming flaws, they find cute and promising. My sister-in-law (who is 7 weeks ahead of me in the pregnancy game) is the exact opposite of me physically and mentally. She is 5'9, long and lanky with legs that stretch on until forever. She has long hair and I don't know that I've ever seen her wear a stitch of makeup.

She is low maintenance, less fashion obsessed, and known for her even temperament? but even she feels a bit ousted from her former body. She says how people say "Oh you're all belly!" when they see how much she has grown, and she says "That's what you think!" She too feels victimized when she outgrows those last pair of maternity pants or watches as her butt softens and her hips expand.

And anyone else's mention or attention to these things brings on a slew of unpredictable emotions.

Friends and family watch eagerly and love to comment on how 'big' I'm getting, "look at that belly!" is a favorite phrase, or "your skin looks pretty good for being pregnant". No matter what they say, how mindless or well intention it's somehow disturbing. And I'm not saying it's all their fault. I know I am becoming increasingly defensive, obsessed, and self conscious and that's another side affect of pregnancy that makes me feel all the more alien -- the moodiness.

I've definitely felt cranky and hyper-sensitive all week. My DH has learned to recognize that a 'tantrum' or a whining spell is precursor to a full blown sobbing break down. I feel like a 5 year old, unable to express what's bothering me so I resort to flinging myself on the couch or bed or floor and writhe around whining profusely.

Last Friday night I was feeling distinctly panicky as we dressed to head to the book store. I was nearly in tears by the time I had dressed and sat sullenly in the living room staring at the carpet. Colin asked if I was ready to go and I burst into tears. He asked me what was wrong, surely wondering if I'd lost my mind, as I blubbered about how my clothes didn't fit and how lame it was to be going to Barnes and Noble on a Friday night, and something about saggy breasts and finally how I just am not ready for everything to change and to become a mother. We ended up having a really good, long talk which I continued to cry and sniffle through. I think many of the fears that drive us to the emotional brink are very real, we just can't always put our finger on exactly what it is.

Later that week I braved the mall, determined not to let my jeans get the best of me. I shopped for some new shirts to cover my expanding mass, some jeans to clothe the rebellious ass, and new make-up to freshen up my face. I ended up at Macy's shopping for a line of cosmetics that I am quite familiar with but haven't splurged on in awhile -- my new motto? I'm Pregnant, and I'm Worth It.

The sales lady rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. Looking at the various foundations I pulled out the color that I purchased last time, knowing that I would probably need a shade lighter as I have given sacrificing my skin to the Sun gods. I'm pale, I know it. I prefer 'fair skinned' or of 'ivory complexion' if you will. I'm especially conscious of my skin and try pretty damn hard to take good care of it, so when the sales lady saw the shade I was holding and exclaimed "Oh no dear, that's much too dark for someone with such white skin as you!" I was immediately offended.

Why don't you just call me pasty? I explained the product I was looking for and she instructed me to sit in the chair and began removing my face makeup with a tissue. I wasn't looking for a makeover, apparently she had misunderstood but I sat tight hoping she would give me the info I was looking for and I could make my exit.

"Oh my gosh your skin is so dry, is it always like this!" she said disapprovingly, as though she knew for a fact that I had been slathering it with rubbing alcohol and holding under a heat lamp. I felt my jaw clench as I defended myself lamely. "Yeah, pregnancy does wicked things to your skin." She proceeded to tell me that I would have a very lovely complexion 'if it wasn't for all the blemishes' and by the time I made it out of the store I was holding back tears.

I moped through the rest of the day, her rude comments echoing in my head. I was a weepy mess by the time DH made it home from work and made the mistake of asking me what was wrong. "I have ugly skin!" I bellowed, bursting into tears. I was inconsolable. He tried to reason with me, tried to calm me, and when that didn't work, he offered to take me for a milkshake -- problem solved, at least for now.

And I'm not the only one who feels unsettled lately, Millie (our daughter-to-be) has definitely stepped up her activity level, and increased in size. I feel like my ribs are breaking as they strain to accomodate my growing belly, and my stomach is in my throat. I'm not even that big yet, I can't imagine how uncomfortable those last few months will be!


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