I had never been so excited to gain five pounds. It was at our second appointment — 4 weeks after our first appointment, and I had gained that pound a week that the doctor said I could expect.
I was ecstatic.
Maybe it was because it was a sign of normal — things are progressing as they should. I continued to gain weight, at roughly one pound a week.
Then, I passed up the number of my heaviest weight ever, and soon 200 pounds after that.
During my last appointment, I stepped on the scale and reported quickly back to Ben: “I weigh 215 pounds! Can you believe it?” “That’s a lot,” he said. “I know,” I replied with a big fat grin on my face.
I never gave pregnancy much thought, except that I assumed I’d get fat — and feel fat. But the largeness is something else, something beyond.
At times it feels mythical — I am in a very long line of women doing this for millennia — growing (and about to birth) a child from my womb. Hasn’t science and technology figured out a more efficient way of creating life?
At other times, it feels futuristic. I mean, I’m growing a human inside of me. It’s feeding off of me. It feels alien. I see my belly move, and I feel like a shape shifter. I have a whole world inside of me.
These big numbers on the scale — numbers that would have horrified me pre-pregnancy — have become a sort of badge of strength. While motherhood is still somewhat abstract, my body is a house. And so, with each pound I gain, like a brick in the foundation, I feel stronger and more powerful than before.
It’s strange. I half-expect men to whistle at me on the street.
In my lifetime, I’ve had my share of whistles and catcalls and hat tips. I certainly don’t think of myself as some Siren whom men can’t help but fawn over, but sometimes when I walk down the street now, I expect men’s heads to turn and stare even though I don’t condone this act.
I just think: how can anybody resist the beauty of creation. This strange, mysterious marvel. It’s part of me, but it’s beyond me. And yet, it’s so common. There are worlds within worlds all around us.
I crawled into bed one night, naked, so I could rub cocoa butter balm all over my belly before I slip on a tank top.