Keeping up with the Fetuses

sunset at santa monicaFirst it was lettuce in place of any food I’d made with aromatics like garlic, onion, or ginger. Then there was Susanne’s sudden yearning for glass after glass of ice-cold milk. Not milkshakes. Not vanilla ice cream. Milk. And she’s not a milk drinker by any means. This is a woman who leaves behind whatever didn’t get soaked up by the bowl of cereal, who eschewed the stuff from cows to the stuff from soybeans. I shudder at the very idea of drinking a glass of soy milk unless it’s over-laced with chocolate.

Now we’re in the frequent-trips-to-the-bathroom phase of the gestation, which I presume has begun much sooner than Susanne would have liked. The prospect of another 5.5 months of this has got to be more than a bit daunting. And she remarked to me this morning that she is ready to begin the phase of boundless energy. Come on little fetus, you can do it, I telepathically communicated to it. Let her have some spring in her step.

Dinner is an unpredictable mess, like waltzing across a floor of jellyfish. One night, noodles with Alfredo sauce and asparagus, then roasted chicken with bacon and citrus and nary a clove of garlic. One evening, after we’d already eaten dinner, Susanne’s eyes lit up over the thought of Kraft Dinner (Kraft macaroni and cheese, for the Americans). Protein is on the outs, long live the carbs.

As we were on vacation, her trousers shrank mysteriously, leading us to an impromptu journey through one of the largest Old Navy stores I’ve ever seen, in Santa Monica. With its own maternity section, she picked up a couple pairs of new pants, and a few shirts that were capable of covering the addition the fetus is building on her midsection. I’m quite certain the little thing hasn’t even applied for a permit, but there it is, hammering away every day.

When we came home, we were met by two boxes of maternity clothes, one from Susanne’s friend and one from her mother. Suddenly, she was lost to me even though I was sitting right next to her on the couch. So many outfits, strewn all around her, in summery, fresh colors and light fabrics. We laughed because before our trip to LA and receipt of gifts, the trick had been to make it through the rest of pregnancy with only a few items of clothing. Susanne is frugal enough not to want to spend money on clothes with a limited duration. (I suppose children’s clothes will put a stop to this criterion’s use.)

I held up one pair of jeans, the top of which ended abruptly into a thick swath of black elastic.

“You just put this over your belly,” I asked. She nodded, then tried them on and modeled for me, cooing about how comfortable they were. Suddenly I had an insight. She could see the light bulb glowing over my head.

“What, honey,” she asked.

“I think I just discovered where Mom jeans come from!”

Her gasp told me I was onto something.

Perhaps others have identified this already—I’m not naive enough to think I can discover anything new out in the world. But I certainly can enjoy things that are new to me. So I suppose I shall find some joy in mom jeans and spit up.

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5 Comments on “Keeping up with the Fetuses”

  1. Aunt Jill
    March 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Um, what’s that about boundless energy? I believe that train has left the station. Hang in there, though. The first couple weeks with an infant, before they wake up thoroughly, is quite delightful. 😀

    • evmaroon
      March 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

      Babycenter.com is a crock, then. It keeps saying there’s some burst of energy in the second trimester. Two weeks into the second trimester, Susanne isn’t cat napping, she’s lion napping.

      • Aunt Jill
        March 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

        Well, if there was a burst, I was too busy throwing up and avoiding throwing up to notice. No, there wasn’t a burst of energy, those liars. Maybe a brief reprieve between the weird horrible exhaustion of the first three months and the can’t-breathe, can’t sleep, gagging heartburn of the last three or four.

        ‘Course, I was not one of those happy, glowing pregnant people. I was a nauseated, exhausted, very-irritable whale for eight months, both times.

        Hang in there Susanne (and Ev). This too, shall pass.

  2. IrishUp
    March 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Hmm, I had one good month (the 7th), and it included almost boundless energy. The rest of the time was spent in a very cat-like state, if said cat is prone to hairballs. When I wasn’t eating or sleeping, I was peeing. I only didn’t feel like throwing up if I was eating or sleeping.

    I feel the milk thing; the calcium drain of baby-making is substantial. The fetus gets first dibs on any Ca+; if not enough is around, mom’s body will cough-up Ca+ from skeleton tissue (reserving Ca+ needed for neuro function only). The old wife’s tale is you lose one tooth per kid. Even in this modern age, my anecdata is most of my friends have needed fillings or root-canals after each pregnancy.

    • evmaroon
      March 24, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      I read your comment to Susanne, who looked stricken and vowed to call the dentist right away. She had a cleaning in January, but now will probably sit outside the door to the office until the receptionist gives her another appointment in May.

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