I shoveled curly seasoned fries into my mouth at speeds only seen on the autobahn, while my purple escort burped carbonated Sprite at each stoplight. Approximately every 2.3 seconds I rolled down the window for a burst of fresh air. It didn’t matter that the harsh winds of Maine’s frigid winter would rush into my lungs and push discarded Dunkin Donut wrappers from under the front seat. The morning commute was long and my breakfast stop a full forty minutes from my front stoop, but afternoons brought my satiating appetite almost immediate gratification. Some call it chance, others good planning; I call it nothing less than miraculous. Arby’s sat at the mouth of the highway.
Pure ignorance nurtured my pregnancy and fast-food nourished my quickly growing baby. Today I would be considered a failure among the perky, slightly bloated with baby, Yoga moms. I neither read the appropriate amount of baby books and magazines, nor did I reunite with my core, fostering balance and peace. I was all sway, my back arching in directions sure to cause osteoporosis or at least ache. Standing upright without sending shock waves through my office was pure success.
My sole purpose in pregnancy was to avoid what some call morning sickness, an illness that strikes with no regard to the clock. For me, keeping my tummy full kept the waves of nausea at bay, so I ate my way through two hundred eight-days (give or take a few hours). No grown man’s lunch tote was sacred territory when hunger struck. Although I kept my top desk drawer chock full of snacks, I often out-ate my shopping list.
I reflect on my appetite, not with pride, but with awe. It seems humanly impossible for an otherwise average woman to wake up one morning and find she’s eaten the equivalent of the corner market, but I did much worse. I attempted to hide wrappers and eat behind my husband’s back; however, the scale bragged. It also lied. I am convinced, and there is no changing the mind of a hormonally distraught woman.
I no longer knew the body I hauled. I felt like a woman trapped inside of a baby instead of the other way around.
I’ve never felt as physically mortified as I did the day my doorbell rang just a few weeks postpartum. My newborn lay snuggled in his bassinet when I went to greet my husband’s friend and coworker. I hadn’t had the opportunity to know him pre-pregnancy, but never considered it to be unfortunate until the moment I looked into the eyes of pure confusion.
“I-I’m sorry. I must’ve stopped at the wrong house. I thought a friend of mine lived here.” He stammered in a fog.
Thinking he must be having a lapse in brain function, but not wanting to cause offense, I happily welcomed him into my home.
“Barry, John should be home any minute, come in.” I said.
He blinked no less than a thousand times in thirty seconds. I saw beads of perspiration burst from his taut brow and feared he may have a stroke on the threshold of my home. Reaching for his arm to pull him into the house and onto a seat, I asked if he was feeling ok.
Hesitantly he looked me over with a mixture of intense wonder and slight disbelief.
“Tr-i-c-ia?” He asked.
My face must have indicated my response, because before my voice could escape my mouth, he continued.
“I didn’t recognize you. You had your baby. You don’t even look like the same person now!”
With the clarity absolute knowledge brings, I regretted every mid-pregnancy bagel I had consumed. Eventually I shed the weight, but kept the baby.
Happy Birthday FringeBoy!
Here are ten things I love about you: (I stole this idea from Nina@Portugal Bound)
– you are smart as a whip, although a whip now and then probably wouldn’t hurt. 😉
– you have grown from an ever questioning child, into a hysterical kid. Your sense of humor and quick wit astounds me at times and often makes me laugh despite my better judgement.
– you are a loving little boy with a wide open heart.
– you still give me a great big hug when you come home from school.
– you are kind and gentle with babies and small children and I love to see you interact with them.
– you befriend those who otherwise would be friendless.
– your speckled face gives you an impish charm that is endearing.
– you’ve learned the joy of reading and you won’t drink the last sips of milk in the carton, an inherited trait. 🙂
– your heart is tender toward the Lord.
– you are my gift from God.
I’ve linked this post to Mylestones’ Flashback Friday. Go visit for more great stories.