When you waltz in to pregnancy (or crash - whatever your case might be), it's rare that a woman has pre read the What To Expect When You're Expecting series before the fact. Unless you're that goddamned woman. The one who pre plans everything perfectly that we all hate, because we want to be her and can't. There just aren't that many hours in any day. So naturally you end up with a lot of surprises; ones that sometimes don't come in the pages of a book, or perhaps do show up but are far, far more pronounced than you read.
What's worse is that you'll bring this up with your OB, and they'll just write it down and assure you you're some freakish percent of the norm and assure you nothing is wrong. Like, for real, this is normal and calm yourself; you've got a long road ahead.
Once of these lovely and repulsive things is your belly when it pops out. This is towards the end, of course, so you're already at the end of a long road of ridiculous horse shit and this is just some more icing on the cake. Because fatasses love icing anyway, so eat up you fat bastard.
Most first pregnancies you gain more weight than any other. Mostly because you're fooled into believing that your body is going to bounce back. Because that's what we see on the internet. And Pinterest (fuck you Pinterest). You buy the requisite stretch mark shea butter and eat guacamole and ice cream and that extra bite or two of a second cheat chili dog. No harm, right? Well tubby, if you've never been pregnant before, you're on a honeymoon. You've got no obligations. No children to herd and wrangle. No one who will flip a table if dinner gets consumed at 4pm or at 9pm. No one to answer to (unless your hubby/partner/boyfriend is hypoglycemic) to tell you to stick to any schedule. You just want to rest and do what your body tells you to do. Today, my body says that Berry Chantilly cake is a fucking AMAZING idea, and a 4"x4" slice is only $3.99. I can make the round trip AND eat in the car in 30 minutes over my lunch. Holy fucking shit; get in the car now, we're leaving.
Yes. This is most of us. The women who imagined ourselves to be Giselle Bundchen without the benefits of a personal pregnancy dietician, personal trainer, and chef. The ones who, like the bulk of the world, don't want to be bothered with diet plans when it's 1:30pm and 12 mini carrots with 2T of peanut butter have got to be fucking kidding me, that wouldn't feed an 18 month old.
So through the journey of your gestation, you're going to misjudge slightly the amount of food that you're cramming in your gob, and discover one of those days that your delightfully full and beautiful belly with be itching. Itching like that time in college when your roommate caught crabs and you were utterly SURE that you caught them just from hearing about them. When you peel back your floppy maternity top in a day or two, you're going to spot the faintest hints of angry, hateful squiggly lines that are now adorning your belly on either side, or underside, or crowning your flattening belly-button. And you're going to think "Oh shit, how did this happen?!" Your mind will recoil in horror as you tally up the times you've slathered your bouncing baby belly in weird creams you bought in Sprouts to combat stretching skin. How many times did you use them? Was it too little?
These areas that weren't able to provide that little extra give without completely busting out will be permanently prone to things like random bouts of itching. Irritation when you wear something too tight for too long. Generally being sensitive, depending on how wide the stretch marks are. It will be wonderful.
Around this time, which I'll refer to as the Point of No Return, you will likely experience what is called a "pop" with that enormous smuggled turkey you're hauling around. The one people keep rubbing everywhere you go, as though a fucking genie is going to pop out of. This is where your baby has grown so large that your uterus simply flop out to the outside of your pelvic bone. Mostly because, well, there's no room let IN you, otherwise you're going to have your spleen, gall bladder and large intestines popped like a water balloon that's grasp too tightly. I'm fairly sure that Mother Nature, in all her wisdom, saw that horror show coming and simply elected to allow the design to have you carry this watermelon at your front, like a horrifyingly large reverse marsupial.
Thanks mother nature. My spleen, unpopped, is very appreciative.
This brings me to the point of this 12 year long diatribe: The FUPA, or "fatty upper pubic area". This little overlooked area on your person is going to be holding the weight of this circus like Atlas is holding up the goddamned Earth on his shoulders. This poor, poor bastard is saddled with the crushing mass of your baby, placenta, and whatever else has managed to float out into your new frontal pouch. Having at some point, completely vacated your upper pelvic region, you might have discovered will introduce you to a new and wonderful low in your pregnancy: Panty line rash.
Yes. You read that right. Your goddamned underwear are going to irritate the underside of your watermelon so badly that you're going to think you caught body lice from the local swimming pool. To the point where you are going to find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to scratch it all to hell. And you'll probably justify getting up to pee while you're at it.
So here you'll be; trying to slather more oily anti-stretch-whatever trying to slow this process down. But, my friend, you'll be unable to stop it. Like a lonely goat standing in the way of a passing Amtrak train, you will be unable to halt the journey.
Here's where I think I have diverted from the tribe. This is basically a long, strange way of explaining how the human body makes space for the little people we grow and sprout, which is basically insane. If you look at a slice of a pregnant woman's body, you'd be positively flummoxed at how in the sam hell it all fits together without causing the mother to be fully incapacitated.
This last little cherry on top of my sundae was simply more than I could bear, to be honest. I had to relinquish sleeping peacefully for psychotically realistic dreams, ladled on a hefty amount of anxiety, insomnia, paranoia, bad moods, then got stripped of my ability to do any yoga because of back pain, then walking because of sciatic pain. Then walking at all because I am so mother fucking large I can't get anywhere. And now; there's this little gem. The rag of itches that I so desire to scratch, but for fear of actually opening up my skin with my nails, I have to figure out a way to ignore the urges.
And this, my friends, is how it came to pass that I quit wearing underwear.
Gross, I know. But hear me out: If your ass somehow, magically manages NOT to expand during a pregnancy and you can get away with just wearing the older, less-attractive cotton underwear you've got hanging around, and essentially allowing them to be sacrificed to the odyssey of your pregnancy, you'll be in better shape than some. Depending on how you carry, what weight you gain, and what shape you generally are, you might have to succumb to the glory of the Hanes™ high brief 3 pack. God help you if you do. I mean, seriously: Who the fuck decided that you only get one pair of black, a pair of nude, and a pair of white underwear? Why can't it be a 3 pack of black? Who still wears any white underwear?
These are all questions I need to put into a letter to Hanes customer service.
If you, like me, are carrying so low that your legs have been unable to have a gambol since about 6 months ago, then you're going to have some issues with how your normal underwear sit. Assuming you're like the general population, that is. You wear bikini-height drawers. Or even low top drawers, and still; that belly is going to rub that sharp little band around your pelvic line like your insane aunt Esther who lost her mind and but her pinkie toe off with a nail file before she had to be checked into the memory ward at the local Manor Care.
This is they point in which you additionally realize that the 6 adorable little sun dresses you own are no longer going to be wearable. This is because you're pulling a Kathleen Turner in the courtroom scene from Serial Mom. Remember that lack of contact your legs have had? Yeah. Why don't we NOT wear that short knee-length dress. Co-workers will be thrilled about this.
My alternative here is to yeild to that Hanes 3 pack of parachute pants in the white, nude, and black. Thusly allowing my underwater line to be displayed prominently about 1" below my belly button.
If this alternative is sub-acceptable, then you - like me, will find yourself in the perpetual, but low-level state of paranoia and fear. A fear that was instilled in you as a child by your parents when you attempted to go commando to 2nd grade because you didn't want to wear My Little Pony underwear, by your mom flat-out refused to allow you silk bikini's from JC Penney's. Your revolt was crushed with her inevitable discovery, and the look of disappointment and terror that overtook her face in the spectacle of your independent and bold strides towards future defiance.
The oppression of your discomfort will eventually cause you to break with this idea that your underwear-less choice will be revealed and mocked quietly within your office. That somehow everyone will just know that you've thrown down the imaginary chastity belt of your decorum and opted for comfort in its stead. Trust me; the only one who is going to know anything is amiss, is you. And it's going to sneak up on you in the realization that your very bare ass and bits are touching something not your drawers. It's going to freak you out so bad.