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I just found out a friend of mine is pregnant, and due roughly the same time of year I had Madeleine.  There I was sighing over my maternity clothes a couple days ago, and now I have an excuse to crack open the box and go through them!  I’m very excited they’ll be put to use again, and love having the chance to go through another pregnancy with a friend; just talking with her today brought back a lot of fond memories of my own pregnancy.
So fond, in fact, that I began to think that my hindsight had a bit of a rose-colored tint to it.  Was my pregnancy really that fun and trouble-free?  Did I truly enjoy every minute of it?  Or is this a case of mommy amnesia kicking in to sucker me into saying, “Gosh, it wasn’t that bad; let’s have another right now!”

Fortunately for me (and unfortunately for the mommy amnesia thing), I’ve got a journal I kept of my first trimester: my pregnancy reflection, coupled with my earlier reminiscing over my maternity clothes, prompted me to dig it out and compare my recollection with the facts.  Reading through it, I came across the week that my clothes really stopped fitting (remember my description of the corduroy?) and juice almost came out my nose as I read it.  Laying myself open for everyone to see, here’s an excerpt I like to call “Hormones Gone Amuck, Or, How Jennifer Panicked and Took Brian With Her, Poor Guy.”

Week 8, Wednesday:

I’m in the bathroom brushing my teeth, and I wince because my jeans are again cutting into my abdomen.

Brian:  “What’s wrong?”

Me:  “These jeans are really uncomfortable, but I can’t wear my new ones because they’re not hemmed yet and I don’t have anything else.”

Brian:  “Why don’t you just wear sweatpants out?  You can wear a pair of mine.  They’re sure to fit with that big elastic waistband.”


I don’t think men understand that sweatpants are, to a woman, a clear symbol:  of giving up, of owning 20 cats, of eating 5 pints of Ben and Jerry’s a day, of being way too hopeless of a case to make an effort at looking good.  I’m not ready to surrender!  I’m only 8 weeks pregnant!! 

I take a breath.  I will not kill my husband for calling me hopeless.  I will not kill my husband for calling me hopeless.

“Brian – just for the record?  Please don’t ever suggest sweatpants again.  To a woman,

that says, ‘It’s hopeless. Time to give up and start watching the soap network.’  You have never seen me out in public in sweats unless it’s to rake leaves or pick up some antibiotics in the midst of a week-long sickness and hopefully you never will.  I know that’s probably not what you meant by your suggestion, I’m sure you were simply trying to be helpful; but this is a really sensitive time for me and I need your help in it.” 

Stung, Brian replied, “I’m not suggesting you should give up!  I just thought that since you teach all day in sweatpants, you could wear them to and from as well.  Lots of people wear them out on the street; it’s very trendy sometimes!” 

Now a light dawns.  “You mean, workout clothes?  Like Adidas pants with the stripes down the side?”

“Yes,” Brian replies impatiently.  “Workout clothes, sweatpants, whatever you call it.”
So that’s one of the overriding themes this week; Jennifer’s cycling into despair over her body, and Brian’s saying the wrong things that Jennifer gleefully interprets in the worst possible way.  And we’re only at week eight.  Whoopee!  Laissez les bon temps roulettes!
When I called my girlfriend Renee and told her the story, looking for sympathy, she clucked kindly then said,  “Oh, Brian.  Do you want me to talk to him, straighten him out and explain the red flag words?”  Grateful she’d do that for me, I turned her down, knowing it’s up to me to keep Brian in the loop and that I need to give him more of the benefit of the doubt.  He’s a good guy, and he’s trying hard to be sympathetic.



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