“Do you feel different this time?”
That’s the question I get most often from well-meaning strangers, as they steal a less-than-subtle glance at my baby bump, which is definitely NOT a baby bump. It’s just the result of gas and too many chips.
What a loaded question. The biggest difference I’ve been able to surmise so far in my 10th week of pregnancy is that I’m no longer a contributing member of society. I routinely forget everything, from brushing my teeth before I leave in the morning to packing my kids’ lunches. I recently signed a check to my babysitter, “Nicole Thornton,” which isn’t remotely her name. I don’t know anybody named Nicole Thornton. But Nicole is my middle name, and Thornton is my maiden name. So now I’m just making stuff up.
I have noticed that this third time around, my body has no fight left. As soon as those pregnancy hormones were unleashed like a horde of dirty gladiators, all systems decided it was time to throw in the towel. Hence, my traitorous abs dropped their guard without hesitation, my bellybutton immediately disappeared, and the bags under my eyes promptly gained 10 pounds.
And then there is the debilitating exhaustion. I made the tiny mistake of sitting down on the floor to play with the kids for five minutes, and I passed out on the Mickey Mouse couch, only to be awakened by the distant sounds of a vacuum cleaner. Turns out my ambitious smaller small child had finally realized his dream of shredding all the cotton balls on my bathroom counter, and my sympathetic larger small child thought he would be useful and tidy up the place.
And you know what? I may or may not have just gone back to sleep. Because … survival mode.
Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and mother of two boys.