I found out I was expecting for the first time on April 1. Because we'd only started trying that January, I thought it was a joke -- a classic April Fool's Day "Gotcha!" How I knew it was for real? A deep, driving hunger that only a bagel with butter could satisfy. Fast-forward two Aprils, and we had another baby on the way. This time I was excited -- and panicked -- over the thought of juggling two under 2. Ha! I can laugh now: A couple of years later, my husband and I were trying-but-not-really-trying when I found out I was pregnant again -- with identical triplets!
It dawned on me that you don't need to be pregnant with multiples to experience the multiple personalities of pregnancy (I remembered Hungry Hannah and Mood Swing Molly from my first go-rounds.). I'd like to introduce you to the gals I met over my preggo days. Perhaps you'll see your alter-ego on this list.
Prides herself on keeping the cupboards -- and her growing tummy -- full. Fritos, frozen pizza, and root beer floats -- nothing is off-limits. She approaches the last months of pregnancy like the last days of disco. The world is her oyster, and she's not afraid to eat it. What she craves most are the forbidden fruits of pregnancy: sushi and soft cheese. She makes do with safe comfort foods: buttered bagels and pasta, served with a side of ice cream for good measure. And good girth!
Mood Swing Molly
Has mixed emotions about pregnancy, the changes to her body, and the impending shifts in her life. One minute she feels blobby and the next just fabulous. Today she wants to paint the nursery yellow; tomorrow it must be green. She's on top of the world, then down in the dumps. Husbands, beware: She can go from "I love you" to "I hate you" while getting dressed for work. She would like you to take her out to dinner, but wait -- now she wants to eat Chinese food on the couch. In her fat pants.
Wendy the Worrywart
Spends her days (and sleepless nights) wondering what if...I was already pregnant that night I downed three margaritas? There was Listeria on the turkey sandwich I polished off for lunch? I can't get comfy snoozing on my left side? My water breaks at work? I don't make it to the hospital in time? There's something wrong with the baby? There's something wrong with me? I can't breastfeed? I can't change a diaper? We can't afford college? I turn out to be just like my mother?!
Typically shows up to organize the linen closet or the Tupperware drawer at 3 a.m. Takes nesting to a new extreme. Can fold bodysuits into handkerchief squares. Has been known to caulk the tub at midnight because "it had to be done!" Stockpiles gifts, just in case. Stockpiles groceries, just in case. Has amassed enough provisions that the dog has birthday presents for the next five years, and her canned goods could sustain a village through a nuclear attack. Caveat: She is prone to hormonal surges, known to be violent, and should be approached with caution.
Felicia the Forgetful
Can't remember where she parked the car. Occasionally leaves the house with the door open. Not unlocked. Wide open. Struggles on occasion to recall her address and phone number. Wrestles daily with remembering the names of neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Is suddenly challenged by second-grade math. Frequently finds herself in the basement wondering why she went down there in the first place. At the supermarket (for Hannah, of course) with an overflowing cart, she once realized that her wallet was at home. On the upside, the door was wide open, which simplified one step in retrieving it.
Poor Clara. She finds getting around in her growing body more challenging than driving an oversize rental car. She has no sense of her own circumference and is perpetually bumping into things: kitchen counters, random furniture, even the occasional unsuspecting bystander. When that Buddha belly rounds the corner, anything can happen, and often does. Clara is prone to stumbling off curbs and down steps. She is a menace, especially when behind the wheel. This accident-prone mama should navigate the world slowly and carefully (both in and out of moving vehicles), preferably in a helmet and kneepads.
Some might call her a sap, but Suzie just loves a good cry. Her tear ducts well up several times a day at the most mundane provocation. A Hallmark commercial. Children playing at the park. A colleague's compliment. An elderly couple holding hands. Sunrise. Sunset. A perfect peach. She should avoid chick flicks at all costs.
You know those weekly Parents.com updates? Ingrid would like one daily. In fact, make it hourly. "What's going on in there?" is her eternal question in her unquenchable thirst for knowledge. She memorized What to Expect When Expecting and has loaded every baby app there is on her smartphone. Was that the flutter of a little foot she felt, or just gas? Ingrid will get to the bottom of it, most likely in one of the 20 new-mom chat rooms she's already joined.
This soulful mom-to-be has spent her life yearning for this very moment. She's bowled over by her body's achievements and is happy to share the wonder of it all with you, including: how alive and beautiful she feels with another being growing inside her. What a miracle it is to create a new life. How, when, and where she believes this new life was conceived. Brit just loves to broadcast what's on her mind and feels damn good about her body. She has no clue that her formerly sexy strut has turned into an uncomfortably awkward waddle. She was born to make babies and thinks pregnancy and skinny jeans go together very nicely, thank you very much.
Tends to keep the rest of the ladies in check. She takes the ups and downs of pregnancy in stride. She's nervous about motherhood but confident in her marriage and herself. She doesn't exactly revel in her cankles, sore back, and sleepless nights, but finds comfort in knowing that it's temporary and at the end, she'll have a bundle of joy to call her own and a bond to last a lifetime.
By Kerry Lyons
Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.