I’ve forgotten what not being pregnant feels like

Today marks six months of my body hosting the creature. Of course, that excludes the two weeks when she actually wasn’t there at all but that are just tacked on to the time scale to count from when my last period started. And then, it probably doesn’t fall into six calendar months either. I haven’t expended the energy working it out. Also, according to those who like to count months by four weeks, I hit the six-month mark two weeks ago. But in pregnancy calendar-ing, today at 26 weeks (half of the 52 that make up a year) I am well and truly at six months.

The moment the test turned positive (ok, tests – it took a while to sink in) doesn’t feel long ago at all. In another sense, I can barely remember what having a flat stomach or an unbroken night’s sleep feels like. It’s a bit like having the cold. I’m not calling pregnancy an illness. Relax. It’s natural, healthy…yes, all of that. But what I mean is, somewhere in the middle of a cold, you begin to think: “I can’t remember what it feels like to breathe through my nose normally.” And this is how it is.

Every week I forget something new. I’ve forgotten how I used to pull my Converse on while standing. Sitting comfortably on the floor is a distant memory. Actually, make that “sitting comfortably at all”. Seeing anywhere beneath my belly button without sitting or having a mirror, having an innie, being surprised by something moving independently of me under my skin – was there ever such a time?

These changes integrate themselves so easily that I don’t notice how rapidly they happen. Until I catch view of my bikini-clad body in the mirror at the swimming pool. Or until Laurence notices. Like last night. I was changing for bed when he wandered into the room. His eyes grew wide and he may have even gasped a little. For a moment I forgot the protrusion and assumed that he was thinking, “My wife is so sexy.” Then it clicked. He was thinking, “My wife is MASSIVE.” He insists that it was both. I’ll let him stick with that story.

In two weeks we’ll have officially hit the third trimester. The home stretch. Already, I’m looking forward to meeting the creature. But, as with a blocked up nose, I can’t imagine not being pregnant. Memory won’t help me.

Image: Ethan Lofton

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