Dear Pregnant Derby Girl:
Much like roller derby, you probably approached motherhood as something you’d seen before, mostly on TV or the movies, and you felt like you’d be pretty good at it. It does look like fun.
But then you went and did it and just like during your first week of roller derby, you’re thinking, “WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS? IT IS HARD AND THERE’S ALL THIS PAIN. LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY BODY OH MY GOD ARE THERE DRUGS I CAN TAKE?”
The good news is that because of roller derby, you’re already used to thinking of your body as something other than just your “self.” You know what it’s like to have donated your entire life to a higher calling, a greater good. This prepares you well for both pregnancy and delivery, and eventually for motherhood itself.
You are already used to people – sometimes strangers – poking you, pushing you, touching your boobs and your butt. You don’t even blink when someone puts a hand between your legs and moves you to the side. Weird bruises don’t faze you, neither does blood coming from parts of you that don’t normally bleed like that. You go to the doctor more often than most people. You know it’s just a matter of time before you rip open something important. But this time, girl, that thing you’re ripping open will be your taint.
How’s everybody enjoying their holiday season? Already had a few teary fights and regrets? Having a lot of life-altering meditations and heart-to-hearts? Thinking about your life and what has happened to it? Determined to be able to see your feet again by this time next year? I hear ya, friend. I lift my non-alcoholic beer to you in solidarity.
I’m entering the final stretch of a very long period of time that has been my Visibly Pregnant season. It is exhausting — not just because of how pregnant I am — but because it has brought out in full force the You Should Be’s.
[AUDIO NOTE: I performed this piece this past weekend at Anna David's True Tales of Lust and Love (also starring Melissa Villasenor, Morgan Walsh, and Claire Titelman.) I highly recommend listening to this tale in all its mortifying glory -- it's better with the sound of an audience screech-laughing in horror. Here's the link to the recording of the show. (On iTunes here in the 11/12 show.) I'm the third story.]
[WARNING: This story is not for the squeamish.]
So I’m super pregnant. And with that comes all these horrible things. Like, I can’t feel my fingertips – haven’t been able to in weeks. It’s carpal tunnel, it apparently happens to pregnant women, and it’s shitty. My gums bleed when I brush my teeth, I’ve lost all the hair on my arms, I am down to one position in bed where I can sleep without my legs going numb, I’ve got this cold I’m not allowed to take anything for other than hot baths and pity parties, and there’s a parasite that lives inside of me that absorbs all of my nutrients. Or as my El Salvadorian housekeeper likes to say: “Your baby is stealing your beauty.”
* When I’m in a public restroom and a lady comes out of the stall, I really want to stop saying “Thank you” to her when I pass her on my way in. And I mean, I really thank her in a genuine way, every time. There is no need for this thank you. It’s not like I was about to pee my pants. If anything, all it does is draw attention to the fact that I’m about to use the toilet she just finished using. I will be in her “pee space,” as the mother of an ex-boyfriend of mine used to say when she’d scold him for using the bathroom before I did.
That has also stayed in my head forever, so I will now share it with you. She said when boys pee they stand in front of the toilet, and there’s a “stream of pee space” that is created that is exactly where my head goes when I sit down to pee right after him.
* I need to work on not being so obsessed with the pee space.
I’ve mentioned before, but probably not on pamie.com, that I watch Kathie Lee and Hoda most mornings. That’s not exactly true — I have it on while I’m working. Depending on which part of the house I choose to work from that day (couch if I’m feeling frustrated, desk if I’m feeling self-punishey), I will let the TV do its thing from The Today Show all the way to that silly fourth hour of booze and constant chit-chattering. It makes me feel like I’m at an office, stuck in a corporate job I can’t stand, and I’ve got Kathie Lee and Hoda at the next cube going on and on and on about a movie one liked that the other didn’t that starred an actor whose name they can’t remember, or they’re ranting about a young starlet whose behavior they don’t understand, or sometimes — unfortunately — Kathie Lee’s talking about her sex life with her husband. But they really do make me feel better about my drinking, as most days I wait until at least after two to drink as much as these two sloshy ladies
These boots you helped me find, both are going back.
The Frye “banana” is really more of a tan, and might work if I popped it with a crazy red or that blue you were coveting. That being said, it fits like a galosh, and is really pooling around my ankles. The Madewell boots are extremely tight at the top of my calf, making me look like I’ve got muffin top legs, and pool so much around the ankles I appear to be melting.
sadness. diving back in.
Yesterday I made a list of people I needed to call to schedule appointments. At the top of the list: allergist. Mom called yesterday morning and said, “Have you seen the wheat doctor yet? I really want you to be able to eat bread again.” I think the next time I come to town, she’d like to be able to serve “normal food” again. It’s very difficult to eat like a proper Polish girl without pierogies. Also, I don’t like life as much without pierogies.
I’m covered in bruises.
Not little tiny ones, but the kind where people grab my wrist and go, “Oh, my God. What happened to you?” It started with just a couple, but now there’s a rather large one on the inside of my left elbow that’s getting uglier every day, and one on top of my left forearm that actually hurts. This morning stee pointed out little ones along the back of my left arm. There’s a scratch on the inside of my right arm. I don’t know where it came from.
I’m early for a meeting, and there’s wireless here. Yesterday I had a 9:00 meeting on the other side of town, which meant I left at 7:30 and still was a few minutes late. This morning I have an 8:00 meeting, so I left the house at 6:30.
I’m here almost a full hour early.
I’ve just been incredibly busy.
I could write about my current work schedule, and the different jobs I’m juggling concurrently in books, television and film, and have a deep discussion about trying to have it all in a town where you’re never done trying to have it all while trying to keep some semblance of a personal life intact.