So here’s the thing. With pretty much every pregnancy of mine, somewhere towards the middle to end I get the itchy feet. Not literally. I’m not over here hopping around with Athlete’s Foot or anything. I get antsy. Slowly, the physical things I can put myself through diminish. They become fewer and fewer until it’s all I can do to get out of bed and go through the motions. That’s the bitter end usually. As that starts to happen I start to develop delusions of grandeur. Usually this involves running. A 5K, 10K, marathon, whatever. As I dream of this, though, there is a voice in the back of my head reminding me “dude…you hate running.” I mean, it’s whispered but I can still hear it. Yes, it’s true, I hate running. I really want to like it, though.
This time, however, as I am a day away from being 18 weeks, the itch has begun but it’s not running I’m thinking of. Usually I don’t start to think of things I physically can’t do until…well, I physically can’t do them. There’s not really anything like that yet. Almost at the halfway mark and I’m still working out every week. Maybe not as many times as I was six months ago, but I’m still there doing Zumba and lifting weights.
People still can’t really tell that I’m pregnant, which is actually kind of disconcerting. I rant on this a good bit because I don’t really understand it. With all of my other pregnancies I started out weighing between 150 and 160, overweight by medical and statistical standards. I would gain very little weight, have an average size baby, and two weeks later weigh ten pounds less than I started. It was a great thing. My body seems to have the innate ability to use everything I have already in stock before it starts requiring outside inventory. Every other time, though, I was showing by now, and that’s even with having been overweight. My mother insists that I was not overweight, but I’m 5’4.” That is not tall enough to comfortably weigh 160 unless you can also bench press 160. I could not. Sorry, I was overweight. I’m ok with it, you should be, too.
A year ago I began recording my weight and measurements, started using MyFitnessPal to log what I was eating and keep track of the calories, and I started to lose weight. All it took was a conscious effort and it started happening. When I started doing that on August 19, 2011 I weighed 152. When I got pregnant in May of this year I weighed 132. Granted still ten pounds shy of my goal, but I’m not really sure even now what that might’ve looked like.
The point is I weighed about 20-30 pounds less than I usually do upon getting pregnant. I needed to prepare myself for what my body might be about to do. Surely, I wouldn’t gain such minimal weight this time around because there wasn’t excess laying around for my body to use. I figured I’d start gaining weight pretty early on and start showing a lot sooner, this being my fourth and all. Oh, life, you continue to teach me that I really don’t know crap.
I have kept recording my measurements every month and I let my doctor’s office watch my weight. As of my last week’s appointment I have gained 16.5 inches and LOST two pounds. WTF? If you understand that, then please explain it in the comments. So I’ve gotten bigger and yet I’ve lost weight. See why I’m so baffled? And to top it off, I still don’t need maternity clothes and most people have no idea that I’m pregnant. Though I believe I am now at the point where it looks like I’m just getting chubby. Everyone’s least favorite phase of pregnancy. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll be showing my Thanksgiving.
I know it sounds like I’m just bitching and that the women who gain 50 pounds would love to have my problem. I asked the doctor last week if my weight was anything to be concerned about. My weight has been the same up to last week where it dipped slightly. His answer made me recall that this guy is a hippie. He said he wasn’t worried and then he said he’d tell me the story of one of his favorite patients. He said that this woman got pregnant and started off not feeling well so she lost 70 pounds. Not 7, SEVENTY. He had to clarify that number. Meanwhile I didn’t think I had misheard him, I was just noting that she had seventy pounds to spare. He said then she started to feel better and she gained 140 pounds. So in my head I’m thinking, so she actually just gained 70 pounds total. He went on and said that you’d think that severe weight loss and then gain would have hurt the baby, but she had a perfectly healthy seven pound baby. So my inner monologue is commenting that she must’ve still had like sixty pounds to lose. I know that’s not why he told me that, but it’s just where my head goes. So clearly he’s not going to worry about my paltry little two pound weight loss. My body is totally efficient, perhaps a little too efficient, but it takes care of itself pretty much without my knowledge or consent.
I realize I’ve gotten off on quite the tangent here. I’ve written a post within a post. It’s postception. Enjoy your two for one blog entry!
My crazy thing I’m planning for my fourth and final pregnancy? Nope, it’s not running. It’s burlesque. Let me just clarify briefly here, that Cher-Christina Aguilera movie that came out a few years ago? That is not burlesque. That’s just a big flashy movie that people didn’t watch. Real burlesque roots go back to the turn of the century. Wait…two turns of the century? Not this last one, the one before. It has enjoyed a revival in the last twenty years thanks to entertainers like Dita Von Teese. Even if you don’t know burlesque, you know who Dita is.
Burlesque troops have sprung up in key places like Vegas, New York and Texas among others, resurrecting and reinventing burlesque. Sadly, Atlanta has not really taken up the call to burlesque. It’s not the hub that Austin or Dallas is, though it really could be. Burlesque is comedy, and music, and of course, girls. Have you got where I’m going with this yet?
I know that you’ve probably never even heard of someone saying that after they have their fourth child they’re going to embark on a career of scantily clad dancing. Don’t worry; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say it either. So I’m the first! Hard to equate this with running 26.2 miles, isn’t it? It’s challenging in so many more ways. Not only do you have to be in pretty good shape, you have to be creative, you have to dance, you have to have confidence, and most importantly you have to be able to accept your body. That’s the great thing about burlesque. Some of the best performers are not the rail thin, socially sought after forms. These are girls that have a little something to them, and their confidence in that makes them so much more awesome.
I know also that a lot of people are probably going to be terribly disenchanted and unhappy by my admission of what I want to do, maybe even disgusted. That’s ok. I’m not doing it for them. I’m doing it for me. Every (or at least most) mother knows what it’s like to have to put yourself last. Not because you want to, but because it’s what has got to be done. At my house, everyone eats before I even think about feeding myself. Kids, husband, whoever. Kids get clothes and shoes first. Necessities are first, wants are last, and Mommy’s wants are dead last. If we don’t do it, no one will. Trust me, too, when I say that I will not see my kids go hungry or cold just so that I can have those new giant ostrich feather fans. We have to put ourselves first sometimes, though. Do I intend to make this into a career? Only if it does it all by itself. I’m not about to slap on some pasties and go looking for an agent or anything.
I know this will probably be looked down upon, kinda like some people sneer at the people with a bunch of tattoos or multicolored hair. I do hope, though, that someone might be able to see this as a positive thing and encourage it.
Of course there’s always the chance that this is just something to content myself with while I’m pregnant. Heard about me running any marathons? Yeah, me neither.