Monday, September 12, 2011

Taken Over By Alien Lifeforms

My conference was delightful. I flew out from Seattle to enjoy the company of 2000 individuals consisting of friends, associates, and colleagues who literally showered me in kindness and goodwill. Even strangers had something kind and wonderful to say. It was a week full of generosity and cheer. My lecture went reasonably well, minus the fact that it was on Saturday, and by then I had overextended my lady lumptious self.

What a strange feeling, indeed, to be taken over by alien lifeforms, tiny creatures dwelling inside of you, kicking and pushing as you watch your body moving through no force of your own. Sometimes you reach down and feel something hard pushing against your skin... a head? a tiny bum, perhaps? Thump, thump, thump. They remind me that they are here and growing (they'll double in size over the next few weeks!). Those maternity pants that fit last week are tight across the belly, despite the "comfort panel," and that shirt that once looked like a tent now fits perfectly over your swollen belly. 

Alien life forms also make you do things that you never thought you would do, like walk very slowly, and buy "Shape-ups" shoes because that extra weight is just too much for your little feet. Aliens make you request a wheelchair at the airport because the hurried 5K walk to the next terminal in O'Hare will bring on contractions. You drop things on the ground and leave them there because it just isn't worth that five dollar bill to bend over and pick it back up. You ask other people to lift your luggage into the overhead bin on the plane, and you willingly let your petite girlfriend haul your luggage AND hers up two flights of stairs and thank her profusely for doing so! 

Aliens also make your eyesight worse, and you are truly grateful when the party favor at the conference banquet is a magnifying glass so you can read the small print on your credit cards again. Aliens not only make you grow two bladders (one that needs emptying now and the other ten minutes from now), but your feet swell like balloons when you attempt to stand too long. This requires that you willingly accept when your friends stand to offer your FEET a chair. Did I mention how nice everyone is?

It's getting easier to accept help, something I never thought I would see myself do in a million years. Independence and provident living runs deep in my veins. Although I have been quoted on many occasions to say, "Give generously and accept graciously," self-sufficiency is the unspoken, unwritten law that governs my actions. Oddly, people seem more than happy to help, even if I seem reticent to ask or accept.  

I was once inspired by the women who were prego and running races, working as a doctor until the day she gave birth, but now, don't even tell me about it. I don't want to hear about that woman. I thought she would be me, but she isn't, and while I am going through mourning accepting that fact, I am also starting to figure out that growing babies, just plain GROWING BABIES is a lot more work than I ever knew. Gestation is a full course meal on its own, so here's to my own little race, growing girls in my own little incubator, and everything else is, well, an extra side dish.

What's on the menu for tonight? Our first birthing classes! C is SO excited (at least he is trying to pretend he is). Neither of us are very thrilled about 2 1/2 hours of sitting, but it's all part of the job. 

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