Well, it's official-- I am huge. I've been bigger than I was at the same stage with Grace this whole time (which can be pretty common in second pregnancies) but in the past few weeks I feel like I've tipped over into some ludicrous phase of enormity. And I've finally started to get puffy and swollen now that I'm almost 36 weeks, which I have been lucky enough to avoid heretofore; my rings and shoes don't really fit and I feel like my facial features are these tiny things in a vast expanse of puffy face. I don't feel depressed about it, which is good; I would describe my feelings as astonishment and annoyance. Every morning when I wake up, I go to roll out of bed and the tug of gravity on the unfamiliar configuration of my body as I go upright comes as a shock, even though this morphing has come on gradually over weeks and months. My corporeal self has somehow held on to its sense of what is "normal" and dear reader, this is not it.
I remember after Grace's birth feeling so glad to not be pregnant anymore, among all the other intense, wonderful, scary things that were going on. So much of the swelling and extra fluid goes away SO FAST. And then by about 4-6 weeks postpartum my belly had shrunk enough that I was overwhelmed with a sense of being svelte and slim and something approaching my normal shape. I wasn't really, you understand, with my leftover tummy and giant boobs and all that; it was just that the transition between the state of my body at 41+ weeks pregnant when I had Grace and 4 weeks postpartum was so dramatic that I felt like a new person. I remember saying, "I feel so slim!" My mom was visiting at the time and I remember the look on her and Rob's faces-- there was kindness to the obviously batty postpartum lady but also disbelief. "That's great that you, um, feel that way." I had objective evidence that I wasn't slim since none of my clothes yet fit but it was such an overwhelming relief, to my back and hips and psyche.
And I did lose weight pretty quickly after Grace, which was wonderful. Sadly, I then squandered the precious gift of breastfeeding weight loss by gaining weight as she weaned, leaving me 15-20 pounds heavier at the start of this pregnancy than with Grace. On the other hand, I'm going to end up gaining something within the recommended 25-35 pounds this time around, in contrast with the 50+ pounds I gained with Grace, so I'll probably start off the postpartum physical transformation at about the same place weight-wise as I did last time around. I currently feel very motivated to not make the same mistake of weaning weight gain twice, for the sake of my health and jeans and sense of myself.
In banana pepper news, our count now stands at 11/30 after I made stuffed peppers a couple of nights ago for dinner. I think of banana peppers as more Italian than Latin American so I used some marinara sauce I made a while back that was in the freezer and stuffed them with soubise (French, not Italian, but you know, whatever...). It was the first time I made soubise, and it was SO DELICIOUS in a creamy/starchy/savory way; I highly recommend it if your cravings happen to veer that way. It was weird to cook rice with no added liquid. So now I am down to less than a dozen of these things. I am tempted to throw them into all the things I'm cooking for Thanksgiving dinner over at my parents' house. Pumpkin pie with banana peppers, anyone?
And in hair news, I have suddenly turned on my pink hair. A mere week ago, I was waxing melancholy about perhaps going back to brown for practical new-baby considerations but my feelings are now quite the opposite and I feel weary of the pinkness. What can I say? I can be a fickle creature. Hair color is certainly not a terrible thing to be fickle about, you must admit, and I did last a good 3 months with this. I am contemplating doing away with the pink in the next few weeks, if the baby does not beat me to the punch by arriving in the meantime.
(In an effort at full disclosure, that picture is from my first pregnancy at about 37 weeks, not this one. I can't see my feet at all now.)