It was my 21st birthday.
Typically, this is a relatively exciting birthday. Is there really anything exciting after 21?
I haven’t seen many Facebook photos of party buses crammed with twenty-somethings dressed in next-to-nothing holding up a bottle (or box) of something that were celebrating, let’s say a 23rd birthday. No one cares about 23.
I had big plans for my 21st. I was going to Sin City. Yes, it was for a journalism conference, but I was still going nonetheless.
Well, as it turned out I was not going. There are apparently all sorts of problems for pregnant women who decide to fly.
So, I spent the miserable, rainy and cold Monday in bed, catching up on the endless mountain of stories that screamed, “It’s your birthday. So what? You’re pregnant. Here’s more!”
Here is a good time to point out that people do actually care. Lots of people. Lots of former pregnant women really, really care. It seemed like my swollen middle was an open invitation for lots of touching and intrusive conversation.
Just trying to order a cup of decaf (sigh) coffee at Dunkin Donuts involved being groped by the woman in front of me who couldn’t seem to get the words out fast enough, “Oooohhh, when are you due!?”
This was inevitably followed by how much weight she had gained, where she delivered and, of course, the gory details of her labor. Thanks for sharing, and manhandling me.
So I had a fairly normal birthday void of champagne and/or vodka martinis. So what?
Well, this was when my insanity that had followed me through my first trimester reappeared. Poor Ed.
“Sensitive” and “emotional” are really rather lame descriptions to capture the essence of my mood swings at this special time. There is no viable comparison between “that time of the month” and a pregnant girl who finds most foods disgusting, who is running to the bathroom about four times an hour and who is gaining weight with no end in sight.
It’s sometimes said that men gain sympathy weight as the mothers of their children progress through their pregnancy. I’m sure this makes those lucky women feel less disgusting and unattractive.
Well, the more weight Ed lost from the police academy, the more weight I gained. Again I’ll say: poor Ed. Though he couldn’t help matters, I secretly wanted to feed him those bars Lindsay Lohan fed Rachel McAdams in “Mean Girls”.
I was so cranky that it became almost funny, kind of like when a toddler swears.
This was when I usually consulted “What to Expect” to make myself feel better about the symptoms I was, fortunately, not experiencing. I was privileged enough to not experience midnight leg cramps, swollen ankles or rectal bleeding. Phew!
Though, I did develop classic placenta brain. I was throwing my washcloths into the garbage instead of the hamper and I was printing out assignments and never actually taking them with me to school.
And, at times, I was very tempted not to even venture outdoors out of frustration of having nothing presentable to wear. Clothes would cover my T.V., bookshelf and desk after a fit of dress-up gone terribly wrong, almost always leading to collapsing onto my bed, burying my face in my pillows and screaming.
At least I looked pregnant and not just fat anymore.
And so, I became a twenty-something that slept with a Boppy and wore maternity clothes, which are something I never in my life thought I would come in contact with.
Hey, it wasn’t what I had planned for 21. And it surely was not Vegas, but it was better.