When I found out I was pregnant, it goes without saying that I was excited. And of course I wondered about the demon spawn in my belly. Would it be a mini-me or a mini-Mike? But I also dreamed about the maternity clothes (I know, weird, right?) and the changes my body would go through. I always wanted to see how big I’d get, how much weight I’d gain, how different I’d look.

Things didn’t quite work out that way for me.

When my water broke and I was forced to go on bed rest, my stomach had JUST popped. Very few people in my office knew I was pregnant. Literally – my sudden disappearance prompted many emails from coworkers who feared I’d been fired. I was only nineteen weeks pregnant. I took this picture 36 hours before my water broke.

Football shirt

Sidebar – this shirt made me so popular with USC tailgaters that they were all offering me drinks – usually beer. Obviously they bought their way into college.

After that weekend, my stomach size went way down. I looked smaller than I did BEFORE I was pregnant. It’s funny what some amniotic fluid can do. Unfortunately, I only managed one other true belly picture after that – it was taken on my way to my weekly checkup.

Twenty Six Weeks

I entered the hospital the next day, and had Maddie three weeks later. It makes me sad that I only have a few pictures of my belly. My mom has very few pictures of when she was pregnant with my brother and me, and I always wanted to have more photos of myself for my future children. Oh well. What are you gonna do?

I have a few friends who’ve had babies in the last couple months, and another friend who is due on election day. I don’t want to corner them and make their pregnancies about me, but if I could I would say, “what’s it like?!?!” I want to know all the good and the bad. What’s it like to feel a foot in your ribs? How is that whole swollen legs and ankles thing? Is it true that you actually have a crazy urge to clean? What’s it like to go into labor?!?!?!

Maddie missed out on the last eleven weeks of her development, but selfishly, I missed out on the last twenty weeks of being pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant at my baby shower. My big belly never got me a table at a restaurant. I was never huge, GET THIS BABY OUT pregnant. What’s that like? I don’t know if I’ll ever experience it. When I think about it, I’m wistful. What did I miss?