One of the sexier things I’ve ever done is gone shopping for post-birth adult diapers. I really hope I got the good ones because it almost wasn’t worth trying to pretend I was totally cool with it while intensely browsing every type, and then trying to get even bulkier items to buy, like cat food and a broom, so the clerk would be so overwhelmed by my purchases she wouldn’t look at the diapers long enough for me to start rambling awkwardly while my chip card extended the wait at the counter. It was a big trip to the store. I had to arrange it a week ahead of time so I could do it alone and my children wouldn’t be like “WHY ARE WE GETTING DIAPERS FOR YOU!!!?? ARE YOU PEEING YOUR PANTS??!! in the super subtle voice they always use in the grocery store. I was a little horrified that someone who had clearly never been/met/thought about a woman who might have to wear diapers had designed a pair with a tiny pink bow on the front. Seriously. With that amount of situation around your situation, the pink color and the sad bow are really just adding insult to injury. But maybe I’m just not appreciating the effort to spice up the design. When I had my first child, our friends stopped by for a surprise visit the next day, and since my ability to judge what might be weird/inappropriate had been completely flattened by birthing a human, I had them come in to talk to me in the bed while I was only wearing a diaper. When they left I was like, “ Why was her husband so uptight?” and “Why wouldn’t he look me in the eyes?” and my husband had to say “Um babe you were only wearing a diaper…. and sometimes people feel weird about that.” And now I think, if I only had the diapers with the nice bow, that one detail could have really turned the whole situation around.
Luckily, getting diapers was easier to do this pregnancy because I transitioned more quickly into embracing the low standards people have for pregnant women. I think it really helped that I overheard my 3 year-old son telling someone at the playground that he was with me when I weighed myself and I was “40 a MILLION pounds.” On the plus side, he also admitted to the boy that he wished he had a “beard” like me. Because there is a serious shortage of extremely pregnant women out in the wild, to go to the gym 8 ½ months pregnant is to truly experience what it means when people have zero expectations for you. Even when I walk on the treadmill at 2.5 for 20 min. they say “you made it!” in a relieved/amazed way. Relieved, I believe genuinely, because they think I might deliver the baby on the gym floor if I overexert myself. More than once I’ve considered putting a Ziploc of water in my pants to pop and pretend my water broke, because everyone would be like, “I knew this was going to happen when I asked her if she was sure she wasn’t having twins.” Which people apparently never get tired of asking. It’s only slightly more awkward when they start asking you at 28 weeks and then you have to keep seeing them till the end of the pregnancy. There is a lady in the gym kid’s playroom who wants to say every time she’s surprised I haven’t had twin babies. I tried to give her fair warning and explain that I go late and I go big, but instead we have to talk about how enormously fat I am every time. It hasn’t been weird at all.
Despite knowing I would run into her every time, I made an honest effort to keep going to my gym classes until my groin gave out, and then I admitted it would never feel better and finally found my true people. I joined my 70 + peers that also attend the gym in the middle of the day for the 20/40/40 routine: 20 percent to “exercising,” 40 % steam room, and 40% socializing while getting dressed slowly sitting down. And it turns out we all have a lot in common: we all like to have a friend put lotion on our back, our swimsuits all have an ungodly amount of floral fabric, we share the same genuine interest in cats and gardening, and we’ve all had to choose between pale lavender and light pink diapers to wear under our huge white underwear. It’s good to be among friends.