When I was pregnant with my first child, I lucked out with a November due date. In the height of summer, I had a tiny bump that was concealable under a kaftan and super cute in a two-piece. This time, I’ve got a 2-year-old in tow and I’m due in the middle of August. Meaning I’ve been absolutely huge since the middle of May, and my swimsuit isn’t exactly my best friend right now.
Ironically, though, the number-one activity my doctor recommended for the summer months was swimming. Not only can the water work to lessen swelling to the extremities, but swimming is great exercise with no impact on the joints. Sounds like a win-win! But it feels like anything but when you’re lugging an extra 25 pounds of human on your front, plus another kid, and all your stuff, to the pool. Here are all the things I’m thinking on the way there. Sound familar?
1. What the hell am I going to wear?
If you have ever tried to pee while wearing a one-piece maternity swimsuit, you are a hero. This pathetically constructed suction chamber of fabric somehow manages to take the extra flesh we have going on everywhere and make it feel about ten times, ya know, fleshier, every time you pull it on and off. Bikinis look adorable on skinny preggos with pert little bumps, but this time around I feel like I’ve gained all over. The bikini usually wins as it’s easier for bathroom trips, but I’m never thrilled with it.
2. Do I even own a cover-up huge enough to cover all this up?
Okay, a suit has been selected from the pile of rejects. Now, what on earth am I going to put over it that will make me look and feel less scary as I sit there, enormous and sweaty, watching the kids swim and trying to decide whether or not I really want to get in?!
3. Oh crap, my flip-flops are too tight. Again.
…As she shoves her massive feet into her husband’s sandals and waddles out the door.
4. Does sitting in the shallow end count as hydration?
Not only is drinking water a complete chore, but lugging it around sucks. Especially when you have to keep it cold because really, what pregnant lady can even think about taking a sip of tepid water (cue the gag reflex!)?
5. Does this hat make my bump look big?
Accessories are the name of the pregnant pool game, but hiding under a big old hat can sometimes make me feel like even more of a spectacle than I already am. It’s like a big old bullseye: Hey, everyone, check out that huge woman and her even huger hat!
6. Will I have enough to eat?
I swear this baby eats more than I do — summer heat doesn’t deter this hungry preggo from frequent snacks. The little June Cleaver in me is always tempted to cut up grapes, make finger sandwiches and healthy wraps, and load up lunch boxes with light, nutritious fare before we head to the pool. The pregnant woman who overrides June Cleaver 90 percent of the time buys fries and a soda from the pool concession stand.
7. Can I hire someone to pack all this junk in my car?
Every mom loathes packing up a pile of towels, water shoes, floaties, snacks, and chairs into the car. But pregnant moms literally freeze up in the doorway as we look down at all our crap and then glance back and forth between our mom-cars and our piles. Am I really cut out for this? The doctor did say I shouldn’t be lifting too much…
8. Are we really doing this?
We’re in the car. Everything is packed up and ready to go. Sunscreen is on, and so is some sort of swimwear. And yet I sit there for a moment, key in the ignition, willing my phone to ring so someone, somewhere, can give me a really good reason not to go. I mean, we have a kiddie pool in the backyard. That counts for something, right?
9. Any chance the toddler will actually chill today?
Every time we leave the house, especially for the pool, I say a silent prayer that my toddler will keep it together and act like a somewhat decent human. After all, relying on swollen feet to chase her across a slick surface is pretty much my worst summer pregnancy fear.