I sometimes forget that I’m pregnant because this pregnancy has gone so damn fast. With Archie, I had about 15 pregnancy tracker apps on my phone, baby name books, a colour-coded Excel spreadsheet of baby items I needed to get and a massive case of I’m The First Woman Ever To Be Pregnant, Ever.
This time around? Between work and the business and the podcast and the house and raising Archie, I don’t have the luxury of time to do daily prenatal yoga, research cloth nappies (ha!), read 7, 648 pregnancy books and write lengthly self-indulgent blog posts about the joys of pregnancy. This pregnancy has been more about playing Lego while doing my Kegels, feeding Archie sultanas to keep him quiet at midwife appointments and not even attempting to wear things that fit anymore.
Speaking of things fitting, this next baby, the one that has been growing inside of me for the past 25 weeks and will join our family in oh, about 15 weeks? It’s large. It is a large, healthy, tall bubba. Just like its big brother, dad, mum, uncles, aunts and great uncles. My people are not small people. We all sit around the six foot mark, some of us heading well north of that. None of us are what you would call petite, or narrow-framed, or dainty. The women in our family tend towards being child-bearing-hipped Amazons and the men are all built like solid brick walls. We are born to build and to breed (and to feed).
At my midwife appointment last week, our fabulous midwife told me that the baby is measuring big. Like, really big. This was not surprising as Archie was 4.5kg and loooong, and is still big for his age now, and my bump is currently larger than a family friend who is due the same time as me….with twins.
She suggested another scan at 30 weeks to see just how big it is and to check the dates are correct. But honestly? I don’t really know what to do with the knowledge that it is going to be another big one. Our midwife said that the birth will have to be managed and slowed down as much as possible to reduce the risk of tearing, but otherwise just to roll with it and continue with the intended birth: I go into labour, I push, baby comes out. That is what happened with Archie and that’s what I hope will happen this time, whether it is a dainty 3 kilo bub or another chubster.
It’s weird though, how many feelings I get around having big babies and big kids and being a big pregnant woman. I think it’s all tied into weight and body image issues. Society dictates that women, and to some extent, people generally, should only take up a minimal amount of space. Don’t be too fat or too heavy or too tall or too loud – don’t be too much of anything.
I get defensive and (depending on how hormonal I am) upset when people comment on how big I am. No woman ever wants to be described as big, even when she is nine and a half months pregnant and looks like Free Willy. The thought of my kids ever being teased or bullied for being big makes me shudder. Archie is still rocking a double chin and round belly and arm rolls at 20 months, but he is in proportion and the correct weight for his height. He is in the 95th percentile for height and weight and the 98th for head size. He eats like a horse, but very rarely has sugar or snacks or packaged anything. He is clearly one healthy little guy, so why am I so defensive about his size? Get over it, Clark.
I want to teach my kids the importance of standing up tall, literally and figuratively. I want them to be proud of themselves and their bodies. To move with grace and avoid the stoop of a tall person trying to be less conspicuous. And in life, to take up as much room as they possibly can, to expand their minds and hearts and purpose to fill the nooks and crannies in and around them. To be happy with their ability to see over everybody’s heads at concerts, and always to be considerate of the people standing behind them.