the BIGtime

I’ve realized, while pregnant, that people really have no frame of reference for what pregnant bodies are supposed to look like. Every woman carries her pregnancy differently, every woman gains weight in different amounts and in different places, and as a result, even those who have been pregnant or have experienced a pregnancy up close have no idea what we’re “supposed” to look like at various stages along the way. Perhaps because there’s no “supposed” and we’re all special pregnant snowflakes. Anyway, I say all this because to everyone I meet I am either ginormous or way too tiny to be carrying twins.

Here’s the real facts: I’m 7 months pregnant, I have gained about 30 pounds (which my doctor is very pleased with), and I’m officially measuring about as big as I would be at full term with a singleton. And I still have two months to go.

Though lots of folks still tell me how tiny I am and are amazed that I really “have two in there,” I’m starting to feel the effects of carrying around all this weight all the time. Basically, as I have tearfully told Jon more than a couple of times lately, I hurt somewhere all the time. If it’s not my ribs from the weight of two baby heads, it’s now muscular pain in my back so bad I can barely walk from my living room, where I spend a lot of time snuggled with a heating pad, to my kitchen. I get short of breath easily, and any sort of movement is enough to trigger Braxton Hicks contractions, which, while not exactly painful, are definitely uncomfortable. Oh, and the only thing I’m allowed to take for all this pain is a couple of Tylenol. Fun times.

I’m glad I’m not experiencing pre-term labor. I’m happy to let the babies cook as long as they need to. But I can’t lie and say I’m enjoying this part. It’s harder than I thought it would be and I’m kind of over it.

Which is why I was particularly happy that my marvelously talented friend Christen Byrd took some gorgeous maternity photos for us. I got them back this weekend, and they made me feel pretty at a time when I pretty much feel awful. You can see more of the photos on her site, and if you’re local, I HIGHLY recommend you let her “shoot” you sometime– wedding, maternity, engagement, family, newborn, whatever. She will make you feel great, she will make you smile real smiles, and you will not be disappointed.

BELLY! Photo by the wonderful Christen Byrd.