The Muumuu Threshold

There were several moments yesterday when I was convinced I was hearing things.  Reminiscent of ‘Horton Hears a Who,’ I swore I heard a faint cry of distress. Carefully sitting still, closing my eyes, and holding my breath, I was able to discern the mysterious sound.  Turns out, if you are just quiet enough, you’ll hear my pants whimpering, “Uncleeeeee!!”

There comes a point in every pregnancy – errr, at least in mine – I have begrudgingly designated the Muumuu threshold.  This dreaded juncture marks a moment in which even the coziest of elasticized, forgiving maternity clothing begins to feel constrictive, uncomfortable and even indecent.  The burgeoning belly I don grows at an unprecedented, uncontrollable and remarkable rate.   It is at this time when a muumuu – the glamorous, loose-fitting, underappreciated gown – would be held in the highest esteem.  Although I have made the mistake of not purchasing this enviable garment for myself not once, but TWICE, I find myself daydreaming of a Polynesian-themed drapery that wouldn’t cling to all the wrong places of my pregnant physique.

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Now THIS is a party I wouldn’t wanna miss!!

Because there is, thankfully, only a short time left until baby boy’s arrival, I refuse to purchase any larger maternity wear.  The thought has crossed my mind of simply cutting holes in XL garbage bags or seeking out a gently used circus tent to dress me for the remaining days of this pregnancy.  While the countdown is shortening, it is still plenty of time during which I am expected to display some reasonable garb.  Given the extremely cold weather and conventional societal standards, it would be in my – and everybody’s – best interest to stay clothed, regardless of the selected attire.

My husband graciously offered, and has likely since regretted the gesture, to share his clothing.  I fear the watermelon that overtaketh my waist has stretched out his already limited wardrobe.  Even now, his extra-long t-shirts that hang loosely on his much taller frame seemingly cut off the circulation at my midriff.  The normally ginormous tee seems to have turned into a preteen halter-top overnight.  Despite the generous  “extra long” description, I recently noticed a draft on my underbelly anytime I lift my arms above…well…my sides.

Despite the name, clothing is actually the least of my concerns upon reaching the Muumuu threshold.  After all, I hardly leave the house these days, and even if I did, I wouldn’t feel obligated to dazzle the masses while pumping gas or running last-minute, pre-baby, mostly mundane errands. The name provides more of a general term for the challenges that us preggos endure at the 9 month-ish mark of being a human incubator (or maybe it’s just me, but just nod and agree empathetically because I’m huge and hormonal and I will eat all your food if you refute my complaints…ok?).   Here are a few obstacles that accompany the grand finale of pregnancy:

*The inability to touch your toes.

Or see them, for that matter.

At the end of my pregnancy with Hazel, I asked Nathan to paint my toenails for me.  He refused.  He said or implied something along the lines of, “What’s the point?”  I (sort of) jokingly threatened annulment, because that’s how any loving, sensible wife would appropriately reply.  But I thought about it further and decided to let his blasé attitude toward my piggies go (mostly) unscathed.  After all, I am pregnant and delivering both babies in the middle of winter.  There are no flip-flops adorning these Flintstone feet.  With a belly that deserves its own zip code, even if I were wearing sandals, who would defer their eyes from my shapely figure and notice my feet?  They are covered 90% of the time with wool socks and winter boots anyway, and so, what IS the point of taking the effort to throw on some unnecessary color?  Well, I’ll tell you what the point is.  The point is I want something going for me in this charade.  I mean…when my pasty, puffy, blotchy, preggo self is splayed across a surgical table – naked – in front of several health professionals as they are prepping me for my c-section, I want them to notice my toes and think to themselves maybe I don’t resemble livestock, and have it together after all!

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Like “Nessie” or a yeti, I’m beginning to question the existence of these things.

*Cannot fit comfortably at the dining room table.

OR within a car seat belt.  OR inside a telephone booth.  OR beneath a roller coaster lap band. (I’ll let you figure out which ones I have actually tried)

The belly isn’t all inconvenience, of course.  Serving as a built-in shelf is pretty awesome.  My growing baby boy creates an excellent, well-positioned ledge upon which to catch meal crumbs, rest tired hands, or even place my laptop.  I should point out Baby boy is not a fan of this.  The placing of any object on or against my belly inevitably leads to a charade of kicks and flip-flops that would make Chuck Norris weep.  But it’s worth the internal battle because I don’t have to roll over to grab the remote when it’s already resting perfectly, horizontally, across my gut.

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Gosh. I was JUST looking for the perfect spot to display these baby shoes. Problem solved!

At the Muumuu threshold, however, my abdomen no longer qualifies as a “shelf” or even a “belly.”  At this time it is more of a mountainous barrier to normal human movement.  It resembles more of a torpedo than a basketball.  Therefore, it’s all my T-rex arms can do to reach my protruding belly button, let alone use my atypical shape to any advantage.

*Picking up objects.

I suppose this is pretty much identical to #1 as both entail seeing and reaching beneath one’s own waist.  However, it seems necessary objects are dropped, broken and lost 340% more frequently when it is physically impossible for me to deal with the consequences.  I am frustratingly clumsy when NOT creating a human life, but the comedy karma gods enhance my awkwardness to a record level while pregnant.   Picking up objects while knocked up feels as though it requires the balance, coordination and agility of a contortionist cat.  Bending over is the primary form of exercise I get these days – which is regular and often, given my uncoordinated state – but every time I do so I get short of breath, see spots and inevitably become even MORE unbalanced upon returning to an upright position.  Nothing makes you feel more like a superhero than asking your 2 year old to pick up the mail you dropped on the floor for the third time in 5 minutes.

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Gift one of these to every pregnant person you know that you care about. DO IT.

Am I whining? Of course I am.  And if you want to endure more torture insight into how awesome I am at pregnancy (and complaining of its woes), check out my favored pregnancy post here or this gem – if you haven’t already.  But, as always, I am oh so grateful, fortunate and relieved to have made it this far in the pregnancy and ecstatic knowing we will get to meet our adorable bundle of joy within just a few short weeks.

And now – inspired by my own post – I am off to take my life in my own hands and will attempt to make my hooves presentable.  If I botch the job and anybody asks, I let my toddler paint my toes.  I’m fun and spontaneous like that!

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