Read along as Minsun, a 29-year-old screenwriter and freelance writer living in Los Angeles, chronicles her first pregnancy.
Minsun Park

There's a great deal of hype about the magical second trimester. Just about everyone from my doctor to my cleaning lady assured me that I would just spring out of bed one day and do cartwheels all the way to the breakfast table. Even my single girlfriends endorsed this theory (as if having an occasional late period made them pregnancy experts). And for once, everybody was right! I haven't given a digestive encore for the Ty-D-Bol man in seven wonderful days, and I'm so happy I could cry. Although I still get queasy moments, for the most part, I feel like my old self -- only bigger.

Now that I've reconciled myself to the "I'm not stupid, I'm just pregnant" phase, I have embarked on the "Uh, I'm not fat, I'm just pregnant" stage of this glorious condition. I'm too small for maternity clothes yet too big for my old clothes. Every day, I look longingly at the tiny, hip-hugger jeans in my closet and reach for the baggy drawstring anything instead. My new fashion statement is the "fat plumber meets rapper" look. Since I can't bear to wear anything around my bump, I wear my pants and skirts so low I'm constantly in danger of showing my butt cleavage. After hitching my pants up for the thousandth time, I started flipping through some pregnancy magazines in the desperate hopes of coming up with fashion inspiration.

After staring at page after glossy page of beautiful pregnant supermodel/actresses/whatever types, I heartily agree with F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous observation that, "the rich are different from you or I." Living in Los Angeles and working in the entertainment industry, celebrity sightings are a part of life. My biggest joys in life have been seeing Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow doing errands. Not because I'm such a huge fan, but because without makeup their faces were splotchy and covered with zits. I love affirmations that these goddesses are mere mortals.

I recently sat next to Jodie Foster in a restaurant having breakfast with her baby boy. It was nice watching Jodie Foster as a single mom, feeding her baby and eating carbs like a real human being (a BLT with fries). She smiled at me, I smiled back, it was a nice fuzzy moment. But later, I read a quote in a magazine about regarding her pregnancy and I hated her instantly. Not only did she gain a mere 15 pounds, she says, "I didn't have a single bad moment. Really, it couldn't have been easier. I would do this professionally if only it paid better." Sheesh, talk about an overachiever. It's not bad enough she's an actress, producer and director she has to horn in on the surrogate mother job market too.

If you pay attention to pregnant celebrities in the news, being rich and fabulous means being able to sail through those nine months hygienically and photogenically while the unwashed masses waddle around in sweats and unkempt hair. It also means being able to deliver in luxury and comfort. Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles is the celebrity hospital because they offer deluxe maternity suites complete with a living room and dining room, hardwood floors, exquisite furniture, a computer and fax machine, robes, stocked refrigerator and mini-bar. Not to mention room service, a candlelight dinner for two and a personal doula.

I'm fully aware that money and fame don't buy happiness, but does it really, truly offer a reprieve from the other, ahem, unmentionable discomforts of pregnancy? For example, when Madonna was pregnant with Rocco did she ever feel, you know, not so fresh? Did she ever squirm through an interview with a ferocious yeast infection? And what about Jane Leeves from "Frasier?" Has she ever just let one rip during a scene, in front of the whole studio audience? Or don't pregnant celebrities fart?

Thandie Newton from "Mission Impossible" is pregnant now and looks glowingly beautiful in her tight designer dresses. Sure she looks great, but can she burp the alphabet? Did Catherine Zeta-Jones ever vomit into her handbag while overcome with morning sickness? Did Cindy Crawford ever read a magazine cover to cover during a particularly nasty bout of constipation? Damnit, these are the gory details inquiring minds, really want to know! Well, maybe only inquiring pregnant minds. Only the very old and the very pregnant find gastro-intestinal details completely riveting.

This month, supermodel Vendela is on the cover of "Fit Pregnancy" looking like a boa constrictor who just ate a baby goat. And I mean that in the best possible way. Her hair is lustrous, her skin is a glowing peaches and cream, her arms and legs are lean and lithe. Nowhere else is she pregnant except for her tummy. In contrast, my hair is frizzy, the only glow my skin has is the over-production of oil resulting in zits, and I swear my butt is pregnant too. I look like the Dancing Baby from "Ally McBeal." Yet, as disgusted as I am by these misleading glossy images, I cannot look away. I admit to being a hopelessly shallow person in pursuit of aesthetic beauty. I can't help but cling to the hope that if I wear the right outfit, massage enough cocoa butter into my skin and get enough exercise, maybe I too can look like a boa constrictor who just ate a baby goat.

I know that it's all smoke and mirrors requiring a staff with a physical trainer, a cook, a nutritionist, a personal hairdresser and a fashion stylist. But maybe the real prerequisite is having only one name like Madonna, Cher or Vendela. Unfortunately, Minsun doesn't have a pretentious enough ring to it. It rhymes too much with Dim Sum, sounds too much like monsoon and nobody, but nobody ever gets it right on the first try.

MinsunPregnancyAndBaby.com


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