"In Addition To Dressing Like A Pregnant Bag Lady, I've Also Been Bludgeoned By The Ugly Stick."

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

Everyone's heard of Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will. This law, deceptive in its simplicity, pretty much sums up the way the cosmos works. Whoever this Murphy guy was, he was truly one of the great deep thinkers of our time. Screw Socrates or Aristotle or any of those other dead Greek guys and their esoteric philosophy. Murphy was the man, a demi-god among pessimists around the world.

Not that I have the hubris to think that I could come up with anything so profound, but this last week of pregnancy has inspired me to come up with Minsun's Law of Pregnancy: Just when you thought it was physically impossible to get any fatter, uglier, and more uncomfortable -- you invariably do. As a result, my mood swings have finally stabilized. I now only have two emotional states: pissed off and supremely pissed off.

Why did nobody warn me that I would actually grow out of some of my maternity clothes towards the end? Isn't this against the pregnancy rules or something? I've begrudgingly dropped a small fortune on pants with kangaroo pouches and tops that look like pastel pup tents and I don't even get the extreme displeasure of wearing them to the bitter end. I fit perfectly into my maternity clothes for only five minutes, yet I'm still wearing the same size bikini underwear I was wearing before I got pregnant. Talk about a bizarre pregnancy paradox! Right now, my non-maternity clothes are the only things that still fit me. I'm living in sweats, drawstring skirts, drawstring pants, large Gap T-shirts, and Teddy's clothes. With only three weeks until my due date, the notorious skinflint in me refuses to purchase another maternity item.

One day at the mall, however, my steely resolve wavered when I saw an array of new spring colored maternity dresses at the over-priced "Pea in the Pod" maternity store. I thought splurging on a cute dress might lift my spirits so I tried on a $75 dress on sale that the sales lady insisted would look "absolutely adorable" on me, in between plying me with Dixie cups of cold water. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I wondered what powers-that-be in the maternity fashion world decided that bright pastels are flattering on spherical bodies? It may work on beach balls, but it doesn't work on pregnant figures. I swear that I looked like a giant Easter egg with hair. I slunk out of the store feeling defeated, with a flattened Dixie cup in hand. And yet, no matter where I go, people are constantly telling me how "small" I am! I fear that I may go completely helter skelter if I hear this one more time.

In addition to dressing like a pregnant bag lady, I've also been bludgeoned by the butt-ugly stick. My hair has become so frizzy and curly that I've got a perpetual case of bed head no matter how much time I spend under the hair dryer. My feet are swollen and I've got a case of carpal tunnel syndrome so bad that my hands are always gnarled up into claws like an old crone. My bouncy walk has transformed into the waddle of a lame duck and my facial skin is oilier than the Exxon Valdez spill. I try to take some consolation in the fact that I haven't developed a single stretch mark, yet my skin has suffered in numerous other ways. Stubborn zits, a pronounced linea nigra, dark splotches under my arms, peach fuzz in strange places and gigantic moles seem to sprout up constantly.

At this point, damage control just seems too daunting and pointless. As a result I've let my beauty regimen slip a little... okay, a lot. I rarely bother with makeup anymore -- what's the point of looking good from the waist up? I don't know if anybody else has experienced the "double take of disappointment" from men, but I have and I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I've noticed that a guy will initially check me out, then suddenly do a double take, realize that I'm hugely pregnant and immediately make a hasty retreat with horror etched all over his face. I'm surprised these guys don't turn into stone. It's a real ego booster to know that instead of being hit on, I am now scaring the living daylights out of men.

Not that I was super high-maintenance before, but I got my professional manicures and pedicures, the occasional facial and regular Brazilian bikini wax. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of this extreme waxing, it's pretty painful yet extremely worth it. Everything -- and I do mean everything -- is waxed off except for a tiny landing strip. If you think going to your gynecologist was embarrassing, that's nothing compared to the outrageous positions you and your waxing professional get into together. I never dreamed I'd ever be in those compromising positions with another woman using hot wax. But my girlfriends and I all agree that the results are strangely addictive, in a smooth, asexual Barbie-doll kind of way. But now that I'm hugely pregnant, I don't even bother. I haven't seen my vagina in months. The only reason I know it's still there is because I'm peeing so much. You know the old saying, "out of sight out of mind?" Well, that's exactly how one can describe my now non-existent beauty regimen. The only reason I'm still getting pedicures is because I can still see my feet.

And apparently it's not bad enough to be so fat and aesthetically challenged because I am also more uncomfortable than ever. I have a perpetual nagging cold. Nothing debilitating, just a constant state of congestion that requires me to breathe through my mouth. On the phone, I sound like a total pervert with all the heavy mouth breathing that I have to do. Thank goodness for Caller ID, otherwise my friends would just hang up on me. And to top it off, I have a gross cold sore or some mysterious herpetic lesion near my tonsil that feels like a tiny piece of food stuck to the back of my throat that I can't clear and it's driving me to distraction.

The baby is dropping or "lightening" as they call it for some ludicrous reason -- there's certainly nothing lighter about my belly. I'm told this is a good thing, but the baby's head has been pressing on some nerves in my pelvic region and periodically I'll have an intense muscle spasm where the socket of my thigh joins my pelvis while I'm walking around, usually in public. All I can do is gasp and try to massage the cramp out. "Try" being the operative word, since it takes all sorts of gymnastics for my short arms to get anywhere near my groin without doubling over. Under any circumstances, I am not too thrilled about grabbing my crotch in public, but I'm even more reluctant to do this at 37 weeks pregnant, since this sight only incites panic and an immediate call to 911 by observers. Instead, I just drag my lame leg behind me towards the nearest bench or whatever. I can just imagine what a sight I must be -- hunched over, hair standing on end, swollen carpal tunnel hands out in front of me, dragging my leg, and breathing heavily. I must look like Dr Frankenstein's creepy lab assistant, Igor. In short, I disgust myself.

None of this discomfort makes it any easier to get a decent night's sleep. I am up every two hours going to the bathroom so I can squeeze out a mere five drops of urine from the invisible vagina and desperately wishing I could install a crane over my bed to lift me out of bed the way they would probably transport Shamu the killer whale out of his tank at Sea World. I know that I really shouldn't complain, and that holding a one-woman pity party is pathetic, since I have so much to be grateful for. Just ask anybody who is on bed rest or suffering from any number of pregnancy complications. I have it better than lots of other women and I'm in the home stretch. Yet according to Minsun's Law of Pregnancy, it could still get worse -- after all, there are three weeks to go before my due date!

Although I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll soon be out of my self-indulgent, semi-misery, I'm not going to hold my labored breath.PregnancyAndBaby.com

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