I swear, you can't walk into a Target store and swing a cat without hitting a pregnant woman.
The red and white bullseye, I suppose, just reels 'em in.
Of course this thought has occurred to me before. During the 15-month pregnancy drought that finally ended in September, I'd tried to steer clear of the Midwest-mecca of multi-department merchandising for just that reason. All those burgeoning bellies just made me feel down in the dumps.
Whatever incidental hunk of junk I sought could probably be found on the Internet, I told myself. "Shipping schmipping, at least I'd never have to bump into a baby bump again."
So it is with a small degree of horror, now a mere month away from actually meeting Thing 2 in the flesh, that I find myself avoiding the store again for the same reason: the pregnant pause.
This time, I find myself staring down a procreational deadline and feeling as if I'm not ready: I've made no progress on the baby's room. I haven't solidified a new daycare situation for either child, and I've only just called the pediatrician to let them know they should prepare to visit me in the hospital come June. I've merely wrung my hands at the idea of acquiring additional storage for baby clothes or making other plans for organization. I'm not even mentally ready to commit to the purchase of a new car seat, even though my lazy self doesn’t want to disassemble and wash the old infant carrier Ittybit managed to decimate.
I figure it can’t hurt to look and see if I can't find a new car seat that's design would help me avoid a repeat of the great tennis elbow of ’04.
Yet, staring at the boxes in the carseat aisle of Target, I heave an enormous sigh of frustration. "I just don't feel like wrestling THAT into the car today," I whine to myself.
It doesn't help that I am surrounded by other women staking claim to the aisle's precious real estate, happily stocking up for their own impeding arrivals.
All I see is more stuff. ... More stuff to add to the stuff I already have and can't manage. More stuff to be unpackaged, stored, repackaged and recycled.
I also know it probably hasn't helped matters that until now -- eight months along -- I haven't looked as pregnant as pudgy. This baby's been stealth. And I'm not the only one who's missed it. I recently had to tell two doctors (an eye doctor and a dentist) that I was expecting so they'd cancel plans for prohibited proceedures.
Every part of me is comparing this pregnancy with its predecessor; a losing proposition if ever there was one.
I haven't witnessed the "knowing" smiles of absolute strangers; the giddy gazes of solidarity.
The bulky sweaters have hidden what little evidence existed. And now, a six weeks away from it all being over, it seems to have just rushed past -- an afterthought.