(Blogger’s Note: This post is written with the express permission of my wife, who is 8-1/2 months pregnant and as lovely as the winter is long. Her one caveat is that if we’re still talking about this in June, then she’s gonna be upset!)
Somewhere (or rather, somewhen) around March of 2004, when Jodi was about six months’ pregnant with Trevor and still chilled to the bone by the retreating winter, we stopped at the store to pick up a few things. Jodi walked in because the list was in her head; I stayed in the car and entertained the kids by demanding silence in a menacing voice, then napping. Due to my closed eyes and lethargic state, I did not realize that behind me, Gabe was getting nervous. Someone was approaching the van — closer and closer. A figure shuffled past his window and reached for the door on the van. The door opened.
Gabe exhaled his relief. “Whew,” he said. “I thought a great big fat man in a green coat was coming toward us, but it was just you, Mom!”
Nearly a decade later, Jodi has again dug out the coat, a thick, roomy, pale green affair that isn’t the prettiest, but remains to this day both warm and functional. This fall, a friend of ours offered her a barely worn black maternity coat, which Jodi eagerly accepted. Unfortunately, by the time winter rolled around, the coat could no longer be made to meet in the middle.
We found ourselves in the same pew as our friend last Sunday, and Jodi was self-conscious about not wearing the coat. She hoped to explain after church, but never had the chance. We joked that she should message our friend on Facebook: “Sorry I can’t wear the coat you gave me. Thank you for being the David Spade to my Chris Farley.”
We laughed — hard — together, but the truth is, this pregnancy has been difficult. Jodi’s feet swell painfully every day; she calls them monster feet, and the kids have a daily discussion about whether they look more goblinesque or trollish. (I helpfully observed they look like Chipotle burritos with toes, but no one else found that comparison appetizing.) Her hands swell, too, and she had to have her wedding ring cut off a couple weeks ago. The other day, when a friend of ours who will shoot our newborn photos told Jodi to be prepared to have her hands in the shots, my bride asked me, “Should I see if she can Photoshop them back to normal and add my ring in?”
I tell her she’s beautiful, and judging from the Facebook comments on the photo above, many of you agree — but she doesn’t feel beautiful. This morning, I greeted her with, “‘Morning, glory!” — and she immediately recalled that the kids watched Madagascar last night and assumed I had said, “‘Morning, Gloria!”
“Yes,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I called you a hippo.”
We do our best to keep things as light as possible, knowing we’re almost to the end. Three more weeks until the blessed bundle arrives…and although people gasp at the size of our previous children (9-9, 11-11, 9-5, and 12-2), I think Jodi hopes this one is a 30-pounder. After all, she says, beyond a certain size, it’s all just pain.
By the way, we’ve been humming this song all day. It’s a strange sort of love song, I think…