I found one of the pictures of pregnant me the other day in the whole "move everything over to the new computer" process that is still going on despite the fact that "the new computer" just goes by "the computer" these days. There are only a few pictures of me pregnant, so the image isn't something I run into electronically on a regular basis. And it seriously freaked my shit out.
I remember this perfectly. The yellowy lighting in the bathroom that made it impossible to apply natural-looking make-up. The maternity dress that I wore at least twice a week towards the end of my pregnancy, when I had gained well over the recommended 25-35 pounds and nothing else fit. The feeling tired and heavy and looking the worst I'd looked in a good long time, and yet deciding that some day, someone was going to want there to be photographic evidence of the gestation process. Thinking some day, someone would smile about this.
That someone probably won't be me, it turns out. My first thought--even though I clearly remember taking the picture--was, "I never looked like that!" And yet, evidently, I did, and for some reason, that disturbed me.
Maybe it's because on most days, I have a pretty good sense of what I look like. Or, at least, I've become accustomed to my mental image of myself, which is not, shockingly enough, pregnant. Even when I was actually pregnant, I didn't look pregnant for a long time (except from certain angles). Rob made a joke as part of his toast at our friends' wedding that included mentioning my knocked-upness, and afterwards, more than a few people came up to me and said, "I didn't know you were pregnant." So, pregnant or not, I think of myself as not looking pregnant. But in that picture, I'm pretty undeniably pregnant.
For the past few weeks, Rob and I have been in baby-making negotiations. I alternate between thinking trying to have another child in the next year or two is a fantastic idea, and thinking it's a horrific idea. We've discussed waiting until Westley is potty-trained to start
trying to conceive having sex without birth control and seeing what happens. We've discussed having another baby as soon as possible, and putting baby-having behind us. We've discussed not having any more children. And it's all still up in the air, and for now, that's where it will stay. But there is one question that keeps gnawing at my brain, a little zombie of uncertainty:
What will I look like next time?
Of course, every pregnancy is different. So I guess there's only one way to find out.