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The Pregnant Bride: Planning a wedding before your baby’s due date

It makes no sense that something so lovely begins with one’s nose in the toilet. I’m staring at the rippled water, afraid to move. These knee-to-tile moments are the nauseatic equivalent of a gun to the temple. I’d do whatever it takes to make the situation go away – give up Spanx, the new car, my fianc’. Oh. How. I. Loathe. The. Fianc’. So handsome and carefree, relaxing on the couch, watching football, enjoying peanuts and beer in a happy-go-lucky manner so oblivious to my morning sickness that I want to pull his liver out with pruning shears. It’s a gross example of inequity, of the prejudiced fate handed to females. I wipe away cheek spittle and focus my rage. It’s a losing battle. My stomach lurches, as my head aims toward the bowl and chin grazes the water. It’s possible to drown myself and believe me, I want to. I’m just too chicken. Oh. My. God. Chicken.

I’m sick and smelly and trying hard to be excited about motherhood. While there are wondrous feelings – mother bear-style protectiveness, overwhelming love, pride – hiding behind the nasty, relentless waves of wooziness, it’s simply too hard to concentrate on them. See, I have a more pressing issue than the morning sickness and the tiny foot stabbing my bladder – within the next few months, I’m hosting a wedding starring me, the pregnant bride.

While I’m grateful for the ability and wherewithal to have a child, I’m working to reconcile the terms of the deal; saying marital vows at eight-months pregnant is not ideal. Enormous won’t even be a fair description of how I’ll look, or feel. Unlike most brides, I won’t be dieting and working out months before the Big Day. Instead, I’ll be stuffing my punching bag-sized breasts into whatever dress has the sympathy to provide ample coverage. I’ll be the wide one waddling down the aisle, holding a bouquet in front of my bump (as if it’ll distract anyone from my belly) while at the same time praying I won’t need to desperately pee during the 10-minute ceremony. (Trust me, there’s a lot of dress that would need to be held up.) And then there’s this: What will people think?

I know I’m beyond terrible for thinking about this; it’s gross vanity. I’m a modern day Cassiopeia. While the common question most people ask is – “Why don’t you just move up the wedding date?” – I’ll tell you several factors made this impossible. The first and greatest reason is that certain immediate family members living in Australia can’t come to Dallas until the originally planned wedding week and well, the venue was reserved and partly paid for two months before I saw the pink positive sign. So I’m doing the best I can with the situation. You can bet I’m not thrilled to buy a size 18 dress and have it altered in the boobs and waist as a rush job the week before the ceremony. I’m not enthusiastic to forego kicky stilettos a mile high for more sensible shoes. I’m fearful the professional wedding photos will reveal my new second chin, the weird blotchy bumps on my shoulders, and that bonus roll of back fat. I’m sure my wedding night will be the exact opposite of sexy since there’s no graceful way to climb up onto the bed when your belly is bigger than ever. And no woman-not a single one on the planet-would enjoy gaining 23 pounds for her wedding day. But as they say, “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry.”

To be 38 and pregnant without any difficultly is lucky. How many women would punch me in the throat for feeling anything but bliss? When I stop feeling sorry for myself, I really do know that morning-day-night sickness is an honor – a wedding is one day, a child is forever. But ashamedly, I’m horrified of the very notion that someone will judge me by my lady bump. I’m scared of being a punch line or part of office gossip because I’m choosing to get married so late in pregnancy. And once I allow myself to think these thoughts, I immediately hate myself for caring what anyone thinks. Besides, if I look horrendous in the photos, there’s always the paper shredder.

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