The weight

Sixty thousand: the approximate number of extra calories per day I’m expected to down from here on in, bringing a whole new meaning to ‘stepping up to the plate’. Zero: the approximate number of pants that still fit, buttons and flies popped open all the way at a measly eleven weeks. I’m not even out of the first trimester and am already too round for the realm of zippers.

But the weight that dogs me these days is not the literal and the inevitable. It’s the kind that presses on my chest, making it hard to breathe.

Evan runs laps, unearths every breakable trinket, squeals with delight as the toilet paper unrolls in streams to the floor. For three hours straight he stomps and hops, lunges for the stairs, upstairs downstairs upstairs downstairs, thrusts dog toys into his mouth, yells TOOT! TOOT! as he discovers yet another door to slam, poops. Twice. He is good, but he is two. And he'll only get more determined from here.

I can’t sit down for more than a minute. I can’t eat. I can’t stand it. I am so tired. I've hardly said a word to anyone. My stomach aches. I trail after him, spotting and restraining and hand-holding and nagging, my lunch cold and untouched as everyone else sits with coffee and dessert. It occurs to me then as my gut churns, how will this work?

This, plus two babies. It can’t be done. I can’t do it. How is it possible? When will any of us sleep? And what about Evan? The numbers don’t balance. Someone will always be left out, and I’ll never get to eat or shower or be seen in public ever again. But I’m bound to be such a basketcase, my absence will count as a commendable community service.

Finally he unravels, late for his nap. I beg to leave for the sake of his sleep, hoping he’ll conk out in the car. As I say goodbye they all sit in the living room, looking up at me with smiles on their faces. Imagine this time next year! they chortle, making conversation. You and him and two six-month-olds! Yuk yuk yuk.

As they wait for my response, marvelling, the walls shrink in on me as it wells up in my throat. I don’t want to cry in front of them. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that, lost it in front of this many people. But I will, if I open my mouth. I can only smile and nod and choke back the torrent. But that’s not enough.

Gee, you’ll be soooo busy! Won’t it be great! Think of it! and they wait again, searching my face.

Actually I’d rather not think of it, thanks… is all I can manage. They chuckle and seem content with that answer, but I’m sure a couple of them saw my eyes glass up.

I’ve been crying in spurts ever since I got home, head filled with visions of a day like today plus two. Plus breastfeeding and sleep deprivation and double-poops and double-diapers and double crying and poor Evan, who will probably run headlong into a herd of stampeding rhinos (in slow motion, while I watch) as I’m trapped under a pair of wailing babies.

I feel so alone with the weight of it, especially now.. so exhausted, so emotional, so uncertain and so raw.


Kate Inglis17 Comments