I am rapidly acquiring a perfectly spherically-symmetric physique. While I am particularly fond of the idea that my symmetries are being captured by the SO(3) group and I generally love all objects of high symmetry, becoming one is a pain. Literally. I am totally disgusting: my back hurts, my tail bone hurts (?!) I waddle like an oversize duck and, being quite tall, cause atmospheric disturbances due to my huge waddling amplitudes. I am uncomfortable in many ways, including clogged nasal passages, overactive digestive tract, and having to sit in faculty meetings. Alright, you caught me, not all my discomforts are pregnancy-related.
Pregnancy is for young people, no doubt about that; but, Gap apparently thinks all pregnant women are cute (and rich) teenagers: I bought a pair of preggie "distressed" jeans at Gap online, thinking of the usual distress features on the waist, pockets, and hems. I got a pair with a huge hole in the middle of a thigh. WTF? That does not look cute on anyone past the age of 19. I had to angrily waddle all the way to the mall to return them.
I have told my group members about the pregnancy. I was going to have them figure it out eventually, but they kept asking why I would be out of commission past a certain date and why they all have to turn in papers promptly and whether I would be available at all past the magical date, so I eventually told them. It's weird, announcing pregnancy to a room full of 20-something guys. Should have sent an email.
I also told my department chair and a few close collaborators (mostly men), and they have all been surprisingly sweet about it. One of them commented (via email) "You need to figure out how not to have babies. There are ways, you know." Perhaps it sounds like I should be upset about this comment, but I chose to take it with humor because the colleague (a) has 3 kids himself, (b) is a goofball, (c) has generally been a wonderful and supportive mentor to me, and I responded that I really really like my husband so it cannot be helped. The colleague then followed up by sharing that he himself had gotten snipped (TMI?) and how it's not a big deal -- I wonder if I should send my husband to him for a pep talk? ;)
It is becoming clear to other people too (I am in week 29) that I may not be simply giving in to my lust for chocolate, but that there may be an alternative explanation for my "broadening." One of the most amusing parts of being pregnant is watching people squirm as they figure out something's going on around the middle, but are unsure if it's pregnancy or overeating and are too embarrassed to ask! The last time around, there were people reluctant to say anything even as I was getting ready to pop, and I thought to myself "Come on, dude, I am not that fat!!! I think it's safe to assume I'm pregnant now. Can't you see I am about to topple over?"
The pregnancy also reminds me of how fast flies. A full academic year can easily go by without me running into some dear colleagues from nearby departments. You can tell that getting together for lunch has been long overdue when you ask "So what's new with you?" and the other person responds "Oh, I had a new baby 6 months ago." I am also reminded of a most ridiculous display of administrative inefficiency: before my last pregnancy, a university account was supposed to be opened with me as the PI. The paperwork was filed, I got pregnant, carried the child to term, and only after I delivered was the account opened. There should be something like the Law of Maximal Reasonable Processing Times: No intra-university paperwork should take longer than it takes to gestate a child.