Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christmas Eve: Pregnancy – 34 weeks

Our last major trip of the pregnancy came at Christmas. I was about 34 weeks along when we left on this endeavor – and no, the kitchen was not done. Because we are crazy and insist on attempting to please EVERYONE, we always exhaust ourselves at Christmas. I wasn’t sure how adding my bowling ball sized belly to that mix was going to work, but what the heck.

We’ve tried Christmas a few different ways now, though the basics remain the same. My in laws celebrate Christmas Eve and my family Christmas day. So we do Christmas Eve in VA and then get up on Christmas morning and do the drive to NJ – where we see both sides of my family until we want to sleep for all of the 26th. The variation is when church happens. I personally prefer to start off with church and then the other festivities, but my mother in law finds this a bit rushed. She prefers to either do midnight mass (which I find makes things a bit rushed and also, midnight? In my 3rd trimester? Not so much…) or morning mass. To accommodate the ensuing road trip that means the earliest church option – usually 7:30 or 8 am. Regardless of when this all occurs, the car trip starts with my husband telling me that we CAN’T keep doing this and have to stop trying to please all / be everywhere. Because it’s Christmas and he’s already stressed I refrain from pointing out that if we stop doing EVERYTHING every year, some years we will have to be with my family and skips his. Why go there at this point?

So we went to the 5 pm mass before heading over to his family this year. As we were trying to finish cleaning up the kitchen enough to leave it (and still get as far as absolutely possible on the project before leaving) and exchange gifts with each other and find time to make ourselves presentable for church / his family, we ran a bit later than planned. We still got there around 4:30, which I thought might have garnered us some seats in the very back – had there not been a children’s pageant before mass that started at 4 – who knew?

The aisles were packed with nowhere to go. We went up to the balcony area as that’s usually the last to fill, but there was almost nothing. I figured it was time to make this belly work for me, so I stuck it out and rubbed my tummy. Let’s see who wants to be “Christian” today… Pretty quickly one of the other people standing noted that there was room for one person in one of the aisles, as someone was saving seats for neighbors, but had a little space to spare. So I grabbed it. The lady on the far side started to tell me that her husband was coming back and needed space there too. I started to heave myself up, looking as pathetic as possible and she assured me that there was enough room (I mean, how much do I really take up? Ha!). For those of you who have never been pregnant, this may sound a bit conniving on my part, but the truth of the matter is there was really no way I could comfortably stand through the longer holiday mass. It just wasn’t going to happen. I would have wound up sitting on the floor – and lord knows how I would have gotten myself out of THAT situation.

Of course, needless to say, I had to go to the bathroom during mass – so had to make it down the stairs from the balcony, through the throngs to the far side of church. (Since pretty much the beginning of pregnancy, I’ve been sitting at the back of church. Early it was to be able to run to the restroom (or in one particularly amusing instance the plants outside) to toss my cookies, but now it’s more bathroom related.) Ugh.

We finally headed over to my in-laws after mass and enjoyed dinner and gifts. Our little Ladybug got a few preemptory gifts and even gave a couple – mostly picture frames to hold pictures of herself – as she is THAT narcissistic.

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