October 25 11

I remember so little of my pregnancy with Emily, which is unusual, I think, since she was my first. I know for certain that I signed up for weekly emails that compared my growing little stomach gnomes to various fruits and vegetables and I recall being so proud to exclaim to the world that I was the proud owner of my very own avocado. Maybe it’s because that pregnancy carried me through the majority of 2000 and a little bit into 2001; it seems a lifetime ago. Maybe it’s because I was working at the time, and between work and the copious amount of sleeping I was doing to stave off the morning, noon and night sickness, there’s little to remember. Maybe it’s because there exists but one photo of me while pregnant.

One, only.

Back in the days before I was the proud owner of my very first digital camera—that didn’t happen until the child already was an older sister, the end of 2002, I believe—moments in our family weren’t documented they way they are now. And, even then, I was the photographer and everyone else was the photograph-ee. But there’s one picture in existence. It’s from late December, 2000. My hair is long, very long and in need of some serious root touch-up. I am wearing a sweater that is not dissimilar to something Heathcliff Huxtable would have worn, circa 1989. Maternity clothing, then, was not like it is today. The choices were tent #1 or tent #2. Shirts came down to my knees in lovely potato-sack formation. Pants were always too long, too wide, too big. Attractive, I was. In my hands I’m holding—nay, grasping—an entire box of holiday-themed Oreo cookies.

It’s a lovely picture, really. So lovely, in fact, that no one will ever see it.

(And this should tell you something, but I have let you behind the curtain and shown you this.)

So, other than the actual birth of my first-born, and the time at 27 weeks when I took a tumble down a Jerusalem-stone staircase and spent three days of my vacation in a Hebrew-only speaking Israeli hospital, this is the only vivid memory I have of my first pregnancy.

Christmas at my uncle Don’s bachelor pad.

Uncle Don is the most wonderful man. Really, he is. He invited all of us—the gantze mishpachah, if you will—to come spend Christmas Day with him in East Tennessee. His bachelor pad is an interesting place, to say the least. As its name would suggest, it’s a wonderful place for single men. My uncle Don, however, is happily married. And the reason for this, likely, is because he has his very own man cave. It is a beautiful home, decorated with nothing but antiquing finds. There are rooms with multiple television screens, there are bathrooms with no toilets—only urinals, there are cabinets filled with nothing but beer and Cheetos, and there was homemade moonshine.

Of course there was. 

I remember watching Jackass while everyone was eating deep-fried turkey.

I remember trying to hoist my giant person up onto the four-poster raised-too-high bed.

I remember driving around Kingsport, Tennessee, in search of something, anything with a flashing, neon OPEN sign that would sell me food that wasn’t covered in powdery cheese or that wasn’t, well, a deep-fried turkey. Oreos. Holiday Oreos. We bought three boxes and I ate my way through them.

I remember how excited my Uncle Don was to watch us open his present to us—the Souvenir Canadian coins he found antiquing, of course.

I remember laughing. There was so much laughing. It was the gut-bursting kind, which, when you are due to give birth in seven weeks, gut-bursting is not recommended.

I remember is being one of my most favorite times with my family, ever.

And seven weeks later, I got to reap some rewards in the form of snuggles and that amazing baby smell.

I guess if I am going to have only one memory of those nine months, it’s a good one to have.

But, still, you’ll never see the picture.


  1. I hardly took any pg photos of me- I’m not sure if it was on purpose or not. I felt like a whale. But I also ended up in the hospital at 25 weeks, so maybe I thought I had more time. I just asked a friend to scan me a photo of my pg self at her wedding- she said she would… cant wait to see me in all my glory.

    Comment by Gemini-Girl on October 25, 2011
  2. I totally felt like a whale too…so I’m kind of glad there aren’t more photos floating around…

    Comment by ali on October 25, 2011
  3. Why am I not surprised Uncle Don’s bachelor pad is in Kingsport, TN? That town is just full of surprises.

    Comment by Darcey on October 25, 2011
  4. Hahaha. I want to LIKE this comment a million times!

    Comment by ali on October 25, 2011
  5. Oh, I’ll find a way to see this photo!

    I love that photo of Emily.

    Comment by Kristabella on October 25, 2011
  6. Don’t tell my husband about that man cave! I don’t know how you would, but he already wants a garage just so he can have a man cave!

    Also, my sister took a lot of pictures while she was pregnant, with both her first and second. I have not really seen any of her like the one you describe, she would likely not allow it to be taken.

    I would ask her what her favorite memory of each pregnancy was, but… can’t right now. But now I want to know.

    Comment by Mari on October 25, 2011
  7. I was much better—and a better blogger—when I was pregnant with my third. I took belly shots each week. I’m so glad I have them now!

    Comment by ali on October 25, 2011
  8. You could not have looked bigger than me. I was a truly a whale. A beached whale.

    Comment by karengreeners on October 25, 2011
  9. I bet you looked adorable. Also? MMM…Oreos…

    Comment by Loralee on October 25, 2011
  10. Cute cute picture! Aw. Ali, I had a Smarties McFlurry almost every day when I was pregnant for the first time and all my maternity clothes were from Thyme. There are no pictures of pregnant me on the Internet! 😉

    Comment by Loukia on October 25, 2011
  11. There are a lot of photos of my pregnant with my first (Graham) but I was…48 inches in circumference. For real.

    LOVE that newborn shot of Emily.

    Comment by Angella on October 25, 2011
  12. Why is it that some women feel embarrass or insecure when they’re pregnant? I just want to say this, you may feel like you’re not as pretty as you were not pregnant but to your husbands you look like the most beautiful woman in the world. I know, coz that’s how I see my wife when see was pregnant. And I still do!

    Comment by jlem1125 on October 25, 2011
  13. That actually wasn’t the point of my post at all.

    the point was the even though there’s only one photo, I’m really, really happy to have that memory. It’s such a good one. 🙂

    Comment by ali on October 26, 2011

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