Today I found out that someone I know is about the join the Ninth in the Eighth Club. Anybody who qualifies for this special division of The Mommy Club has most certainly earned it, and we all nod our heads in understanding and solidarity when it is discovered that another mommy is about to join our ranks.
The Ninth in the Eighth Club is made up of women whose ninth month of pregnancy has fallen in August, the absolute hottest part of the year (at least it is in the Midwest). I mean no disrespect to all those wonderful women who gave birth in July (my birthday month). But often times there still a bit of rain and a breeze in July. In August, all pleasantness about summer ceases and you have to pay up for all those glorious June weekends.
I realize some September mommies are full term in August, and that month eight is no picnic, either. Anybody who has experienced weeks 37-40 in August will tell you that it was the Hottest Summer In The History Of The World–Ever, no matter what the record books actually say. If any woman in this club tells you that it isn’t really that bad you should take pity on this poor soul because her brains must have melted out of her head and fried on the sidewalk that summer and she simply doesn’t remember it happening.
My oldest was my August baby, and I knew I was miserable, but I’m glad I didn’t anything else to base it upon. The worst was when I went in for my weekly check up and I had gained seven pounds in one week. SEVEN! The nurse, who I adored, assured me it was all water retainage from the heat, which I loved her for saying. Then she went and ruined it with, “My daughter was born in October, I know what you’re going through.” Really? You do? Since when does having the minor annoyance of a little belly (that, let’s face it, you’re still in love with) that makes tying your shoes a bit of a chore compare to being bigger than a barge, thus rendering the physical laws of gravity and inertia into cruel jokes? Girl, please. Being 6 months pg in August does NOT compare to being 9 months pgin August, because 6 months pg and 9 months pg don’t compare anyway. Every pregnant woman knows that. Duh!
I still remember walking into my husband’s family reunion, only to be pulled aside by a little old lady I vaguely recognized as my aunt by marriage, but I couldn’t remember her name.
When is your baby due, sweetheart?
My oldest son was born in August. It was so hot. I remember waiting for [insert husband’s name here] to leave for work, and then I would… And she looks around to make sure nobody was about to overhear her scandalous confession… I would open the window, turn on the fan, and lay down on my bed with nothing but my BRASSIERE and SLIP on!
And she giggled at herself girlishly. I really didn’t know this woman, but we were members of this club, you see. I didn’t know how to tell her that I had already grown comfortable checking the mail in nothing but a tank top that really only covered up about as much as a sports bra would and a pair of thin cotton shorts. Thus exposing my belly to the neighborhood for about 6.8 seconds. Our cats had to look at that all day long, because I only put on real clothes when I was ready for my DQ fix. Oh, the scandal!
So, to carry on the tradition of Aunt Whats-Her-Name, I’m going to give a bit of advice to a couple of Mommies I know who will soon be new members of the Ninth in the Eighth Club. You mommies with July and September due dates are free to take this advice, too.
You need a “Safe Place” where you can:
1. Shed as much clothing as you wish and nobody will see you.
2. Sit comfortably reclined with your feet up with a maximum number of central-air vents pointed directly on yourself.
3. have a TV with a remote control.
4. have a side table because anything that lands on the floor will stay there until your husband comes home or an older child picks it up for you.
5. Toys for any kiddos who might get bored.
6. A phone so that you can call anybody to pass the time, or have food delivered. You won’t want to do this, but don’t forget to put your clothes back on before the delivery man gets there. You can also use the phone to call your husband (even if he’s home) to have him come to the room where you are sitting with your feet up and scratch your ankle. Dressing for him is optional.
If/when you have to venture out somewhere, DQ should be your first stop. Don’t forget to put your clothes on for this either. Their fresh-fruit lemonade slushes are SO very good and SO very refreshing that even if you DO forget to get dressed, they are worth the embarrassment. Plus the lemon has a lot of citrus–a good thing as long as you’re not having too much heart burn. They do have a lot of sugar in them, so watch out if gestational diabetes is a concern. Once you get your fresh-fruit slush, you could probably just forget about that errand you were supposed to go on, because it will just be too hot. Go take a cool shower and relax in your safe place.
The exception, of course, is your doctors appointments. You have to go to those, but that’s okay because you’ll get to undress again! I recommend you get maternity clothes as light and loose fitting as possible. Don’t worry about looking cute in all those stylish, close fitting maternity shirts. You’ll look good as long as you are comfortable. I loved the belly-hugging maternity shirts for my February baby, but I think I would have gone nuts in those things in August. I didn’t want anything to touch me, including my clothes, which is why I always had to remember to put them on before I went to DQ. Every maternity shirt I owned had ice cream stains on them because I was HOT and chocolate ice cream is GOOD and COLD. I’m pretty sure my feet still fit in my tennis shoes in August, but they were just too hot, and I didn’t want to fuss with the laces.
Oh, and if you garden, you won’t want to plant anything this spring that you can’t manage later this summer… unless your hubby has a green thumb. Also, outdoor projects DO require some clothing. Same thing goes with home improvements. Make sure that your car and central air unit has freon.Your thermostats will know one setting only: arctic freeze. You are exempt from worrying about global warming this month. Mother Nature says so.
Drink. drink. drink your water. You sweat it out four times faster because you have four times the surface area on your body with which to sweat. (I don’t know if that is mathematically true, but my experience confirms it.)
On the bright side, you won’t have to protect your newborn from the sniffling and sneezes of flu season. You won’t have to worry about bundling, bundling, bundling just to him/her just to go to a doctors appointment. You won’t have to wait two months before you can take him/her anywhere. People will actually see your little peanut in those adorable little onesies. Often times a onesie and a pair of socks are really all they need to wear. Less laundry! Woot! This is good because you had grown used to not having much laundry since you spent most of that last month naked.
So there’s my advice, for what it’s worth. Just remember, if all else fails, there’s always a fan, your brazziere, and your slip!