HUMOUR: THE BUMP AND I

Published April 23, 2017

I resumed building my fortress of pillows and casually tossed the flattest, worn-out piece to my husband who was awkwardly perched on the edge of the mattress. 

“Here you can have this one,” I said, feeling mighty generous as he helplessly examined what looked like the lifeless remains of what was once a pillow. The bump and I then continued our attempts at making ourselves comfortable in the centre of the bed. It took us not less than an hour to achieve this mammoth task.

Yes, I say ‘us’, as the bump and I are two different bodies — two individuals who look, think and act different. For example, while I stand two feet away from the door, the bump is only one foot away from the said object. This fact is very important and when forgotten, has led to us being stuck in quite a few tight spots and awkward situations. Literally.


The trials and tribulations of an expectant mother


We were seven months in and were beginning to look less like two people and more like someone who had swallowed two people.

Our first trimester was quite uneventful — the bump barely visible then, began to make its presence felt by questioning my choice in food and decor. It made its stance quite clear by ensuring that half the monthly grocery projectiled its way on to fresh, crisp linen and other treasures around the house.  As the second trimester crept in, my face managed to resurface from the depths of the brown paper bag and we began to leisurely sway towards the finish line —  still trying to get along and often finding ourselves at a disagreement.

The bump made no effort at a compromise and many a time I found myself losing these battles — especially the ones that included controlling a bladder whose capacity was now in question. At precisely the moment that I’d manage to settle in a comfortable position in my fortress, which I repeat was no easy feat, the bump would declare it the perfect time to pee. With the bladder siding with the bump, I would find myself helpless, with no option but to comply. It was that or another load of laundry the next morning. The bump could be very dictatorial like that. 

As the two of us slowly rolled towards the edge of the bed every now and then, I would find myself panting and out of breath. Some research claimed that pregnant women should stay active and walk for at least 20-30 minutes every day. Pffft! I don’t know about these super women, but I was getting up and waddling my way to the bathroom every 15 minutes. That was enough of a work-out for me, thank you very much!


Yes, I say ‘us’ as the bump and I are two different bodies — two individuals who look, think and act different. For example, while I stand two feet away from the door, the bump is only one foot away from the said object. This fact is very important and when forgotten, has led to us being stuck in quite a few tight spots and awkward situations. Literally.


The bump was not the only one driving me crazy though. The hormones seemed to be in for the ride too. The cheesiest of commercials would make me tear up and only moments later I’d find myself laughing at my own jokes. The patient spouse, uncertain if it was time to pat sympathetically or smile understandably, would clamber towards the kitchen, muttering some excuse about reheating the thermal aid while secretly hoping that all this was just the hormones and not a genetic trait that I was likely to pass on to the offspring.

It seemed I was also not the only one who was extra clingy lately — or ‘attractive.’ Gravity seemed to be taking the competition quite seriously. However, I had decided on taking the high road and had no plans on stooping to its level. Every time something fell to the ground, I’d just let it lie there. It was only when said item was desperately required, that the husband was summoned and politely asked to retrieve it. After a few initial rescues, even my brave knight in shining armour claimed he’d had enough on account of his stiff neck which he blamed on the pillow or lack thereof (I for one failed to see any correlation whatsoever). Still, as I couldn’t press the matter any further or be guilt-tripped into donating another pillow, I reformed my policy and resorted to casually kicking all fallen items under the nearest furniture piece and employing other creative measures as and when needed.

But creativity, it seemed, was hard to come by. The bump, on the other hand, was not only quick-witted but had majestic powers of persuasion that were not just limited to me. It had a mesmerising effect on others too. Not only did it get access to the best parking spots and seats on the crowded bus, it could cause mobs at sales to part ways to make way for it. Check-out queues at the grocery store would magically shrink and the sales clerk would even throw in a discount. It was at this point that the little bulb in my head lit up, momentarily busting the myth of ‘pregnancy brain’ before quickly fusing out and confirming the null hypothesis. If I didn’t feel like carrying an item, I’d team up with the bump. One sigh at the right moment and the bump would do the rest. A passing chevalier would come to our rescue and the bags and I would be happily escorted to the car. Other than the occasional unwanted advice that was so generously offered, it was a pretty sweet deal. 

I was in awe. The bump, I realised, if used strategically was my personal ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card and unlike the monopoly version, this card could be kept and swiped repeatedly. I could win any and every argument by merrily waving ... well, pointing at the bump and that was that. Together we were unstoppable, our opinions undebatable and our midnight cravings unquestionable.

But this card came with validity and once it had fulfilled its purpose of training us for the fourth trimester, it metamorphosed into something wonderful — tiny, delicate but loud and equally strong-willed. With pillows fluffed up all around it as it napped in the centre of the bed, I found myself duvet-less and clinging on the edge of the mattress — banished from my own kingdom as the king lay snoring next to me.

Published in Dawn, EOS, April 23rd, 2017

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