The title of this post is what I should have said to the lady who said to me yesterday, "Oh my goodness, Heather, are you preggo?"
What actually happened was much different. I blinked at her, touched my "baby", and said, "No, I'm not pregnant, those are my kidneys. " She looked confused, and since she had interrupted me in the middle of a conversation/task with another person, I didn't have time to explain, so I simply said to my husband, who was standing behind her, "Can you explain it to her please?" while I turned back to what I was doing.
It was an awkward moment, to be sure, and I half listened to my husband's explanation as I worked. I didn't hear everything he said to her, but I did see her face later. She was sort of gawking at me, a little amazed and still a little confused. I smiled at her and we went along our way.
I can't blame her---it does sound incredulous to say, "Oh, no, I'm not pregnant, those are my kidneys." If you don't know what PKD is, and have never even heard of it, and your knowledge of anatomical structures of the body is sketchy at best (and my husband has to remind me that most people's knowledge of where things are in their body is sketchy at best), then it is, at the least, an odd statement. At worst, it's incredibly alarming.
I asked my husband later what exactly he told her about PKD. We talked about it, and then he said, "How do you feel that she called you pregnant?"
I considered that, and said, "Fine, actually."
And I was surprised to find that it was true. I've been dreading this day for a while, knowing that my body was changing in more obvious ways. I've cringed in the mirror and moaned to my husband and friends (and readers!) about what my body looks like, hoping that nobody else is paying as much attention to my body as I am, that most people just don't notice. And I've always wondered what it would feel like if somebody asked me if I was pregnant, thinking I would be mortified.
(Turns out, I'm really rather vain.)
But suddenly, when it came, I thought, "Well, there's nothing I can do about it, this is it, people" and I found that giving up that control was far easier than I thought it would be.
I can't exercise this baby bump away. I can't diet it away. I can't spanx it, or suck it in, or tummy tuck it. In some ways, that's been incredibly hard, having no control over it.
Yesterday, it suddenly felt really easy.
I have no control. It is what it is, and I have a feeling I will be fielding more questions about my pending bundle of joy in the future as my kidneys continue to grow and my body continues to change. Expending large amounts of emotional energy on the shape of my body will not help. Best to let that go and spend that energy on more productive things.
It WOULD have been fun to tell her I was expecting twins, though. Oh well. Maybe next time.