Victoria Jelinek

The Pregnancy Diaries – 7

“I don’t mind that I’m fat. You still get the same money.” Marlon Brando

I went to secondary school in the Highlands of Scotland. My parents were teaching there, I was the youngest child, my siblings were at university, so I went with them. Anyway, a friend of mine from there and then, whom I’ve kept in touch with for over twenty years, came to visit me this last week in France. She had her only child when she was 16 years old, so her daughter is already out of the home and working. I’m three months pregnant with my first child. I’ve been having all these health ‘issues’ around pregnancy and am trying to relax (I feel like Peter Sellers’ character in I Love You Alice B. Toklas when he’s walking down the beach with the hippie guru) so I’m not the best person to hang out with at the moment given my concerns and my relatively ‘clean’ lifestyle, particularly in contrast to my behavior historically.

Even so, I wanted to show her a good time and one day I took her to a wonderful spa in Italy, Pre St. Didier at the base of Mont Blanc. I had to drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel, get lost several times with the Italian exits and directions (she was no help at all, lending credence to the stereotype that women are not concerned with directions), and sign waivers when I went to the spa so that they’re not liable if my baby cooks in my belly like rice in a bag. I was excited to go ‘cause my belly is JUST beginning to show…it’s hard and rounded and low. I find it miraculous. It’s so fundamental and animalistic. I feel like I’m the same as the horse with the foal, the goat with its kids, the cat with her kittens, and the dog down at my local café whose titties are heaving she’s so full of puppies. I’m proud of my little bump and even as I’m fat at the moment, I wanted to show it off. Keep in mind that I went to the spa to show my Scottish friend a nice day out. So we went in, it’s spacious, clean, and rustic yet modern, well organised, relaxed, and has gorgeous views, and a variety of spa activities and pools. However, I spent my day at the footbaths and the leg invigorator (you walk down one side with hot water up to your thighs, turn, go down a few steps, then walk down the other side with cold water up to your thighs). And, contrary to having a remarkable belly, almost all of the Italian women there had the same belly as I do! Not once did my friend crack a smile. When I asked her if she’d had a good time she rather stiffly replied, “Yes, ta.”

Later, upon return home, I had to go into the guest bedroom for something and I saw my friend’s open suitcase and various things splayed about the room. In this array, I saw at least FOUR pairs of different coloured, high, high-heels pumps! What had she imagined I could do when I was three months pregnant? Go dancing and clubbing? (Can I go dancing and clubbing?) I realised at age 17 that I’d be bored out of my mind at a club unless I was ‘mash up’…should I have gone anyway despite the inevitable boredom and the possibility that my child would have been traumatised by Euro dance music in order to entertain her? Dang. A day out at Pre St. Didier must have seem very tame, indeed, for her…

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