August 17, 2012
The pregnant, professorial body
Not unlike the pregnant body, a professorial body (particularly, a female one) can become the subject of scrutiny and attention, particularly from students. It is the knowledge of this that makes me more than just a little nervous about returning to the classroom with a visible bump. When I wrapped up my spring term, I was in my first trimester and not showing at all. It was an easy secret to mask because my body made no announcements on my behalf.
Now, that is no longer the case. My body might not be recognizable immediately as "pregnant" to strangers (though I'm sure my unconscious habit of resting a hand on my stomach might offer a clue), but on a smaller liberal arts campus it has changed enough to yield speculation.
Because of when my due date falls, I will make sure to include contingency plans in my syllabi which will announce to students my "condition" immediately. On our first day of class I will discuss options with them and hope to keep things as focused and on-task as possible.
But I am also a little concerned about the physical reality of being in front of a classroom while very pregnant. I am usually animated and mobile. I take my own mobility and ease of movement for granted. I hope I am still able to be as dynamic in movement as I have been in semesters previous. I also want to give myself the space to sit down, particularly in my longer once-a-week course. It is a smaller section that I plan to hold in seminar format so that shouldn't be a big problem.
Above is a back to school maternity wish list I compiled for Consume or Consumed. It includes mostly solids so I can repeat easily and often. The clothing aspect is another component of this that has me feeling timid. Hopefully between what I already have and a few key pieces (like maternity tights) I will be ok.