Kelsey Breseman
6 min readJun 14, 2024

In week eighteen of pregnancy, I stop having to pee in the middle of the night. Week nineteen, I have lunch two hours late and there is no crushing penalty. I'm not napping anymore. Electrolyte drinks, while still a good idea, feel optional rather than necessary to combat headaches.

One evening in Sunnyside, my father looked at my just-starting-to-show belly and remarked amazedly, "You're going to be huge."

A month later, I think he's right. I've always been thin, and it's a bit dysmorphic to see my body in the mirror now. Not that it's unwelcome, but I don't look like me. I'm starting to waddle if I'm not paying attention. My back hurts a bit. I finally have the energy to start an exercise routine.

Another interesting identity shift: I've always made my own money. But while I've been in London, with no work visa, no energy, overwhelmed with grad school, I've been covered by my husband's paycheck. I'm deeply grateful this is an option, but it's something that feels strange at an identity level.

My visa, when it comes through, will define me as a dependant. Even as a five-year-old I pushed for self reliance; how am I, at thirty-two, to accept such a label?

It felt more uncomfortable before I got pregnant. Now, it's clear that a down-the-middle split wouldn't be fair either. Only one of us is capable of giving up their body to the…