When a couple in China expect a child, they can only keep one; not Fang Mei, though.
Wuhan, China, 2020. The country still has the "one child per family" law. |
This already distressed Fang Mei & Fang Qin since they wanted a big family, but didn't have the privilege of flying to another country to do so. So they took a gamble and hoped for the best.
3 months in and Mei was already starting to show the look of a 6 month belly. A trip to the nearby clinic showed they were having at least 8 babies! Qin fainted where he stood, but Mei seemed on the verge of overjoyed tears. But both were afraid to let anyone know, so the mom-to-be was kept inside at all times until she delivered.
Throughout the rest of the pregnancy, Mei was suffering more each day. She suffered from frequent growth spurts, nipple leakages, swollen feet, the works. Qin did his best when he was around since he still had to work the restaurant, which was thankfully nearby them. Mei would often come after-hours to have some of the leftover food before it had to be thrown out for the following day.
By the end of her pregnancy, Mei was DONE. Not only was she swollen all over, but everything from her head to her toes ached. She was bedridden for the most part, but no amount of pillows could support her hefty frame. Her belly easily eclipsed her feet, spanning at least 20 inches in front of her, complete with inverted navel, stretch marks and veins. Any time one of the children moved, no matter how gently, it was visible through her overly stretched skin.
One day, 38 weeks into her pregnancy, Mei was sick of being bedridden, having to watch TV until her husband got back. So she got up, slipped on a beige shirt over a pink skirt and some black flip flops, fixed her long hair up and took her purse to peruse the market in town. She didn't care if she was already tired after 3 steps, she just wanted some fresh air.
Already, anyone who passed her gawked at the poor woman as she lugged around a belly that could easily fit 2 toddlers, the mass of flesh swaying with each waddling step. Her womb audible sloshed too for anyone near her, the amniotic fluid inside swishing around. She took little notice in the gazes from the peoples around her, continuing her business as she perused the market stalls.
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