The Secret Life of Baby Bellies
Confession: before I got pregnant I was fascinated by pregnant bellies. I would watch pregnant women moving around the world, going to meetings, buying groceries, talking on the phone, acting completely natural. One hand idly resting on the shelf of their stomach while they continued to look and sound and behave the same way they did before a human being started growing inside of them. I couldn't understand how they could be so casual about it....weren't they obsessed with their bellies? Wasn't every glimpse of it a reminder of the bizarre fact of having a PERSON inside of you? Looking at them, a voice deep down inside me would scream "How can you sit there and act like nothing is going on?!?"
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I consider pregnancy to be one of the greatest #swindles of all time. There is just so much bullshit involved that I cannot believe people willingly do this to themselves. And I’ve had it easy, I know. I hear horror stories every day of just how bad this shit can be.
The one shining light of this experience is the fact that I was an early shower. I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks, had a noticeable bump at 6, and was so obviously pregnant that I had to tell my co-workers by 10 weeks. At 16 weeks I was measuring 20 and now at 18 weeks I am what can best be described as huge.
And I fucking love it.
I don’t know why exactly, but having a pregnant belly is just so fun. And infinitely fascinating…to me at least. I cannot pass a mirror without checking out my bump to see if it’s gotten bigger since I last looked. And before you judge me for being ridiculous, let me say for the record that moretimes it has. And although it’s considered very poor form to touch a pregnant woman’s belly uninvited, I fucking love it. Please keep this in mind if you should happen to see me in the next 22 weeks.
So here is a collection of random thoughts about my belly.
Here’s another confession: I think that whole “making a heart with your hands” shit going on in the above photo is corny as shit. And yet I find myself doing it in the elevator mirror at work at least once a day. I can’t help it! If you’re visibly pregnant and in front of a mirror you have to check out your belly. And you have to put your hands on it to be able to tell how big it’s getting. And once your hands are on there they seem to migrate into a heart shape all on their own. It’s unavoidable.
The thing about a pregnant belly is that you really do have to have your hands on it all the time. When you’re standing, it feels a bit precarious, and holding on to it helps you feel more secure. When you’re sitting it’s annoying – it’s in your way. And like anything annoying – a hangnail, and ingrown hair, a scab – you have to just put your hands on it all the time.
I have a relatively big tattoo on my belly that I always worried about before I got pregnant. But so far it’s still intact and doesn’t look any different than it ever did.
My belly has grown to near-epic proportions but I’ve only gained 2lbs. And the babies are only about 5 inches long and only weigh about 10oz each. How the fuck does that work?
When your baby moves inside you in early pregnancy it doesn’t feel much different from gas. In fact I’m pretty sure that 40% of the time that I thought I felt flutters it was really just my lunch on its way out.
The world love pregnant women. They really do. Except patrons of the TTC who still don’t give up their seats. Whenever someone looks at me, looks at my belly, and grinds their (lazy) ass deeper into their seat, I think of @dryjayjack. Not because he’s the kind of asshole who would do that, but because of a post he once wrote on his blog about why he won’t give up his seat on the Metro just because a woman is wearing heels. Whenever someone refuses to give up their seat for me I start to get annoyed and then I think “welp. They’re not responsible for my life choices”.
But I side-eye them all the same.
A pregnant belly is like a planet inhabited by random pains. My shit hurts all the time. Whether it’s because I just ate and I feel like I’m about to bust open, or stretching pains, or who knows what, I have never been so uncomfortable in my life.
Also? Bending over or lifting your legs while you’re lying down will make you beg for mercy.
Newfangled headphones are not at all conducive to playing music for your belly. I need some of those old school Walkman joints. I sometimes try sticking my headphones into my navel but it’s rapidly disappearing.
Oh there’s another one – my navel is disappearing. This freaks me the fuck out. The one thing I don’t want – that I’m sure to end up with – is one of those navels that sticks out so badly you can see it through my clothes. That’s just creepy.
There are a million different textures in your belly. Some points are soft like dough, others hard as a rock. Some feel like there is a giant bubble just beneath your skin, sometimes you poke at it and feel something you’re positive is a part of the baby’s body – even though you know that’s impossible.
For me having a belly makes me feel like I’m part of a secret club. I expect every other pregnant person I know to instantly want to e my bff (They don’t). And when I see other soon-to-be mommies on the street I feel an immediate kinship and I stare meaningfully at them, ostentatiously rubbing my belly and grimacing to illicit the commiseration that is the secret handshake of pregnancy. But mostly they just ignore me completely – too fascinated with their own bellies to notice mine is my guess – or look at me strangely.
I guess this secret club is so secret that it only exists in my mind.
But as much as I’m obsessed with my belly, I do often forget about it. Sometimes I’m in meetings or in line somewhere and I’ll catch some young girl staring at me in fascination and I’ll be like – what the fuck are you staring at?? And then I remember. Oh right – you’re looking at me and thinking “how they can you be so casual about that belly? Aren’t you obsessed with it? How can you sit there and act like nothing is going on?!?”
What say you fellow mommies out there? What was having a baby belly like for you? And my as-yet-un-knocked up ladies: are you as puzzled by baby bumps as I once was? Speak on it in the comments.