Written by: Hillary Grigonis September 02 2012 There's something about […]
Written by: Hillary Grigonis September 02 2012
There's something about a baby bump that makes it okay to talk to yourself, or at least to talk to your belly. I mean, anyone without a baby on board would get some pretty strange looks if they said What are you doing in there? Or Hello, again! to themselves. Trouble is generally pretty active while I am eating my breakfast, so I usually talk to him then. The conversation typically starts with him kicking the top of my arm, which I have propped up on top of my belly to hold up my cereal bowl. Depending on the mood I'm in, I either remind him that it is my belly too and I can put my hand there if I want or just tell him good morning. I'm sure the conversation makes absolutely no sense, but since he can't really understand me, I just say whatever is on my mind (like is that a foot or a hand?) so he can respond to my voice.
There's something about a baby bump that makes people think its okay to talk about your weight. Let me clarify—marveling over my baby bump or telling me You are getting so big! in the same way you would say that to a five-year-old doesn't bother me one bit. Go ahead, talk about my belly if you are going to use the word cute or any one of its hundred synonyms. But please, unless you are my doctor, don't tell me I look like I've gained a lot of weight or that my belly is too big/little. After losing five pounds early in my pregnancy because of all-day (aka morning) sickness, I was terrified Trouble wasn't growing fast enough. Then when I had gained 30 pounds (including making up for those lost pounds) and still had two and a half months to go, I was terrified I was gaining too much. The nurse assured me it would be normal not to gain any more weight through the rest of my pregnancy (and sure enough the scales two weeks later were the same, even after a camping trip with s'mores and ice cream and…). My doc keeps telling me my belly is measuring exactly as it should be.
There's something about a baby bump that changes the way strangers look at you. I've noticed more smiles towards my belly and I've had many more conversations with strangers than normal, which usually start out with, “When are you due?” Once, I was in the grocery store with my two nieces, with the 19-month-old in the big part of the cart, the 7-month-old chilling in the cart seat and Trouble in his usual baby bump—and I'm pretty sure more than a few people thought I was crazy. I'm pretty sure I've had more doors held open for me, though I have yet to be invited to cut in line in the ladies room.
There's something about a baby bump that makes everything that much more awkward. Our power went out last week during a big rain storm that flooded our crawl space, and to avoid frying anything electric underwater, I had to turn the breaker off—which happened to be in the back corner of our laundry room, accessible only through an eight inch gap between the dryer and the wall. I had to stand on my tiptoes so that my belly was over the top of the dryer in order to slide through. And it's not just fitting into tight spaces—sleeping, walking, putting on shoes, everything is a little more challenging and a whole lot less comfortable when carrying a child around 24/7.
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But there's just something about a baby bump that can cheer me up even when hormones (or life in general) sends my mood swinging in the wrong direction. When I can't sleep because my hips hurt and I'm uncomfortable, I'm reminded that in a few months I won't be able to sleep because my son will need me. When my belly bump gets more attention than I would like, I remind myself my son will soon be getting all the attention. When a weight comment gets on my nerves, I remind myself that Trouble is worth every pound even if they stick around after he arrives. And when I'm anxious for him to get here, he usually reminds me with a swift kick in the ribs that I can at least talk to him and interact with him even when all I can see of him is a big bump that prevents me from seeing my own feet.
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