When we first found out we were going to have a baby, Mr. and I immediately starting taking photos of my (we were sure) soon-to-be burgeoning belly.
Then, I got sick and we skipped a day or two. Then, I got REALLY sick and we stopped taking pictures all together.
Once I started feeling better, we thought about starting up the photos again, but, I was down quite a few pounds from where we began (from the two straight months of puking) so… we decided I should catch up to my pre-pregnancy weight first.
Now, I’m a week away from entering my third trimester, and if Mr. took a profile picture of me today… it really wouldn’t look too much different from the “day one” photo we took back in February.
And… I’m generally not too happy about that fact. I see other pregnant women EVERYWHERE and I want to run up to them and say “Me too! I’m in the club, too!!”
It seems like everyone looks more pregnant than me. Non-pregnant people who have round-ish bellies even make me jealous. Old men with beer bellies? Oh yeah, I’m jealous.
Here, as an illustration of my lack of bump, a photo taken yesterday:
Yup. There is a baby in there. According to the internet, my baby is currently the size of a head of cauliflower.
Now, as much as I might be complaining about my lack of bump, Mr. and I have both noticed some definite changes to my abdomen. Particularly when I lay down. There is a definite shape there that wasn’t there previously. Also, we have NO doubts whatsoever that there is a real, live baby in there. Evidence the kicks and punches and rolls and other various movements that sometimes make my small-ish belly dance around.
It’s just hard when most comments I get about my pregnancy are along the lines of “are you sure you’re pregnant??” and “wow, you don’t look pregnant AT ALL!” and even the occasional “Are you sure you’re eating enough?”
The answer to that last one is “yes, I’m sure.” If you don’t believe me, I have the half finished block of Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese in my fridge to prove it. I just opened it this morning.
Dude, cheese is GOOD!
People also like to suggest that maybe my baby just needs some MEAT. Maybe if I would just feed my poor, underdeveloped child a nice, juicy steak…
Regardless of my lacking bump and refusal to eat meat, my midwives assure me every time that I am measuring perfect (and that a vegetarian diet is actually quite healthy for me and baby). Everything is growing exactly as it’s supposed to. My sweet little fetus has a strong and wonderful heartbeat.
So, I need to remind myself of what Ina May Gaskin has so famously said (in defense of natural childbirth), “my body is not a lemon.”
My body is doing everything it is supposed to right now. There is something soooo amazing happening inside of me and I need to remember that what’s happening inside is more important than, and irrelevant to, what’s showing on the outside.
It’s still hard to suffer the comments that people think are kind like, “wow, you’re so small!” because it makes me feel like I am disappointing people somehow. Like, I am not the picture of pregnancy that they had in mind. Hell, I’m not the picture of pregnancy that I had in mind, either. I have a four-sizes-too-big bridesmaids dress hanging in my closet to prove it. I was expecting to be large with child by now, and even larger 58 days from now when I walk down the aisle at Big Sister’s wedding.
But, my body is not a lemon.
And, now I know how Beyonce feels… there’s a lot of pressure to look the part. And I’m not even a mega celebrity like she is. For now I’ve resisted the allure of a fake bump, but… it would be pretty nice to have people look at me and smile at my baby belly instead of saying “are you SURE you’re pregnant??”
But, for the record… yeah, I’m sure. And it’s awesome.