I must not be scowling enough. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why so many people are already rubbing my belly.
At barely 16 weeks pregnant, the bump in my middle is already basketball-ish thanks to blown ab muscles (properly called diastasis recti) and some extra chub. Welcome to my 12th pregnancy and also being pregnant over 40. The odds just aren’t in my favor for looking adorable; I’m already just looking really knocked up.
Which seems to be irresistible to some women as they immediately come over and begin running their hands over my ever expanding girth as though I were a talisman they were rubbing for luck.
“Hello, little baby,” they croon as their hands glide across the top of my stomach, and I step backwards and smile awkwardly trying to avoid their touching me. They inevitably follow me like an awkward tango of inappropriate and unwanted contact.
The stupid thing is that there’s not even a baby there.
The baby, who is right now around the size of a coke can, is safely nestled below my belly button. What all of these bump-obsessed women are actually running their hands over are my intestines and my fat. That’s right, the top of my “cute belly” is just the displaced guts that the baby and my uterus have shoved upward out of the way. It’s just awkward and weird.
I’ve decided that from now on I’m going to return the favor, and joyfully rub the belly fat of anyone who dares to lay a hand on mine.
And to the woman last week at the homeschool park day who knew enough to know where the baby is, and so dropped to her knees to talk directly to my crotch/underbelly – I don’t know if you’re aware, but it’s a vagina not a communication device. This isn’t some lady-parts version of the telephone game. Next time you go face to face with my business, I’m grabbing your boob to haul you back up.
I’m hormonal and tired, and you’ve all been warned. I’m not a magic lamp. Stop rubbing me.
Photo credit: By Frank de Kleine (Pregnant) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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