Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hello, Baby Bump, I've Been Expecting You!

I’m naturally a relatively slender person, but I have no muscle tone at all so I’ve never had what would be called a flat tummy. The gentlest way to put it is that I have a “softly rounded belly”. It was true before my son was born and it was definitely true after he was born. I got back to my pre-baby weight pretty quickly, but my figure was not quite the same shape. So with this pregnancy, despite all the conventional wisdom that second pregnancies show earlier than first pregnancies, I have been approaching the end of my first trimester with no noticeable baby bump, just my usual “soft roundness”.

Until this morning. I got undressed to hop in the shower, caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror, and thought, “Where did THAT come from? It wasn’t there yesterday!” There was definitely roundness, but it certainly wasn’t soft any more. I went from zero to baby bump in literally 24 hours.

Which means I’ve hit the stage that every pregnant woman dreads: the “Is she fat or is she pregnant?” stage. The stage where your regular clothes are too tight but maternity clothes are still ridiculous. The stage where you discover tricks like putting a rubber band around the button of your jeans, through the buttonhole, and back around the button to buy you another inch or two around the waist. The stage where you wear long sweaters and leave your pants unbuttoned. The stage where you dig out every blousy, empire-waisted top and oversized sweatshirt in your closet. The stage where you borrow your husband’s clothes. The stage where you live in low-slung yoga pants. THE FAT STAGE.

Fortunately, I have one pair of jeans that has always been somewhat generous in the waist and is still comfortable. Unfortunately, they’re white denim so I can’t pretend I’m wearing a new pair of jeans every day like I could if they were standard blue denim. Anyone who sees me every day knows I wore the same pair of pants yesterday. (Fortunately, my husband and my son are the only ones who see me every day and neither of them really cares if I wear the same jeans for a month.) Also, white is not the most practical for wearing several days in a row when one has a 15-month-old who’s just learning to use a spoon and a cup. So yoga pants to the rescue! At least I can alternate the two until there’s enough laundry for a load – and it’s convenient that one pair is light and one is dark so whichever load is full first, that’s the pair that gets washed that day.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m very excited about my baby bump. As lousy as I feel when I’m pregnant, I’m delighted to look the part, and I love seeing physical evidence of the little life that’s growing inside me. I have several friends who have had babies in the past week or two, and seeing photos of them with their newborns makes me even more excited to go through the whole process again. I had wondered if going through it a second time would be less awe-inspiring, if I would be less amazed by each milestone because I’d seen and felt it before. But I’m still astonished at the miracle of procreation, and my heart still skips a beat or two at each new development.

Welcome, baby bump, I’ve been looking forward to seeing you!

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