This one is for the ladies with body issues; pregnancy wreaks havoc on your ability to accept your body both during and after baby.
I don’t have a pretty bump. I didn’t the first time and I don’t the second. Sure, it’s round and somewhat little – at 26 weeks people are just noticing that I’m pregnant at work – but man is it ugly in the wrong clothes. And what makes it ugly? To me, it’s that my belly button didn’t turn into an outie the first time and doesn’t look to be any closer to doing that the second time around. The result: an unsightly jiggly flat and hollow spot at the belly button underneath stretchier shirts that makes you look more fat than pregnant.
I don’t know why I happen to have this particular shape bump and so many others don’t. But it makes me look at other pregnant women with envy at the their perfectly shaped bumps, that kind without any flat spots. I don’t know if it has anything to do with your fitness level, the amount of jelly already on your belly, how stretchy your skin is, the kind of cocoa butter or oil you use on your belly, or even genetics. I don’t know if it’s because people have bigger than average babies versus those of us struggling to put on literal baby weight. At the end of the second trimester (when the belly button is supposed to have popped) it’s not like I can do anything about it anyway. I guess I’d just like for there to be an honest discussion about different bump shapes… like how shorter women’s bumps tend to go out further because of a short torso, versus taller women with more room to stretch. Or how one bump can be low and the other can be high and it means absolutely nothing at all. Or how it’s okay that your bump isn’t a perfect half-circle.
Nevermind the fact that your bump tends to be a little bit bigger earlier with subsequent pregnancies. So here I am feeling like a beached whale with three more months to go, bumping into things, hitting my bump with the car door, and starting to get uncomfortable bending over to paint my toenails and put on shoes. I don’t seem to remember this happening so early, but maybe the mind is forgetful. Someone I know told me the “pregnancy brain” forgetting effect is there to help you forget how uncomfortable you are during pregnancy so that, to ensure survival of the species, you’ll willingly do it again. I’m beginning to think he was right. He’s got a flat gut that sticks out, too.