I remember before our first pregnancy three years ago, Berilac and I were playing a board game with my in laws and a question was posed "what is your worst feature," it wasn't my question, but I knew immediately what my answer would be: my stomach. I've got a life long best friend whose tummy is flat as a board and I always wished mine were like that, it's not large by any means, but it's got an 'extra layer' let's say. I remember thinking about my answer to that game question days later when I learned that I was pregnant ... and how ironic it was that I was grumbling about a stomach that, at the time, had a teeny tiny baby developing inside - how could I not appreciate that stomach?!
Fast forward to this past March/April. My weight was a tad high with all of the medications and lack of being able to exercise, my stomach was used like a pin cushion as I plunged (for the third cycle) endless needles into my "extra layer" on my tummy. At this point, I was VERY grateful that I could pinch an inch there!
Once we learned that we were pregnant, I started sleepwalking through the pregnancy. Just living in a state of denial as each day passed ... grateful, but still detached, about our pregnancy status. At nearly 10 weeks pregnant my belly couldn't take it anymore; but this time, the difficulty was in the form of food aversions - I was having food aversions like nobodies business. I would go from desiring a certain type of food, then taking the time to prepare it, and by the time the plate was sitting in front of me - I couldn't stomach it anymore. I was scared that I wasn't able to eat enough to provide sustenance for the baby, (though I know that's not true! I was being irrational ok?)
Near the 14th or 15th week, I started to need to support my belly as I rolled over in bed. I thought for sure I was exaggerating needing to prop up my belly with a pillow as I laid on my side, but each night I had to continue to prop, and each week it got worse.
In my 16th week I started to feel what I liken to gas movement inside my belly. I am so aware of my body that I noticed this when it was just slightly present. I'd feel some "gas" processing, really down low in my abdomen and wait to fart ... the fart never came. But when this kept happening, and people started asking me if I'd started to feel the baby move I said "I'll let you know in two weeks" ... as I thought, if this feeling maintains - then I'll really know that it's baby! Well, it kept recurring and I was grateful to feel baby kicks so early.
As you saw in a previous post, my belly was nearly un-hideable at 16 1/2 weeks. It was at about that time that my stomach felt like it was bursting to pop. I swear, I'm not sure how many times I asked doctors/specialists/BTDT moms/etc if popping was a potential scenario! I wasn't afraid of popping at 16/17/18 weeks ... I was worried that my belly wouldn't stretch far enough to make it to the end of pregnancy! I was told by a doula at 17 weeks that my stomach hadn't "popped" yet (meaning that the uterus hadn't fallen forward yet) but when it did, I'd be more comfortable and have more room for food.
Well, I'm not sure if I've popped yet (by definition of my uterus "falling" forward) but my belly has definitely grown since you've seen it last. At last week's appointment my OB told me that my stomach is large and will continue to get very large given my body type (short torso). I have been measuring my waist ... you know like, 36-24-36 OW!!! and my waist is now up to par with Berilac's. Yes, the man who is almost one foot taller than me and double my weight. I have gained 10 inches around my mid section and I'm only half way!!! I am large and in charge baby!
So I will leave you now with the belly that I am so proud of!
Thank you God for the incredible stomach you have given me and the fact that it's been able to protect and take care of our little one these past 20 weeks.