With arms outstretched...

Compartment 14B

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Poor, underappreciated Belly.

2005-09-12 - 10:31 p.m.

I love the Belly. I do. So why do I preen when a co-worker exclaims that she had no idea Iím pregnant and that I look great? (Which happened today.) Why do I bristle when a certain sister in-law and mutual friend tell me Iím ďbursting outĒ of my shirt? (Which happened on Saturday.) A shirt, may I add, Iíd selected specifically because it wasnít so loose that I looked like I was swimming in yards of fabric, and wasnít so tight that it drew (or should have drawn) comment-inviting attention? When did it become not so impolite to say such things to someone, just because theyíre pregnant?

And to be catty for a moment, Iíd just like to point out that I gained in 18 weeks what the commenter gained in 12, so maybe there shouldnít be any stones of that ilk lobbed my way, mmm?

The fact is, this culture admires thinness, and having the best reason in the world to round out doesnít mean that I donít like to think of myself as having a stylishly sleek pregnant silhouette. I donít and wonít look like one of those tall, lanky models that swallowed a basketball, but itís still nice to hear that someone thinks that Iím small for a woman whoís 19 weeks pregnant. Isnít that kind of sad? Shouldnít I be glorying in my new curves, and even want more? On the one hand, I want to sail majestically through a crowd, the Belly parting it like a prow. On the other, I guess I just donít want that to be too early.

I suspect that Iím like many pregnant women in that I want to go from a discreet, ďmy goodness, how can you be pregnant and so far along when youíre so thin?Ē to being a full-blown parade float (but dignified, of course), without having to go through this Is She or Isnít She? stage of looking a bit plump so people are afraid to guess out loud as to the cause.

Any way, Iíve got friends and acquaintances that are already putting their hands on me so maybe I should be glad Iím not too obvious yet Ė woe unto the first stranger that tries that on me. WOE, I say.

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By the way, I escaped the ham dinner on Saturday, courtesy of my mother who asked if Iíd like to go shopping and have dinner with her. We went to The Green Door, which is, in my opinion, the best vegetarian restaurant in the city. Not only is the food fantastic, I always feel so healthy because Iím eating there. They also have great decaf and I got some whipped cream from the dessert bar to top it with, so my night was complete.

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My new favorite way to pass the time in boring meetings? Concentrate instead on the kicking going on inside the Belly. Itís utterly enchanting, yet still quite weird.

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