With arms outstretched...

Compartment 14B

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Can't touch this. Dum da duh duh, dum duh, dum duh...

2005-08-24 - 10:21 a.m.

Today Iím wearing a skirt that Iíve fastened closed with a hair elastic. Sshhhh.

Sixteen weeks yesterday. Iím not sure why it feels like a milestone more than, say, fifteen weeks did. Maybe because I think of the multiples of four as equaling a month, even if thatís not technically the case. It kind of blows my mind that ďsuddenlyĒ Grommet is about 4 Ĺ inches long (crown to rump), and thatís not even counting her legs!

I went for a walk with a friend whoís rather keen on babies on Monday. She started exclaiming over the Belly right away; so fast I got a little defensive I think. There are still people who are surprised when I tell them, even when I tell them while wearing gym clothes and youíd think it would be obvious in form-fitting togs like that. Maybe they just think Iíve chubbed out? Anyway, she also exclaimed over the fact that she thinks the boobs are getting bigger. I have to say, maybe they are slightly but my bras still fit just fine so Iím not convinced itís anything significant. Iíve noticed that when people know, they seem to see changes that no one else does, even me. If they didnít know, Iím not convinced theyíd see any difference in some respects. Sure, the Belly is undeniable if you look for it now, and a particularly observant person will spot it even if nothingís been mentioned of my gravid state, but the boobs? Wishful thinking I think.

Take the woman at the gym with whom I often co-teach: out of necessity she was in on the secret really early. Every week after that sheíd say that she thought I was getting noticeably bigger and was surprised no one had noticed yet, yet at the time the scale showed a gain of less than four pounds and all my clothes still fit. Had I told her 5 or 6 weeks later than I did, I think she would have still been surprised at that point and only then started ďnoticingĒ a week-by-week enlargement. The funny thing is that last week she changed her tune and said she was surprised I was as small as I was for 15 weeks.

I donít know if people here at work are noticing or not but no oneís asked me yet. My managers know and the ďtop dogĒ here knew almost from the beginning, but I havenít made an announcement to my peers or anything. I was going to, but it seems kind of dramatic to do so when weíre in a meeting and meetings are generally the only time weíre all gathered together, so I may just wait for it to come up in conversation or for them to actually notice.

I think Iím trying to put off the day it becomes common knowledge because Iíve noticed that when people do know itís all they talk about to me and I start to feel more like a vessel for the baby than an actual person myself. Also Ė and Iím fully aware this may sound weird coming from someone who confides in the Internet Ė I donít really like to share all the time. Itís one thing to share when and with whom I choose, itís another thing to have sharing foisted upon me all the time. I keep getting questions like, ďAre you excited about it?Ē To me this kind of falls in the no-shit-Sherlock category and I want to say something like, ďDuh, what do you think?Ē but I donít want to be rude. Nor do I really want to be all gushy with a woman I hardly know or may not know AT ALL so I know I come off all non-committal, yeah-I-guess-so, which earns me some odd looks from the spilly-over-with-emotion baby-lovers. Iím just not one of those people, as you know if youíve been reading this journal for a long time.

Iím not someone who feels the need to hold any baby whoís in the same room with me, and I feel it would be obtrusive and offensive to just touch a womanís stomach whether thereís a baby in there or not. Iíve had people I know already touch my belly and Iíve let them get away with it but heaven help the first stranger that pulls that shit on me in a way that sets off my Spidey sense. I wouldnít take a well-meaning old granny typeís hands off at the wrists or anything, but if someone approaches me and figuratively and literally rubs me the wrong way? I am not someone to take that particularly well. I just hope I come up with the right words at the time rather than several hours too late. Iím already mentally preparing myself to be polite but firmÖ polite and firm where itís warranted that is:

I was recently told a story by Jís cousin. About 10 years ago she was in a local mall with an obviously pregnant friend when a woman came up checked the expectant motherís hand for a ring, and started hurling vituperations at her for not being married. Now, aside from the fact that most women I know canít wear their wedding rings after a certain point in their pregnancies because their hands swell up, IT WAS SO NONE OF THIS WOMANíS BUSINESS! It completely boggles my mind that, completely unprovoked, someone would go out of their way to verbally attack a stranger at all, much less A PREGNANT WOMAN! The very thought of it gets my blood boiling.

Okay, deep breath. I can only hope that this wouldnít happen today, though sadly, if it did then I suspect it could now Ė though not as extreme, Iíve certainly heard of rude behaviour directed at a pregnant woman in the last couple of months. Either way, letís try to send Grommet some positive vibes instead, shall we?

So I went to yoga last night and have had to start modifying some stuff there to not totally squish the little guy. I feel better for having gone though. I even did a treadmill warm-up beforehand that included a couple of 2-3 minute bouts of light jogging. I wonít be able to do anything quite that bouncy soon enough, but it felt good to work up a light sweat while Iím still able.

Next week, first ďrealĒ visit with the midwife (as opposed to the two getting-to-know-each-other consultations weíve had so far) and the results of our Integrated Prenatal Screening should be in. My fingers are crossed for good news and happily, deep down, I think weíre going to get it. I feel very positive about this pregnancy and that the outcome will be a healthy son or daughter. Maybe Iíll even get a chance to find out which in the next month or so.

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