Everyone kept talking to me about this phenomenon of your belly 'popping'...I think naively I thought this had already happened to me. My stomach was getting a bit bigger, I was definitely looking pregnant when naked, if not in some of my strategically chosen clothing, and I was convinced the 'pop' had happened.
But, oh no.
It started with the wholly unexpected reaching out of one of my husband's friend's hands to touch said belly when we met him at the pub. The next night at a friends 40th, three of my friends did the same thing before hugging me or saying hello. It was like my belly had become one of those magic lucky statues that you're supposed to visit in Asia, except with no extortionate ticket price.
Weird as all this was (and it is weird that suddenly your stomach becomes public property, right?), people still commented that they could barely tell that I'm 5 months + pregnant.
Until this weekend that is. Friday night I got home and my belly felt HUGE. I thought it was just a day of running around in a fairly stressful environment, and wearing tights, which I'm convinced make it swell up because it's constricted. Basically like it's trying to escape.
But, Saturday morning arrived and it was still there. Alien like in its quality versus the rest of my body (which thankfully, aside from boobs that don't fit into anything I own anymore, has stayed pretty much the same...so far...)
The effect is exacerbated by a scar I have coming out of my belly button. A souvenir from a laparoscopy I had when I was 20, my husband has always nicknamed it 'scorpy', because normally it looks like a small scorpion trying to lever its way out of a hole. Except now it genuinely feels like I'm Sigourney Weaver, and I should be shouting to Bishop to shoot me now, before the entire ship is taken over (if you haven't seen Alien or any of it's subsequent spin offs, you won't have a clue what I'm talking about, and I'm also very sorry for you..)
Now, I know I should be all earth mother about this and be embracing the magic of life, the wondrous thing that is the miracle of being able to grow a child inside me (and I am genuinely glad that my body is capable of these things as we weren't sure that it would be). But I say screw all that, I am FREAKED OUT. Not just because it's a bit bigger now, but because there are weeks and weeks to go and the next bit is supposed to be the big growth spurt. I'm going to be a BUS.
I've had a lot of people ask if I'm 'enjoying' pregnancy, and I genuinely don't know how to react sometimes. The honest ones amongst my friends wait for my response, which normally involves me explaining how horrible the first trimester was, how I'm really glad I feel healthy and lively now, and that I'm crossing everything that it stays that way, and then admit they didn't really 'enjoy' it either, just got through it.
Others talk about how they 'loved' every bit of the experience, even that they 'miss' being pregnant. I'm not naming names here, but who are these weirdo's ??? I don't doubt that motherhood has many fantastic, life changing parts, all of which I'm excited about - but seriously, what kind of cruel hormones does your body pump into you that makes you use the word 'enjoyable' about this?
So, I'm putting it out there. Pregnancy isn't 'enjoyable'. Sickness and 24 / 7 nausea aren't enjoyable. Suddenly becoming twice your size isn't enjoyable. People touching parts of your body that were previously a bit of a taboo isn't enjoyable.
What is enjoyable? Thanking your lucky stars you don't have it anywhere near as bad as some of your friends experienced during their pregnancy (and some of mine have been super unlucky). Planning with your partner about how your lives are going to be with a small human and your aspirations for how you'll look after them (before the proverbial shit hits the fan that is, and reality sinks in..). Knowing that your strong relationship will hopefully grow into a strong family unit, full of adventures, laughter, and love - that's enjoyable.
But this massive belly bit? Not so much.