Monday, April 9, 2007

Waiting to Show for Real (Wk 20: PREGNANCY)

September 13, 2005

I've been waiting a long time to show, to really show, that is. So far my pooch has been too indistinct to garner much response from anyone but close friends.

While I will carry my pregnant belly like a trophy, I did get irritated at the remark from one friend when telling her my news. "I knew it," she said, "I could tell it the moment I saw you. Not just in your stomach, but in your face... in your arms..." That was at the end of my first trimester, when I had gained five pounds. When you are 5'9", five pounds does not go to your face (hips, yes; face, no). I responded with all the ferver natural to my hormonal state. There were expletives involved.

It's occurred to me that some women will be watching with baited breath to see if I get, in their eyes, just plain fat. The competitive part of me cringes under the microscope.

Move Over, Venus

Yet I can't help but exult in my changing silhouette.

Subtle though my shape may be, I've made progress. At least once a day, I stare at my bare belly in the mirror, feeling like Botticelli's Venus. My stomach curves out in surpentine lines, bulging with life. I look full, healthy, and feminine. Not since watching my breasts blossom twenty years ago have I admired my own figure with such narcissism. Not since then have I felt so womanly.

A year ago, I would have traded a kidney for Halle Berry's figure. Today, watching the abs of models on TV, the women seem scrawny and unattractive. They seem pre-pubescent, masculine, lacking in life.

Wait, Worry, Wait Some More

My only frustration is that I still don't look pregnant to the casual observer. Some of the comments are beginning to worry me: "Are you sure you have a baby in there?" "You're just never going to show, you lucky thing!" "You couldn't possibly be twenty weeks!"

I'm sure these folks think they are flattering me. What woman doesn't want to be told she is thin? Well, right now, ME! I look at pictures and descriptions of how big my baby should be, and I wonder if he's progressing as he should. If it weren't for the regular flutters I now feel, I'd be knocking down my OBs door.

In the meantime, I'm hanging onto those lines in the pregnancy books that say, "Every woman grows at a different pace." I remind myself that I am long-waisted. I think about those stories where women were six months pregnant and didn't know it. And I admire what belly I do have, wondering whether I will still feel so divine when I finally look like the Venus of Willendorf.

Belly Pic, Week 20:
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