From the Blog

Belly At 26 Weeks And Stuff

Are you ready for this belly?

I’ve had a few people who haven’t seen me in a while and they are surprised I’m not showing more. Like, “You’re not massive! I thought you’d be grotesquely huge by now!” I feel pretty okay about that. I’m sort of tall, at 5’8,” and we know one of the guys is way down there. I can’t be sure what exactly “way down there” means. But all the ultrasound technicians have remarked that Baby A is about as low as he can go.

I know there have been times when I can push on the top of my belly, on what I assume is a foot, and feel it down in my butt. I wouldn’t even say “crotchal region,” I’d say butt. So this kid better make for the correct exit when the time comes.

Okay, so, kicking. These kids better be world class soccer players. If they inherit any traits from their father, they would be lucky to get his soccer legs. Holy crap, they are kicking the shit out of me. Nothing painful, but sometimes like popcorn popping all up and down my right side. I had coffee and a cinnamon roll the other day, and I thought the two of them found a dead squirrel and were kicking it around in my belly.

And also, nothing amuses me more than seeing the kicks through my shirt. I am at the stage where I can rest a book or cup of coffee on my belly, between my boobs. I wouldn’t dare balance a beverage there, because the boys will kick it. I can see the kicks. A book will jump in my hands. I know that Baby A is more on my right, with his head down in my butt, and his feet up by my ribs. Baby B is more on the left, but also with his feet pointing to my right. So it’s hard to know who might be kicking. They still have enough room to move around, but eventually, they are going to get big enough that they will be cramped, and they will “declare a position” for the remainder of the pregnancy.

I’m still moving around okay, but everything is getting more uncomfortable. Bending over, tying shoes, eating my toe nails, etc. I realize there will be a point I will not be able to do these things myself anymore. Getting up from the bed now involves doing a side pushup with my arms, because the extra weight in my belly renders my stomach muscles ineffective. I probably have another 10 to 20 pounds to gain before this is over.

There are two sleep positions that are comfortable. My right side, and my left side. Turning over is like a nine point turn in traffic. I can’t just roll over. I sort of have to squirm each body part over in succession, like a calibrated horizontal ballet, or a not-quite-dead beached whale.

This is on my mind, as I get more pregnant: My body becomes less my own, and becomes more of a gestational vehicle for new humans. It doesn’t feel natural. I know there are women who like being pregnant. And we, the big, societal “WE,” glorify pregnancy and motherhood. Indeed, with contemporary politics and media, pregnant women are more like public property (A WHOLE OTHER DISCUSSION).

It should feel like the most natural thing in the world, right? Here I am, making babies. My body has taken over, and knows exactly what it has to do. Even though I’ve never done this before. My boobs will cease to be ornamental and recreational, and actually fulfill their original purpose, which is to squirt milk and feed offspring. It’s fucked up.

I mean, I know. I know, I know, I know, this is what is supposed to happen, it’s not some goddamned novelty and I’m the first to experience it. I do believe however, I’m probably the first woman to blog about it.

But it doesn’t feel natural to me. None of it does. I haven’t been dreaming about having a baby all my life. Dave and I were enjoying our baby-free existence, but being in our late 30s, we looked at each other and figured we’d better get this show on the road. And that was the extent of our dreaming. We were as ignorant about childbirth or parenthood as two teenagers rolling around in the back of a pickup truck.

We are learning quickly. But what I am learning is not dispelling this feeling of all this shit being totally unnatural. Like for instance (this is gruesome, block your eyes): Vagina stitches. Stitches in the fucking vagina. Are you kidding me? Hearing about this made me cross my fingers for a C-section, but then…a line of stitches across my belly? Is that better? It’s all fricken horrific. All of it.

And really, I can’t even complain about childbirth. Yes, I am freaked out. Really. I am. I really, really, really am. Because I’m an anxious person, and I’ve lived a sheltered life, and I have never had any injuries or emergencies that required me to go to the hospital. Imagine having thirty eight years to build up any major medical procedure or any visit to the hospital as a XXX horror slasher flick. I AM FREAKED OUT.

But I can’t complain because billions of women have given birth before me. They do it all the time. All those billions of women, past and present, through the annals of history…they are stealing my thunder.

Those bitches.

Comments

  1. JenRojo says:

    Honey…you’ll be fine!!
    Trust me, you’ll get to the point where you say “I don’t care how you get these things out of me…they’ve gotta go!” And once you see those sweet little faces (even if they look like old men), the discomfort of pregnancy, labor and delivery will subside. Warning: they don’t come with instruction manuals, and you’ll ask yourself “WTF do I do with them now?” You’re going to think the hospital is crazy for letting you take them home.

  2. That’s a really good point above: the reason you get so uncomfortable is so that you don’t give a crap about your fears of childbirth and just want them out, you don’t care how. That being said, I had c-sections both times. You know those stories about women giving birth by just squatting down, squirting it out, and then going on with their day? That’s what c-sections were like for me. I had a doctor that still did stitches (apparently staples are the norm? wtf?) and had nurses coming in for the first two days to show their co-workers my beautiful stitches. That made me feel a whole lot better about the scar issue. No weird numbness that first time, but I still have some from the second time (and she just turned 5).

    The thing I miss about being pregnant (so you can be happy about this before they’re out) is not being alone. There is no other time in my life that I’ve felt so un-alone. It was great to get the kids out and get to meet them and not have them in charge of what I could eat (sort of, because I nursed), but I was hit by major loneliness both times. There were times that I hated the way my body turned on me and became more their home than mine, but I still liked the not being alone.

  3. Also, I wasn’t that big full-term. I’m 5’4″ and the boy was small and the girl is long & lean so I didn’t showed forward either time. I’d get people’s eyes popping by telling them I was 30-something weeks when they thought I was not even half-way through. I love looking at big belly photos since I never got to do that myself; I’m a tad jealous.

  4. The look on your face in the first picture is a priceless combination of bemused incredulity and sheer mortal terror.

  5. EATING your toenails?!? Was that a typo for “cutting” or “painting”, or were you just trying to see if we are really reading this!?! ;-)

  6. I caught one of my kids actually eating his toenails just a few days ago… You have soooo much to look forward to. And I cannot wait to read all about it. (Super cute tummy by the way!)

    • Wow, Joy. That was supposed to be a joke. I didn’t think humans actually did that. But thank you for letting me know what we have in store for us.

  7. Meredith says:

    Belly!! Fun!! I know where you got your shirt!

  8. GAHHHH! I’m still traumatized by the stitches mention.

  9. I agree with Kath – you don’t care how they will come out once you are full-term. I was in labor for 27 hours and I didn’t mind a c-section at all. In fact, talking with other women, in some ways a c-section helps you recover faster and you MUST have help in the first week or so which should be a requirement because I was really happy to have my mother-in-law and Rick to drive me around and help out.

    Also Kath, you nailed it. I never felt lonely with little Roxy in the womb, I’d hang out at home by myself as night and just be content, knowing there was a little girl rocking out in my stomach. I did miss that part of being pregnant and how happy the womb made Roxy and how I wished I could put her back there if she started crying so she would feel at peace. It’s hard to describe, but you experience some strange emotions right before birth and right after.

  10. Michelle says:

    OMG!
    You are such a cute pregnant lady!

    I agree with JenRojo, you will be ready to get them out no matter what when the time comes. You will do fabulously. (:

  11. Hm, so your baby A is way down there… that sounds very much like our baby A. We’re at week 31 now. Some weeks ago, our ultrasound technician was like “This guy is ridiculously low. I can’t even check things that I’m supposed to.” So, we’ve been doing the inversion technique for a while, hoping that baby A would come upward a bit to where there is more room. And don’t worry about the belly not sizing up to people’s expectation. You (probably) saw my wife’s belly last week at the twin class. It wasn’t huge, was it? I don’t know what people are thinking, but they expect moms of twins to have a monstrous size belly or what? :-)

  12. Heather says:

    Thanks for all your lovely comments, everyone. It’s wonderful to hear other peoples’ experiences. Of course I freak out a bit. I’m not really truly happy unless I’m freaking out. And sharing it on the internet. ;-)

  13. i just discovered your blog, and I am SO bummed I didn’t know about it while I was pregnant with my twin boys! Reading about your pregnancy is making me crack up, mostly because I feel like I could’ve written it myself (well not really; I don’t think I could ever be as witty and hilarious in my writing. I just experienced basically everything you did!) Twin pregnancies are something so unlike anything else, and you describe everything so perfectly! I absolutely despised being pregnant, but I absolutely love having twin babies (3 months old now). Thank you for painting such a funny and accurate picture of a multiple pregnancy! You’re awesome!

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