Pregnancy Diary Week 26: Changing Body
It has happened. Whilst getting changed for bed last night, I leant forwards without the support of my trusty maternity bra and my boobs met my belly. I was greeted by that warm and slightly clammy feeling of soft flesh on flesh, which as someone with a slightly less than well stocked rack, I don’t usually get. This is a clear indicator of my current and considerable belly and boob expansion, which can be viewed as debit and credit respectively, a combination that provides nature’s own form of compensation. After my initial shock, I have come round to this and it is actually something that I am embracing. It is of course inevitable that your body is going to change during pregnancy, and that you will look and feel a bit different to your state of normal, whatever that is. Although this can be difficult and can make us feel less attractive or more self-conscious, I am finding my new figure strangely affirming. It is a clear sign of the amazing thing my body is currently doing, providing me and others with a reassuring reminder. There is also something quite nice about moving from the just feeling a bit porky phase to the round, blossoming phase, where you develop distinctive curves and appear more obviously pregnant. This has come a bit sooner for me second time around, which I am actually quite pleased about. I remember a very awkward encounter during my first pregnancy when I was about 18 weeks and not really showing. I had gone to watch my husband run a half marathon, which in itself made me feel like a bit of a sloth. As an all or nothing runner who has run a marathon and several half marathons, I was very much in a nothing phase during my pregnancy, spending more time on the sofa than the pavement. Being a spectator that day rather than a runner left me feeling a bit jealous and a bit rubbish, perhaps understandably. Already down I had another kick to come. Whilst walking to my second viewing point after watching the start, I was approached by an enthusiastic and sporty looking young girl with a clipboard and tracksuit, clearly taking advantage of the sweaty, athletic vibes in the air to recruit for some kind of sports team. She seemed very keen to talk to me and after giving me a very warm hello, asked me if I wanted to join… a women’s rugby team. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting (ballet, gymnastics, a Miss World competition?) or why this hit me so hard. I am all for women’s rugby but I couldn’t help but be a bit miffed by the invitation, suspecting that she thought my bulk would be a good addition to their scrum; my sizeable thighs and backside providing some welcome woman power. I also realised that I must just appear a bit “weighty”, deducing that I clearly did not look very pregnant. This transported me back to that difficult time at the start of pregnancy, which many of us experience. We know we are growing a real life human, which is pretty epic news, but aren’t yet ready to share this revelation with anybody, leaving us secretly puking in work bathrooms and making badly thought out excuses about exhaustion and lack of alcohol consumption. All round a bit of a struggle. So, despite the initially alarming acquaintance of my boobs and belly last night, for me this is a clear signal that I have officially moved beyond the undercover agent phase and the wrecking ball rugby player phase and am now in the beautiful, blossoming, womanly, mother to be phase (well, with my clothes on at least). Although the developments in my body are now much more conspicuous, I feel strangely less self-conscious, more confident and happier in my own skin, which is quite a refreshingly novel state for me. It may be that this changes again as my proportions develop further. However, for now at least I am enjoying this part of pregnancy and an overwhelmingly positive feeling; rather like I have scored a try, whilst looking considerably more feminine than Jonah Lomu.