There was a bit of a baby boom surrounding my pregnancy, with me at the tail end of it. One of my colleagues found out she was pregnant in April and she had a little boy this January. Then another colleague’s wife got pregnant and they found out towards the end of the summer, maybe in August (the baby came prematurely in February and he’s doing well now). I found out I was pregnant in October and less than two weeks later yet another colleague found out she was already 3 months pregnant. This third colleague is due in the beginning of May (she’s also having a boy) and I’m slated for the end of June (you know what we’re having).
In a way, all of these women being pregnant around me at the same time has been good. I don’t have my mom around for advice or my girl friends from home to compare stories with. Plus, even if I did, there are differences in some of the standards and procedures here in Belgium, so it’s been good to know a few women who have gone through it (2 of them aren’t Belgian, also useful to compare experiences). My sister-in-law and Daisy, a friend of Piet’s each have two young girls and they’ve also been very available to talk or to ask for advice.
Now, when I originally saw some people wearing something like this, with the creepy little hands and feet on them, or the due date of the baby on it, I really didn’t like it. It seemed…I don’t want to say self-centered, but I can’t think of a better word right now, so okay, self-centered to basically have a big belly shaped billboard advertising your pregnancy to the general public. I mean, isn’t it enough that you have this giant distended mid-section staring everyone in the face? Do you really have to scream it out to everyone via multicolored, hand printed belly bands? And I decided that when I got some belly supporters, I would be humble and get black or white or grey…something that blended in to my everyday clothing.
Until (cause any time I firmly make up my mind about something there is inevitably an “until”) I noticed that despite the fact that I’m pretty noticeably pregnant, I’ve only had one, yes one, person who was kind enough to say, get up and offer me his seat on a crowded tram.
And that was this past week in Istanbul.
Other than that I find myself getting shoved, jammed, jostled constantly on buses or trams. People expect me to be able to squeeze by them and give me dirty looks if I end up shoving them when I try to pass. For whatever reason, they don’t seem to realize that this big round belly is filled with a child and I can’t simply “suck it in” when I need to pass through a crowded area.
I’m not sure if it’s because, yes, I’m still in plus sizes, so they assume I’m just fat, not pregnant or if they simply don’t care. I do know that while I have put on weight, the majority of it is in my boobs and abdomen. I don’t have a butt or hips or extra chins to go with the parts of me that have grown, so while I could understand people not getting out of my way when I was four or five months pregnant, and just thinking I was overweight, I really honestly think I definitely look pregnant now, not fat.
But since the public in general doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend that, or simply chooses to ignore it, I’m thinking one of these babies is actually starting to look like a pretty good option:
Don’t you think?