Dirty Rotten Belly

First, let me say I am eating a NEW! Amy's Brown Rice Black-Eyed Peas & Veggies Bowl, and it is SO YUMMY. Hooray! I actually think it's helping my nausea, which returned this morning (it's been showing up now and again over the past couple weeks, usually if I overdo it the day before—and the definition of "overdoing it" is getting narrower and narrower, such that several trips up and down the three flights of stairs in our house now seem to qualify).

I am finding that as I near the third trimester, I'm much more focused on the baby than the belly—that is, the pregnancy is less interesting in and of itself. It's become a means to an end: namely, producing a new little addition to our family. I know that this is where many women start, but it's taken a while for me to get here. I think seeing the baby clothes (we now have two! outfits) helped.

This is not to say that the belly is not still very much in my thoughts, however. I may not be as fascinated by it anymore, but I *am* occasionally irritated by it. For one thing, I can't seem to keep it clean. I keep smearing, dripping, and dropping things on it. There seems to be an ever-present smattering of crumbs under my breasts, and often I'll walk around with a grease or dirt stain at or below belly-button level without realizing it. The other day I stopped to pet a dog, and he attempted to suck the baby out through my belly button with the Hoover-like action of his sweaty, dirt-covered nose. I had no choice but to spend the next two hours out in public with a large streak of mud across my mid-section, as it hadn't occurred to me to leave the house with an extra shirt in my purse.

Another irritation I have with the belly is that it is ALWAYS IN THE WAY. This is especially true when I make clumsy attempts to seduce my husband. Last night I finally broke down and cried for about an hour because I feel so dorky and dumb in this department. I don't want to go into further details, but suffice it to say that if I could just remove the belly from time to time like an undergarment, I'd feel a lot closer (heck, I'd *be* a lot closer) to my husband, physically speaking. (Emotionally, we're doing great, thanks—despite my superdork self-image, he thinks I look great, and the love he feels for me is so palpable it brings tears to my eyes.)

The other problem I have with the belly is that it weighs a lot. It's getting increasingly difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position because of its bulk; I actually had to get up at 6:30 this morning because my hips and belly ached so badly that I couldn't even stay in bed any longer, much less sleep. (Thank god for the super-comfy leather chair Al bought me last week; I was able to go sit in that for an hour and read until Al got up. I'm sure I'll be sleeping in it before long, and I hope to be nursing in it come December.)

And of course, just when I'm losing interest in the belly or attempting to ignore the nuisance it presents, everyone else is finally acknowledging it. I get asked my due date all the time now, and today at Whole Foods a woman asked me if it was me or the baby who was considering buying the aged Gouda. (At first I didn't understand the question, and just stared at her blankly. I keep forgetting that people now know that I'm pregnant without me telling them.) I'm still not getting smiles from other pregnant women, but I'm getting them from everyone else—and new moms in particular have been very friendly. At least the belly is getting a little affection from the outside world; I guess it helps to balance the resentment it sometimes gets from me.

Posted by Lori in pregnancy at 4:39 PM on September 7, 2004