Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Belly Obsession and a Parenting Warm-up

I have noticed a strange cultural phenomenon, which seems to pervaded not only our families but all of America.

It is an obsession with pregnant bellies.

Any internet article you read about pregnancy inevitably includes a picture of a pregnant woman, shirt rolled up gazing lovingly down at her belly (always without stretch marks--where do they find these people?). Caressing it.

The first thing anyone wants to know is how big my belly is. And as soon as I tell someone I'm pregnant, their eyes go automatically to my midsection. It is a human reflex and it is unstoppable. I do it too, even unwillingly. I could no more stop it than stop closing my eyes when I sneeze. 

Among bloggers, the belly shot is also irresistible. You have all seen it and many have done it yourselves--the photo log of the growing belly. As a reader, I can't help but be fascinated by how that thing grows and how big it gets by the end. It's weirdly intriguing. 

And strange as it is, I am as drawn into the process as anyone else. In no other circumstance would I be thrilled to find myself unable to button jeans, or to feel my abdomen spilling out in beer-belly like fashion when I sit down. It is appalling to watch numbers on the scale rise and yet feel reassured somehow. In the end, my growing belly is a sign of something I've wanted a long time, and, impossibly, I am pleased to feel fat. 

So, succumbing to peer pressure, here's my first belly shot, at 17 weeks. Although the camera angle obviously enhances the size of the bump, that was unintentional. My photographer didn't want to get up from the couch. 

A few notes on pregnancy for me:
-I was only nauseous for about a week during my first trimester. However, I developed a strong aversion to anything, um, healthy. To this day, I can't remember why I used to think eating vegetables was so important. I guess salad is okay (smothered in ranch and croutons). But why did I used to spurn cheese? And nachos? And buffalo wings? (I haven't actually had any wings since getting pregnant. But I think about them. Every day). And pizza? I think pizza is the perfect food. 

-On the food note, I currently have the eating habits of a hobbit. Breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, etc. No matter how much I eat at breakfast, I'm ready for more in 2 hours. No bueno.

-I feel pretty energetic except I take a nap every day (or would I do that anyway, being unemployed?) and I try to walk 3 miles most days. Because of bleeding problems I had in the first trimester that haven't gone away, I'm avoiding more vigorous exercise until after I deliver. Sigh.

-I used to be a calm, rational person that rarely got angry (except when playing Risk) and rarely cried. I was generally sensible. And while I hated getting hungry, I never felt like throwing a tantrum if I couldn't have food immediately. 

That person is no more.

And in other news, we decided to start getting in the parenting groove by adopting a kitten. 

Meet Aspen.

We like to take pictures of her from every angle. We laugh at everything she does. We will employ any means of bribery necessary to get her to cuddle with us. And when Isaac calls to ask how I'm doing, I mostly tell him how Aspen is doing.

Yes, I think we've already got parenting down.


  1. Oh my gosh! You're adorable! And I'm so glad you got a kitten!!!

  2. Camber, you are such a great writer! Your posts always make me laugh. I love that you got a kitten! We have wanted to, but always chicken out when it comes down to it. She's a cutie!

  3. Love the baby bump Camber! I'm right there in the obsession with growing mom tummies. And Aspen is so's are my favorite :)

  4. Lazy Isaac. (Dave says, "Ugh.")

    I love hearing about other people's aversions, since that is something I never knew about until I was pregnant. I have an aversion to meat (most of the time), and I have been craving fresh fruits and vegetables, so we're basically opposites.

    Dave hates kat. But he also hates dogz. And babiez.

  5. I love your writing camber! You are always cracking me up. I'm so excited for you guys..and you are looking good! Looking forward to more belly pics :)

  6. I love kitties. They are the best. We got a cat when we moved to Iowa and it has been such a fun addition to our family. Congrats on the cat, and great "belly shot." You are brave. I took belly shots to track my progress, but I never was brave enough to put them on the blog.

  7. Eh...exercising is for losers. I tried running 2 weeks after my half marathon and I lasted a mile. Seriously, just enjoy the multiple meals a day. Food is the best! :) You look awesome!

  8. Your blog is so fun, Camber! Thanks for sharing! Glad things are going well for you and that you get to take a nap every day!! Yay!

  9. You are so cute! I'm glad you gave in and posted a belly picture! Back in the day, when I was having babies...nobody knew about social media websites, let alone blogs. I was very anti-pictures, and was less than thrilled about my ever-changing shape (mind you, I was a teenager). Looking back, I wish I would have taken more pictures. Write it all down, take tons of pictures, and enjoy every minute of it! You're already an amazing mom!! xoxo

  10. Oh i am so jealous you have a kitty! How fun! Hope life is settling down. You look great by the way!

  11. Yay for the belly picture! You look great Camber. I still can't get over how excited I am for you guys! We pray for little Roy's health and development every night. And your kitten is adorable!

  12. I love you because you and I are the same person. Pizza? Check! Vegetables. No gracias! But walk/running three miles a day has made me feel a little better about my poor eating habits too. And prenatal pills. The baby must be getting something good from them.

  13. I love your kitty. And I love your belly. So incredibly happy for you.

    If you haven't had a chance, I highly recommend "Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The Curious Science of Pregnancy" by Jena Pincott. My favorite pregnancy book. It's awesome.

    So incredibly happy for you both. Roy is a long time coming and will be loved all the more for it.


  14. I love your posts! And I love belly pictures! And I love your kitty!! Can you move back, even for a little bit???! I promise to make you something smothered in cheese!