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.
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.