Well here it is.
My sweet little 18-week-baby-bump that’s just barely there, just barely sitting on top of my waistline.
Though I love this little round belly of mine. And love being able to feel the hardness of the uterine muscles and to have the knowledge of the baby stretching and growing inside.
I also feel…
Oh, I’m not denying that this baby bump is cute and sweet to look at—but let me tell you, it’s a challenge to be a pregnant gal at this stage in the pregnancy. While my friends know I’m pregnant, all the strangers, cashiers, librarians, waitresses, and everyone else is caught.
Wondering, gauging, guessing, looking… at my stomach trying to determine if this is pregnancy flab or just flab, whether that’s a pregnant belly staring them down, or just the result of too many chocolate cream pies. Whether its really a baby bump or just a few extra pounds making that oh so awkward muffin top.
To make matters more awkward, I haven’t pulled out my maternity clothes in earnest yet. The maternity styles can sometimes be a good indicator of where that tummy came from, but I’m in the awkward phase of being too small for maternity clothes, but too big for most of my regular clothes.
I get lots of leading questions from perfect strangers and mild acquaintances… “Look at your three little kids, do you think you’ll have any more?” and “My shirts are too tight also” and my personal favorite, “Are you still exercising?”
So I try to make things better for all of us by either sucking in my stomach while I’m out in public (just have to be careful not to pass out!! haha), or to take care to rub my belly frequently (afterall, that’s what pregnant women do, right???).
I’m not sure if it helps or not. But oh well. That’s life at 18 weeks pregnant.
The funny thing is… that in about 4 months when the baby bump is more of a baby beachball, and I’m waddling around in the sweltering Southern heat, I’m sure I’ll be preferring this early awkwardness… to the awkwardness of people whispering “she is going to pop” “she looks like an overripe watermelon” “have you ever seen a shirt stretch so far”etc.
Yeah, funny how life is.
For now, I’m trying my best to enjoy this little baby bump, to take in the sweet little baby movements, and to delight in my ability to move around with ease. My morning sickness has finally let up. Yes, it lasted almost a full 18 weeks, though this past week I had only one sick day, and the week before only two… so I think it lessened right about 16 weeks though not gone entirely yet. The morning sickness lasted a full month longer than it ever did with my other three children.
Not much fun, though I had prayed for morning sickness!!!! And boy, did God give it to me!! He is good!! After miscarrying a sweet little baby in October, this pregnancy I really needed that daily confirmation that morning sickness brings—that there is life and growth within.
So I am thankful for it, though at many times I struggled to be content with my constant stomach upset, and extreme fatigue---especially during perhaps the most stressful time in our lives yet (January through March, the last few months of Nick’s Company Command, my time as FRG Leader with meetings & events & orienting & training galore). But God gave us all the grace to make it through that busy time with little sleep and lots of emergency bathroom stops.
So here we are. At 18 weeks and feeling good.