Pregnancy is a wonderful and joyous time. But if I'm being honest, it's also super weird. Your body is changing constantly and you're navigating into unknown territory on the regular. You can go to sleep one day and wake up in a completely new body the next. What is this new ache and pain? Did my boobs look like that yesterday? Did I finally "pop"? It's strange.
For me, as for many expecting moms, it was a relief when I finally started to show, beyond looking like I just ate a big meal. Those weeks of exhaustion, food aversions, nauseousness and crazy emotions were finally resulting in something I could physically show off. My body had been working hard on the inside and now my outside had finally caught up.
Around 20 weeks, I couldn't exactly hide my pregnant belly anymore. If you were close to me, you could definitely tell. If you didn't know me, you could definitely assume.
But why, now that I had a cute little baby bump to showcase to the world, did it feel so weird?
I felt like I'd been keeping a secret that I'd accidentally let slip. I had already told my coworkers the news, but I felt so awkward when talking with acquaintances: Should I tell them or not? Do they already know? Do they think I've just put on a few pounds... all in my stomach?
Then it hit me. It all felt so weird because I felt weird. For the first time in my life, my body was not my own. I was now sharing it with a teeny, tiny tenant and everything was changing. My body, my emotions, my life, all of it. It'd be stranger if I didn't feel weird about it all.
While I'm excited to meet my son, I'm uncomfortable in my own skin right now—and honestly, I don't think that's going to go away.
This is new and unknown and strange, but I'm comfortable with the fact that I feel uncomfortable. This is my new normal. Or at least it is for nine months.
Recently, as my bump started to make its full-time debut, I made the decision to wear a form-fitting shirt to work. It was a bold move on my part. I didn't feel like myself in my new body, but I was doing my best to embrace the new me.
When I got into the elevator to leave for the day, a gentleman I'd had friendly chit-chat with also got into the elevator. A few seconds into our very short ride, he turned me and said, "My wife told me I'm not supposed to ask this, but congratulations?"
The man should have listened to his wife. I politely said thank you and flashed a brief-but-fake smile before making a quick exit. While I know he meant well, it made me feel more awkward and uncomfortable than I already did after sitting at my desk for eight hours with my belly squished and my back aching.
It's an unwritten rule of pregnancy for a very good reason: Don't ask about someone's pregnancy unless the pregnant woman brings it up first. Plain and simple. If we're not bringing it up, we probably don't want to talk about it.
Please don't make the assumption that just because I'm showing I want to talk about my pregnancy. Please don't ask me if I'm pregnant if you're pretty sure that I am. Please don't make me feel even weirder about my current state than I already do.
While we are pregnant and our bodies are hard at work while we're working on ourselves, at the end of the day we are normal. Please treat us like normal people. Ask me about the weather or what my weekend plans are like you would anyone else.
And I'm asking, nay begging, please don't comment on my body. I have enough comments running through my head for the both of us.