It’s curious, when you’re pregnant, how your body becomes so publicly available.
I know people talk and write about it a lot: the way almost.strangers will suddenly touch your belly or ask you private questions that they would never normally ask. Even the way people see you changes: I am incredibly conscious of others’ gaze as I walk, eat, sit and swim.
But mostly it’s the casual comments that I’ve struggled with:
- you’re carrying this one differently
- you really aren’t that fat
- your face is still skinny
- your boobs really are huge
I know that they’re just throw-away lines from people I don’t know very well. But still, they leave me super uncomfortable. I don’t know what to do with them, I don’t know if and how to respond. And I find myself feeling frustrated that I allow their words to affect my experience of being pregnant.
I was at the airport the other day. Arriving back from a delicious couple of solo nights away [heaven!]
Walking through the building, there was a big, long flight of stairs ahead of me and an escalator, just one, that was going down. [down! my cranky.pregnant.lady.brain complained to itself. why would you have just one escalator going down? hrrrmph!] But as I went to lift my bag, there was suddenly an older man beside me offering to carry it. How lovely!
And even lovelier: we got chatting. He was one of five children. He grew up in the country and only ever went on one [thrilling] family holiday – to the beach. He, himself, had four children ranging from seven to thirty-one and he was convinced girls are harder to work out than boys. Much more complicated [he said].
As we arrived at the exit I thanked him for helping me. It was very kind of you [I said]. Well, it was my pleasure, [he smiled] it was great to meet you.
I walked away feeling A Hundred Dollars! And thinking: sometimes the escalator really is going exactly the right way [even if it doesn't seem to be].
Do you ever do something that surprises you a bit?
I was driving the other day, with no Little One in the back of the car, just by myself. With the radio up.
[Crazy, I know].
And I suddenly saw a bookshop, with an empty car space out the front. So I stopped, browsed all that delicious.book.ness, bought a book by one of my favourite authors and then kept on my way.
I know going to a book shop on impulse isn’t a big deal [at all]. But doing something that I hadn’t planned, something just for me, felt really good.