We’ve hit it, guys. The Birth Month. Midnight has struck and this late night post marks thirty-six weeks, meaning four weeks left. August 31st is just around the corner, though theoretically Baby HG2 could decide to hang on a bit longer into September. We shall see.
Photos for the Brother vs. Belly Battle have been hard to take, but we found the time last week. As you can see, photos get more and more interesting with a squirmy toddler.
And now with the full-on belly…
Are we ready for Baby HG2? Not entirely. I’am by no means praying to God every night that I go into labor, but I do have prayers that my body holds it together until she’s ready to arrive. Want a visual? Here is my challenge just for you:
- Find a watermelon that consists of 20-25% of your body mass.
- Using an ace bandage, attach it lengthwise to your torso so it rests below your hip line.
- Make note that while sitting down, you will have to part your legs to make room for your fruity addition (because you will be carrying low, like me).
- For added excitement, you could hollow out the watermelon and place a jovial squirrel inside – just be sure to maintain the belly to body mass ratio.
- Finally, while wearing your Squirrel Encased Watermelon Belly, spend the day hoisting and carrying a busy toddler, keep up with said toddler while he runs around, and then attempt to get a full night’s rest.
Why an ace bandage and not duct tape? Well, at least in my experience, my first pregnancy was more like duct tape – my muscles tight and supportive – while this second pregnancy is finding my body with more stretch and not such a firm hold as before. And then you may be wondering about the squirrel? Well, Baby HG2 will obviously be an athlete by the moves she regularly makes inside my belly. Quincy always liked to stretch and take his time moving around my tummy, whereas I picture Baby Girl as more of a ninja with rapid yet coordinated movements. It has been entertaining, and I love knowing she’s just playing around inside, though she’s found a few sore spots that she frequently visits.
Now, I’m not bemoaning pregnancy. I’ve enjoyed this pregnancy, though admittedly it has been tougher than my first. Part of my challenge is in response to the half dozen strangers that have felt it necessary to tell me how “tiny” I am, that I can’t be as far along as I say, or question, Where is your belly? To which I have a small soap box to stand upon and say:
No woman is fully comfortable in her body during pregnancy (and arguable when not pregnant – I’ve shared my struggles before). Some women don’t show quickly (or much at all), while others pop right out from the beginning. Some gain a fair amount of weight, while others struggle to put on the minimum weight recommended to them. And then there is the whole slew of symptoms that accompany pregnancy that each woman needs to figure out as they come along. Pregnancy is truly a miraculous process and I can only reference my awe in God at seeing my body change and seeing the life that comes from those wild changes. Parenthood is also such an incredible journey, and whether it is your first child or your twentieth, we should be just as encouraging to a pregnant woman that is waddling around the grocery store as we are to a mother with her four children in the next aisle over. Let us also not forget those that have been unable to have children but wish to have them, for they are in a special category of Brave and Courageous all their own, and need just as much encouragement.
Despite the frustrating stranger comments I’ve gotten during this pregnancy, I actually have had two instances where complete strangers showed great kindness. First, a visitor to church commented on how beautiful pregnancy was and that he loved seeing pregnant women around. Make note that he did preface his comments with, “this is not meant to be flirtatious” so the cynics out there can put away their creeper theories. The second interaction was when I was out to lunch with Brad and friends, and a man came up to our table and simply said, “congratulations on your little one” with a genuine smile and then went on his way. To those men, I say thank you for your kindness and for encouraging a fragile mother. I hope that I can be positive and uplifting to strangers in the same way.
So whether you feel like strapping a larger watermelon to your body or not, my true challenge is for you to look at the people around you and be an encouragement to them. There are too many lost minutes, and hours, and days spent on negativity that could be changed to moments of kindness. We’ve all got our own watermelons to carry around, whether visible or not, so why not make the weight a little easier for the next person?
Waddling and patiently waiting for Baby HG2,