On the Baby Bump
So my bump is now quite obvious, though there are still some who refrain from asking if I’m pregnant because I might just be gaining an inordinate amount of weight. On my stomach. Only my stomach. To those few, it’s better safe than sorry, and I don’t blame them. There are women out there who look perpetually pregnant and who I’m sure are tired of the “when are you due” comments.
I’ve read a few articles which feature the bump as their primary subjects. Mainly articles on people touching the bump. The articles portray the bump as this magical pink fluffy unicorn that people just can’t help but engage with. They go on to say that whether or not you want to be touched, you should be patient with people and not snap at them like a crazy hormonal beast when their hands approach ground zero. You know, perhaps you can just take a step back and gently remind people to ask permission first. Find your Zen, work the patience you’ll need so much of later on.
Here are my thoughts on this particular subject.
First off, don’t touch. Just. Don’t.
If you feel the need to touch someone’s stomach on a whim, unless you know them (and even then), take yourself away from the situation and slap yourself upside the head. Honestly, what in the world gives anyone unspoken permission to get up into someone’s personal space and touch their distended belly? If you do, be prepared to accept anything you get. If the person graciously accepts your groping hand, be thankful for it. If they rip you a new one, don’t call them ungrateful or ungracious or anything else for that matter. Accept your fate, for you brought it onto yourself.
Now, this may be coming from the perspective of someone who really doesn’t want to be pawed at like some prime animal come to market. Permission must be asked and given beforehand. Most people around me know this, and mostly they hover over my stomach like some force field is keeping them from actually making contact. There is no force field, just the verbal promise that if I don’t like you and you try and touch me, I will hit you.
And I hit hard.
See, I’m not completely heartless. I give warnings first!
Honestly though, the article I recently read, provided by the app I use to keep track of my weeks, was almost a throw back from a time when women were supposed to be meek and mild and all that wonderful crap. I mean really, accept your fate and let people pet you like a dog? Do you randomly start pawing at newborns too? How do those new parents feel about that? Not so inviting, I’m assuming. We live in a society that is trying to push consent with variable amounts of success, then someone writes that pregnant women should humbly accept this unwanted touch without too much grumbling?
Nope, not me. Slap!
Of course, some people touch my stomach, rub it like a magic ball, and talk to it like it will answer back. Those people are ok, because they’ve asked permission and don’t do it often. I’m ok with that. I haven’t had the pleasure of having some complete stranger try and touch my stomach, but I think that has something to do with my resting bitch face than any restraint on their part. Honestly, I’m seven months in and can still kick ass if required. It’s easier than running away. Much easier. I’m getting tired just thinking about running away.
If not wanting to share this experience with everyone and their dog makes me an ungrateful, ungracious bitch, then that’s exactly what I am. Lack of sleep, a constant urge to pee, and an increasingly uncomfortable midsection will do that to a person.
So respect the pregnant belly, but more to the point, respect the one who has to heave around that pregnant belly. Not all of us enjoy the personal contact. Ask permission before you touch, because we cannot be held responsible for what our hormonal, crazy-assed selves will do once first contact has been initiated. Ever watch Star Trek? It might be perfectly safe, or it might be the equivalent of going down to a strange planet as the extra in the wrong colored uniform.
So stay safe my friends, and don’t pet unfamiliar bellies. Some of them bite.