At 29 weeks pregnant (that’s just a little over 7 months along) the belly is really beginning to steal the show. In fact, strangers are starting to acknowledge the pregnancy with congrats or simple smiles. I’ve only had two people I didn’t already know come up and touch my belly – and they were wildly different experiences that I’d like to share:
1. THE GIRL WHO TOLD ME MY BABY NAME SOUNDED LIKE A DOG
I was socializing with friends and sipping on water in the bar side of one of my favorite restaurants when a woman (my age-ish) came up to me and poked (yes, poked) my belly. “Awwww, you’re pregnant! Is it a boy or a girl?” I politely smiled and said “boy”. She responds “Okay! Let’s hear the name!” I told her that we didn’t know yet, so she went on to ask me and Jeremy what our cultural backgrounds were. After uncomfortably giving her the run down of the mutts we are (me: Norwegian & Native American, Jeremy: Italian & Lithuanian) she went on to tell us her future baby name which is “Ronan” because of how much she fell in love with Ireland the last time she was there.
So I was feeling equal parts annoyed and challenging. So I decided to tell this woman one of our more unpopular baby names in the running. “I’m thinking his name will be Spike.” Now dear readers, you should know that I really actually love the name Spike. It’s probably not “the one” but it’s on the table. She quickly rebuts “That’s what you name a dog, not a baby. What other names do you have?” I told her I was done with the conversation and she started back pedaling, putting her feet in her mouth, and digging her own grave all at once. “Nooo, nooo, I mean Spike could be cool. I mean… you’re funky,” she says while grabbing my hair (!!!) “What’s the significance of Spike?” So I respond with just a hint of detectable sarcasm, “I just really love Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
This is when things really take a turn for the worst. “OMG, I loooooovvvveee Buffy!” She responds. “But who’s Spike?”
That’s when I turned to Jeremy and told him we had to go. It’s one thing to poke my belly, grab my hair, and tell me that my baby name sounds like a dog – but it’s another to claim to be a Buffy fan and not know who Spike is.
2. THE GIRL WHO SHOWED ME PHOTOS OF HER CAT
I was in line for the bathroom at an after party for a small conference I spoke at when a young waitress working the bar joined the queue. She looked at me, got a huge smile on her face and sparkle in her eye, and placed both hands on my belly. She asked me when I was due and if it was a boy or girl. She told me that she was baby crazy and proceeded to pull out her phone to show me photos of her cat.
If you’re going to touch a stranger’s belly THAT, my friends, is exactly how you do it. With open palms, warmth, kindness, and cat photos.
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Field Notes & Other Observations:
• The baby seems to have really active days and quieter days. Some days he kicking and flopping around like a ninja on a slip ‘n’ slide. Other days he’s a little more chill.
• It’s most bizarre when I can feel him kick / punch my right hip bone.
• I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep with anxiety over the labor and delivery part of this whole thing. I want to be confident and fearless about the whole thing but it’s a little scary to imagine. Especially in the middle of the night.
• Someone on my Instagram commented that I’m carrying high – and that this little boy might be a girl. And come to think of it, I never saw physical proof that we are in fact having a boy.
• I’m becoming a bit more breathless as my huge uterus and growing baby take up real estate in my core.
• With that my stomach has been shoved right up under my heart – which is beginning to make vurping a dangerous reality.
• Long walks are becoming increasingly difficult. Probably because I’m getting winded easier and round ligament pain is no joke (ligaments along the sides of my belly are stretching out – which feel like stitches in my side when walking).
Anatomy of an Outfit:
• Denim jacket – Ralph Lauren (I got this maybe 10 years ago off Ebay)
• “It’s In The Bag” t-shirt – A Pea in the Pod (maternity)
• Leggings – American Apparel (not maternity)
• Shoes – Adidas