Monday, November 12th, 2012
“You don’t even look pregnant!” she said to me as I awkwardly mumbled an over-share reply along the lines of, “Oh yeah, I am. My hemorrhoids are raging, and the baby sits on my bladder so I pee every 47 seconds.”
Doh! Not my finest response, but I just never know what to say when people tell me I don’t look pregnant. I suppose it’s a compliment? Really though, it makes me feel a teeny bit, okay maybe a lot a bit inadequate.
In my twenty-seven years of being a lady, I thought women didn’t compare sizes of any particular body part like men. Sure, I might notice a woman’s bosoms, but there is no locker room runway show of the business to prove bigger is better. At least that’s what I thought…until pregnancy. During the nine month grow sesh, belly size is a main topic of conversation.
Size doesn’t matter they say, but really, when it comes to pregnant bellies, it does. Judging a pregnant woman’s belly size is akin to judging a man’s family jewels. Just like the frank and beans has become a sign of manliness, for mothers, the belly is the ultimate symbol of womanhood.
When it comes to belly size, my genetics make me “a grower, not a shower.” Yes, I realize this crass euphemism really refers to a man’s solider, but let me try to explain. And please, for the love, don’t urbandictionary.com that saying. Especially you, mom.
A “shower” for men refers to one who doesn’t have much size difference depending on the different um, states of his one-eyed snake. In relation to pregnancy then, this is the lady who looks pregnant pretty much since the day she thought about getting pregnant. She shows early, grows early, and pretty much glows early. She is my envy. She’s got that adorable basketball belly that the people can’t help but love and rub.
On the other hand, a “grower,” a bit more obvious, refers to a man’s schnitzel that really grows when the troops have reason to raise the flag. Being a “grower” in pregnancy means for the first couple of trimesters one’s belly may not be much to look at (we’re not talking about shrinkage here), but give your “mama nine months to make ya” and that belly will make other women feel like mere girls in comparison.
Being a “grower” though makes me long for a little early belly action, for just one stranger to inappropriately rub my tummy because it’s so darn cute. I want people to let my ample belly cut in lines and not give me dirty stares when I use the “expectant mother” parking. I want those pregnancy perks before month nine.
Alas, with pregnancy, women are constantly sizing up each others bellies. The funny part is though, just like with dem manly parts, belly size is pretty much genetic. The pregnant belly is a fascinating member of the body part family. It can stretch beyond the imagination as with Nadya Suleman or Kate Gosselin. Or as TLC’s show “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” tells us, people can carry babies full term and not even know they’re pregnant. The magnificent pregnant belly boggles the mind with its variety.
I never got the manly wiener comparisons before pregnancy, but now I get why feelings are hurt and moods are ruined if the pied piper is insulted. It hurts a little to think one is less of woman based on uncontrollable genetics. One can’t help it if their belly comes with its own zip code from the day of conception, or alternately, if their child prefers a good game of hide in seek in the womb.
Pregnant ladies should not compare. We all need to get off each others
backs bellies. Or at least let all bellies, big or small, have their moment on the locker room catwalk.