Hands off the Bump!
What is it about pregnant bodies that make them public property? Why do random people you don't even know feel it's ok to touch your bump or comment on your pregnant body?
Last night I was stretching out my aching hips and trying to get my back comfortable. My Husband commented that my bump is a lot bigger in this pregnancy compared to my last. This, I feel, is allowed. He sees me every day, he's seen me in labour, he knows me and my body (for better and for worse). We've also been trying to guess between us whether this baby will be bigger than our last.
A colleague also mentioned how "neat" my bump is and that made me feel good so what I'm about to say does make it seem like I have double standards.
Let's just say I have reservations about the random grocery delivery guy at my daughter's nursery passing slight judgement on my pregnant body. I'm sure he meant absolutely no harm but, as every hypnobirthing parent knows, words have a big effect on us. Since I waddled out of the nursery this morning, his comment of "Good luck, you must be due soon" has been playing on my mind.
My thoughts on this are:
A) Why am I being wished luck? Is he wishing me luck falling in love with our tiny bundle of joy? No, that can't be it. Is he wishing me luck with all the sleepless nights again? Hmm perhaps I do need some luck with this but I'm not sleeping anyway with this pain in my hips. My only conclusion is he's wishing me luck for the birth. But why? I'm looking forward to the birth.
People tend to view birth as we see it on TV and films so obviously he's going to think I'm heading into this with fear. Unfortunately I didn't have time to explain how women are designed to give birth, that my baby will get here however he needs to and I trust my body.
B) What gives him the right to comment on my bump size? Yes, ok this one does make me sound like a slightly over emotional pregnant woman who's defending her body a little too much. Again, I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it, but why is it ok for him to judge my size whilst pregnant? I'd hope he doesn't pass his thoughts onto other women who aren't pregnant. If he were to stop me at any other time and mention my size it may well result in him being slapped in the face. In reality I'm not due for another 5 - 10 weeks. Again, there wasn't really time to stop and have a full blown conversation about how due dates are really "maybe dates" and I know baby will arrive when baby is ready. Instead he had to settle with me saying "nope, not due for ages".
This leads onto people touching my bump. People who know me know I'm not a hugger. I don't like hugs hello, I don't like hugs goodbye. I'm not an evil person, I just like my personal space. Obviously this doesn't apply to family (my daughter gets hugs from me whether she likes it or not) but even my best friend knows hugs are reserved for when they're really needed (or after a few glasses of wine).
So why did someone I've only met once come straight up to me and rub my belly the other day? That's effectively what she's done. There is a baby in there but I'm between her hand and the baby. I know I'd be asked to hastily remove my hand if I did this to her non-pregnant body. My brother's girlfriend asking to feel the baby move though, that's fine. There was warning, I was prepared and I know her.
My only conclusion is people are excited about the prospect of a new baby. Everyone knows that despite the morning sickness, stretch marks, excessive peeing, back pain and uncomfortable sleep, it's a magical time and they want to be part of it. It seems that being part of it includes commenting on a strangers bump size or feeling up your tummy.
Anyway, mini rant over with. I completely understand that no harm is meant from those mentioned but I hope people realise that my bump is not public property and I really don't mean any harm if my natural reflex is to push you away from my body.