Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | August 21, 2009

22 weeks – belly conscious

22 weeks today. Just a few weeks away from viability now. God, this feels so weird. Great, but weird. I keep feeling like I am going to wake up and this will all have been a dream.

I’ve never liked my stomach. If I had to pick the part of my body that I dislike the most, it would be the tummy. Now I am in a weird position where I am fascinated by my growing belly, and very self conscious of it at the same time. I am fascinated at the hardness of where the uterus and baby are. At home I keep touching and pushing on the belly, and trying to see if any of those kicks I have been feeling can be felt from the outside yet. Just now I felt a few strong ones, but S can’t feel them yet.

I can’t bring myself to touch or rub the belly in public. I am sometimes tempted to, but I just can’t do it. I feel like an imposter. Part of it is because I remember the pain of seeing a happy pregnant woman rubbing the belly when I was in the shit hole depths of infertility. When in public, I find myself constantly trying to suck in my stomach. Damn that is tiring!

I find myself wearing maternity clothes but subconsciously trying to minimize the bump as much as possible. Why? Why am I not proud of the evidence of this hard fought battle? Why do I find myself obsessing over whether I look pregnant or just fat? This may well possibly be the only pregnancy I get to experience, and here I am, 22 weeks in and feeling self conscious. I have avoided taking pictures of the belly up until last week. I am fucked up in the head. Do I feel like I don’t deserve it? Maybe that’s it. Have I spent so much time feeling envious of big pregnant bellies that it has made me want to hide my own, so I don’t cause pain to others? Maybe.

This should be (and is) one of the happiest times of my life. Why can’t I let go of my body image issues and be savoring this time? Am I so fucked up in the head that I’m going to mess up my child with my own insecurities? This baby is most likely a girl, and I am terrified that I will continue the cycle of unhealthy self image that runs throughout my family.



  1. No worries! I felt the same way. Give it a few more weeks and there will be no dening that you are “baking” a sweet pea! I’m 25 weeks and my hubby was able to feel the first kick on the outside of my tummy!
    Good Luck!

  2. I tried to cover up my belly up until about 2 weeks ago. Then, I just couldn’t cover it up anymore! It was too big! I still don’t understand why I felt the need to hide it. Maybe because I somehow felt guilty, even though I was very facinated with my belly. Now, it’s just so round and out there, you can’t miss it. And I’m glad I can’t hide it anymore.

  3. I’m sure that you are sporting a lovely belly these days! I understand all the mixed emotions behind it, but try to be proud, cause like you said, it won’t last forever, and this may be the only time. But also, you will have a baby, and for all the emotions that infertility brings out, you will have to make some adjustments so that you feel comfortable when baby bird is in your shopping cart at the grocery store or whatever, so might as well start now.

    I’m hoping that the pregnancy/child birth help to resolve some of my self image issues. Many of mine are a result of PCOS and how unfeminine it can make me feel. You’re going to raise a kick ass little kid and be an awesome mom. And the parenting stuff will come to you. And mistakes are allowed. I think I turned out ok, so if I do at least as good of a job as my parents, my kids won’t be doomed, and if I do better, then hopefully my kids will benefit.

  4. I think it’s a form of denial…I feel so self-conscious about it too (I think I am big for 17 weeks). I think there’s a part of us that feels guilty and also that still feels like it could be taken away from us, or it’s temporary or something. I think it’s normal and I don’t think it at all means that you’re going to pass on body image issues to your daughter…I think once she’s with you all these residual scars of IF will dissolve.

  5. (*hugs*) There is nothing wrong with you.

    The journey leaves it’s own scars on all of us, and you can’t be blamed for that. So don’t be. As far as being afraid of hurting someone else… be happy, enjoy. And you know, I think that you remembering how it was and taking other’s feelings into considerations makes you an awesome compassionate person. But, you know, you should be happy, you should show it off too.

    But perhaps it is not so much showing it off that is neccessary, but allowing yourself to feel it. You do feel it, now let it explode hun.

    Lots of (*hugs*)

  6. I do think it is normal, and I think it is an example of how infertility has deepened our compassion ( in some ways -I for one still don’t like Breeders) that you are trying to protect other women from the potential pain we know so well.

    I only whisper about the baby at the RE’s because I don’t want the other women to feel like they have to hear about babies in a place that should be safe for them.

    I think part of it is magical thinking. If we do not embrace the pregnancy- than the baby will be safe. If we glory in it all the time SOMETHING BAD MIGHT HAPPEN. Which is insane, but really who can stop thinking that way?

  7. This may sound a little odd, but do you think you are afraid of the ‘evil eye’. That if you let down your guard and enjoy this pregnancy that somethign will happen? We often unconciously think that our anxiety will keep us safe from harm.

  8. I hope you can start to just love your beautiful baby belly soon! Be proud of all you’ve gone through to earn it!

  9. it’s a hard place to be in…. you’ve spent so much time being the “infertile” that you don’t know how to transition to the new role while still being true to your old one 🙂

    yea for 22 weeks. i am super excited for you!!! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: