My belly is none of your business. “You’re pregnant?!” “But where???” Uh, my ass, my skin, and if my hormones were visible there would be no doubt in your mind… The size of my belly is none of your concern, my piercings are none of your concern, my body is none of your concern. My belly, the one you have grabbed at without asking me, is also none of your concern.
Okay ya’ll, the uninvited belly grabbing…I have to be really honest, prior to getting pregnant I seriously didn’t see the whole fuss over it, I thought it would be welcomed. You’re growing a human and your belly is just out there for hands to grab; most comparable to a buffet style where everyone is helping themselves to the fixings. What people don’t seem to realize is that while our bellies may be predominant and on display, that it doesn’t translate to mama being predominant or on display. We are not as forward and open to the world as our bellies lead you to believe. “Aren’t you proud of it?” “Don’t you want the world to be excited?” … Yes, yes I am, privately and I can be that without you touching me. I freeze up when an unwarranted touch breaches my space and grabs at something I am working to keep most protected and safe. My every waking hour, my every breath, everything I ingest are all towards and surrounding this baby; so people are then just entitled to encroaching on that environment I have built? I can’t speak for all moms, but for me a good gauge as to whether it is okay for you to put your hands on my belly can be judged by our initial greeting. Did we embrace one another upon seeing each other? If we in fact did hug it out, then go for it, that is a clear sign that I have invited you into my personal bubble. If we did not, don’t do it. If I do not know you well enough for you to touch me on a normal non-pregnant level, then what makes it okay then to grab at my most prized possession now? Some people are reading this thinking I’m being bitchy or dramatic but it’s my right to my body and the boundaries that come with it, so shut up.
Unsolicited touching is awful, wanna know what’s worse? Unsolicited advice. I don’t know what it is about being pregnant that makes people feel the need to interject their opinions thoughts and feelings onto you. People I don’t even know, males specifically, reaching out to me to advise me on ways to get my body back post baby; warning me to wait until I have, “healed” fully before delving back into the gym. DUDE… in what world is it okay to talk to a woman, especially one you DO NOT know, about her body, and all the intimate parts of it? Of course there are parts of me that thinks about how I might look or how my body might change after the baby. The contrast between that and the rest of the stuff I have on my plate, I basically have the most minuscule amount of shits to give about what happens to my body after all is said and done. How I look physically is not of my top concerns right now. My entire focus is on having a healthy, happy baby boy and an environment to compliment that.
Now, for those of you who ask me what is poking through my shirt, dress, skirt… it is my belly ring! Stay with me here because this might be a tough grasp for some– there is absolutely NOTHING wrong, I repeat, nothing wrong, with keeping it in for the duration of my pregnancy. While I appreciate you taking time to depose me on the latest Google has to offer on the subject, my doctor has advised me that is all good and should only be taken out should it cause me any discomfort. Guess what? It hasn’t, so guess what? It’s still in there.
Next up to bat is the caffeine police.. Oh no, is she having a cup of coffee?? No, no she couldn’t, she wouldn’t! …. She is, and she does, with a splash of french vanilla cream I might add… It is completely fine to have a cup of coffee a day. Everyone settle down out there because again, here is another instance where your extensive research is appreciated but my LICENSED professional has let me know that having a single, 12oz cup of coffee, is totally fine! So that means I do not care that your sisters, mothers, and friends have all given it up completely while pregnant– I’m not. So while the rest of you are drinking your, (alcohol of choice) and eating your, (plethora of food pregnant women can’t eat) and smoking/vaping on your, (personal choice of vice) I will be helping myself to a damn cup of steaming hazelnut coffee.
While I know most of these comments/actions are meant with good intent they come off offensive and they’re unwarranted. Unless I ask you point-blank your position on something pertaining to my body, do not offer it up. I am growing a human for God’s sake, I do not care or need to care about what Joe Schmoe thinks in terms of my body or how Negative Nancy feels about my delicious, ever savored, cup of coffee. This is hard enough without the added weight of judgement coming from my fellow humans. My belly and body are frankly none of your business.
A 24-year-old single mom who is kicking ass at this seemingly impossible, absolutely rewarding adventure
P.s. My baby boy has been wiggling and bouncing around in my belly the entire time I’ve been writing this, which means he seconds the notions.