PREGNANCY: Shut up about my bump
I remember being warned with my first pregnancy that people, often random people, would reach out and feel the need to stroke my growing stomach. I suspected that I'd done the same myself so had broadly accepted that this would happen and that I'd be OK with it as a temporary invasion of my personal space and midriff. But what no one warned me is whilst there is less uninvited tummy stroking second time round, everyone, and I mean everyone, thinks it's ok to share their opinion on how big or small I'm looking.
Now whilst I do recall people commenting on my stomach size when I was growing Etta, I was probably fortunate that they were mostly around being 'neat' or 'all out front' so firmly on the flattering scale. This time round there has been a switch and I don't like it one bit.
For someone who is naturally petite I'm regularly made to feel like a whale who is secretly growing twins whilst harbouring gestational diabetes. Ok so it might be the hormones, or extra exhaustion from being pregnant with a toddler and running my own business on top of my job (two fairly full on added things compared to last time round) but either way I'm not taking it well.
Only yesterday a very good family friend simply pointed and said 'wow' when she saw me, which when added to my dad's earlier greeting of 'hello porky' did little for my thunderous mood.
All this commentary has led me to the dark and dangerous place of looking up women's bump pics online to compare my size with theirs. Given that we all know that comparison is very rarely a good thing (unless we're trying to pick the largest piece of cake) rather than coming offline reassured, I'm finding myself feeling bigger than ever and sometimes concerned about whether there is in fact a problem. The usually logical me has also chosen to ignore the fact that qualified midwives are telling me I'm measuring about right for my pregnancy, and instead relying on the reaction of randoms to determine my relative size.
I know that my focus should absolutely be on the fact that I'm growing a healthy baby, and I should recognise the inevitability that my stomach muscles are certainly not putting up the fight they did when pregnant with Etta, but it's so hard to ignore the comments and assumptions of how far along I must be.
So for now I'm just hoping that the third trimester doesn't bring a gargantuan growth spurt for my bump, and that I can grow a thicker (if significantly stretched) skin to silence the tummy whisperers. Wish me luck.