I remember the following weeks after having both my children, feeling sad when I was in the bath that my bump was no longer there. Don’t get me wrong, I was so pleased that I finally got to meet ‘bump’ in person and I could cuddle and nuzzle them whenever I wanted to, however the bond with bump during pregnancy can be a powerful, intimate experience.
I remember watching ‘bump’ grow for 9 months, taking time to moisturise bump daily to fend off inevitable stretch marks – turning sideways in the mirror and looking in wonder at my changing body and, of course, sometimes horror and despair on days when I felt like an elephant ;) Being able to explore the maternity department in clothes shops...on the prowl for stretchy dresses to accommodate the ever changing belly, hips and thighs. There is something about being pregnant and throwing caution to the wind when it comes to fashion - bright orange flower prints on red stripy background? Oh go on then! You know what I'm talking about!
I'm pretty sure I am very far away from a narcissistic personality type, however there is that feeling of being special among family, friends, colleagues and even strangers as conversation inevitably turns to being about ‘bump’. The attention is all on mum and the growing tummy which is an indescribably warm experience never to be recreated in quite the same way. Once baby is here, attention is all on, yes you guessed it...baby! I totally get that as baby is so cute and cuddly and they have that smell about them don't they? (I don't mean baby puke!) Let's face it, the company of a newborn baby is much more entertaining than a frazzled, exhausted, emotional and slightly on-the-edge neurotic 'recently post birth' mother! Everyone who visits mum and baby asks "How are you?" The response is usually "Fine thank you". Well, we all know what 'fine' means right? (Google it!)
Laying in the bath after ‘bump’ had gone was a lonely experience for a while…no more ‘alienesque’ shapes and belly moulds as baby responded to the comforting warm water. There are definitely upsides to bathing without bump…I could now actually SEE my lady parts to shave those delicate areas and not have to heave myself out of the bath…but there was certainly, for a short while, an unexpected emergence of loss that I had not accounted for.
Three years on and those feelings of loss have depleted and gentle reminders ever present of where 'bump' was in the form of a slightly flabby belly and some silvery lines. A very small price to pay!
This short piece is from an upcoming book called "What 'they' don't tell you about pregnancy, birth and post birth" written by me. A humorous, easy read for women out there that are pregnant for the first, second, third time or more (because we all know each pregnancy is different).
If you like this extract, then click here to read another extract called Crying...a lot! And I don't mean baby!