I’ve heard that pregnancy and childbirth can take a toll on a person’s level of modesty. Well, apparently that is true in my case since I am posting pictures of me me wearing my husband’s boxers with my belly button hanging out, no mascara (GASP!) and wet hair. I’m not gonna lie, I waited until the last minute to do my week 21 belly pictures. I spent the day at my favorite 2 year old’s b-day party with plans to come home and knock my pictures out. I made these plans under the incorrect assumption that the Steeler’s game was not on a local channel and quickly adjusted my plans when I learned differently. This is what I look like on a Sunday night when I am exhausted and all I want to do is sit on the couch, eat large amount of frozen yogurt and watch a football game. I figured at some point in this series I would end up taking some not-so-flattering pictures but just didn’t realize I would accomplish that by week 21. Just consider me an over-achiever.
And now, for the real reason that most of you are here….Week 21 belly pictures.
Now it’s time for Question of the Week! (FYI – I’m secretly disappointed in myself for not coming up with a better name than “Question of the Week”. Feel free to chime in if you have a fun suggestion that is less boring.) Here is a question that I have started getting a lot more often in the last 2 weeks:
“Aw, can I touch your belly???”
The answer that I say out loud: “Sure.”
The answer that I say in my head: “Yes, but ONLY because you asked. Don’t think you can do this again without asking each time because you might catch me off guard and I might karate chop you.”
Some pregnant women are bothered by people touching their belly. I totally get it. I just don’t have a problem with it. I haven’t minded it yet but that is most likely because I haven’t been approached by any strangers yet. If I had to guess I would say that I will most likely be fine with strangers touching my belly under a few stipulations: They are a woman, they aren’t crazy looking and asking to touch my belly is not the first thing they say to me. If I know you, I’m totally cool with you touching my belly….if you feel so inclined. I’m proud of my baby bump and…don’t judge me….but I am a belly toucher myself. I only ask others when I know without a doubt that they aren’t bothered by it. There is just something so amazing about knowing that there is a baby inside a person and is only inches from your hand. I loved touching my sister’s belly when she was pregnant with my niece and nephew and feel the same way about my friend’s baby bellies. I would personally never touch a strangers belly at this point in my life but I reserve the right to change my mind at a later date. Now, for those of you that are new to belly touching or are unfamiliar with the proper etiquette of belly touching, here are some important guidelines to remember.
1. Always Ask. It’s rude and kind of creepy to not ask. And don’t be offended or upset if the owner of the belly says “no!”
2. The Belly Button is Your North Star. Stay in the general area of the belly button or right above the belly button. Don’t venture any further south or north or you will most likely lose all future belly touching privileges.
3. Don’t Rub. Just put your hand(s) on the belly and don’t move around unless the owner of the belly says that the baby is moving and tells you or shows you where to put your hand so that you can feel the movement.
4. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome. If you are just touching the belly and the baby is not kicking, you need to get in and get out in under 10 seconds. At least that is my rough estimate. Even if I know someone very well but they put their hands on my belly and just leave them there for an extended period of time, it makes me uncomfortable. Touch the belly, feel it’s magic and move on.
Please remember that if you have questions that you would like me to answer in a future Maternity Series blog, leave me a comment with your question and I’ll consider it!!!
*I MUST give credit where credit is due. This photo series was not my idea. The idea itself is not original to me in any way. What is original to me is my belly and my words. Any and all credit for the Maternity Series idea should and hopefully will go to Pacing the Panic Room. I have unfortunately seen several similar series since he first introduced it and few of them gave proper credit. I ask that anyone that uses these images will ultimately also give proper credit to Pacing The Panic Room. Without the inspiration of his series, I highly doubt that my series would exist. Thank you!