(Scroll down for pictures of pregnancy.)
The pregnant belly is a mystery (well not for your gynecologist, but still), it’s where the miracle of life starts (really that would be the fallopian tube but let’s not get into details now), it’s where we’ve all spent 9 months (some much shorter!) before we came to this world. No wonder it attracts so much attention. Even the suspicion that a girl might be hiding a little treasure in there is a great source of gossip.
A more than usual puffy belly, going to the bathroom more often, bigger breasts, getting tired more easily and – God forbid – morning sickness will draw attention even if you want to keep your secret to yourself. But still, these not need to be linked to pregnancy but one thing surely is – your expanding belly! At some point it will become obvious to the world around that you are, in fact, expecting.
“At some point” however is not a very clear explanation! We want to know when that will happen for us, either because we want to keep things quiet at work (or school!), or because we want to get on that plane without attracting too much attention, or because we want to plan our bump shopping adventure. But there is no fixed point at which a girl starts showing, like there’s no fixed date when a girl gets her menstrual period or finally sees her breasts growing (mine actually just popped out! Kidding!).
This is why we compare. So for your enjoyment or horror (depending on where you’re standing) I present you my weekly pregnancy pictures in the slideshow below.
If you take a look at me in my pregnancy week 13 (in the first picture), which is pretty much the end of the first trimester, you will see how flat my “bump” is, but don’t be fooled by the looks, the ultrasound showed pretty quickly just how alive and kicking the little one is!
Once I saw the baby jumping up and down I was dying to know whether it was a he or a she and since the doctors wouldn’t even attempt to find out what I was carrying until week 20, of course I grabbed the 50 dollar gender prediction test with great enthusiasm to find out it was a boy!
Once I new I was having a jumping little fellow, or a growing football player as all would say, I couldn’t wait to feel his first kick, which I believe I felt in week 18. I was relaxing on the couch in the evening and I felt a faint little punch but I was just so excited! I knew he was moving because I saw him on the ultrasound but now I could actually feel him! Now I know that was only the warm-up to what is now a regular kick-box training against the walls of my belly.
In week 23 I still wasn’t attracting any attention and when I went for my ultrasound appointment (I was traveling so the doctor didn’t know me), the nurse was surprised that I was pregnant! That visit was actually quite a turn of events. I didn’t quite understand when the doctor said: “Can you see the hamburger?”. What he was communicating was that we were having a girl! A girl!!! We were quite shocked! Thank God we hadn’t started baby shopping just yet! But at that point I made my first baby shopping list and got moving. I think I have most of the items by now.
In week 25 I could still fit into my skinny jeans, as in week 26 (beginning of the third trimester) and week 27 (when the baby’s eyes open). But that was it. Week 28 was when I hit the skinny jeans limit. Still, the shop assistants failed to notice that I was pregnant when I was clothes shopping and nobody ever offered me a seat. But I felt fit and fabulous and did gain the weight recommended by my favorite pregnancy book Pregnancy Day By Day.
Week 30 was the first time a stranger noticed I was pregnant. I was waiting in line to get a gelato and a little girl whispered to her friend: “look! There’s a pregnant lady!”. Since people started noticing, I thought it was a good idea to pack my bag for the hospital.
I gained 11 kg from the beginning of my pregnancy to week 29 after which I lost 2kg by week 32! But if you look at the pictures you can see the bump growing – it was however still the smallest one in my prenatal class. Week 32 was the most painful one in terms of the delightful phenomenon of vomit. I would regularly throw up once or twice a day – it must have been the baby and the food fighting for space with baby winning every time! Fortunately in week 33 I found out about the magical anti-vomit properties of apples and week 34 went totally vomit free!
Week 35 was full of baby’s hiccups, she was even hiccuping during the weekly photo shoot :) And instead of kicks I rather felt her whole body wriggling around :) By this time I also did a lot of preparation for childbirth.
At the end of week 36 I already started feeling my baby descend. I started feeling my first (painless) contractions in week 37. Week 38 was the most challenging in terms of fatigue. I felt great in week 39 thanks to some homeopathic remedies I took. Week 40 was a fun time – and I got a really cool photo shoot. I reached 40 weeks and baby girl is still in mama’s belly!
Would you like to hear about other moms’ experiences? I have just the thing for you! Get “Bumptabulous” – a book, in which 20 laugh-out-loud-funny moms (myself included) describe their pregnancies, revealing the secretly-guarded details of their conceptions, the great and gross about pregnancy, the truth about childbirth and how their life changed once their little womb-hijacker finally came out.
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