It is. It truly is. I realize that at some point my belly button will stretch out in ways I never thought possible and ultimately convert from an innie to an outie by the time the baby comes along. What I didn't realize is that prior to this conversion, it apparently deepens and widens and softens and becomes cavernous. I have a small cavern where once was my belly button.
This is the week that I feel like my belly "popped," as they say, the week where it's suddenly more noticeable that I have a round mound of a belly. A little buddha bump, for that is how I feel. I've moved out of my regular pants, for the most part, and into maternity pants, at least a few pairs. It's not been as exciting as I thought it would be to find maternity clothes. It seems that all of the cute clothes are expensive (for temporary clothing!) and cheaper clothes make me feel frumpy and as if I'm wearing a tent. It's hard to know what size to get - these pants fit now and seem like they have some elastic room to grow, but will they fit in 3 months? And buying the next size up is like donning a parachute. An open parachute gathered around your shoulders and waist in a large tent-like fashion. My rounded belly (and my voluptuous breasts) also mean that shirts don't quite fit like they did before. My longer t-shirts and tanks are starting to creep up, scooching up my belly while I type at my desk, and my growing chest and rib cage are asking for more leeway in shirts too. And then there's my underwear - I'm not exactly growing out of them, but they are starting to slide down in the front, which is only embarrassing to me in the event of a car accident or a Marilyn-Monroe-skirt-moment. But still, I know they are sliding down, and it's not pretty, and does everything change? Really? One friend offered to buy me the kind of underwear that fit up and over my belly. I politely declined.
I've had a few more moments this week of feeling the baby move. Last night on the couch, after dinner, there was definitely a fish-type movement in my tummy. It was quick and such a strange sensation (it's been happening a bit while I write this entry, too). I've become more aware of my uterus this week - certain squatting or leaning over positions are more uncomfortable. It's hard to explain but pre-pregnancy not being able to bend in the middle had more to do with my (lack of) flexibility and now, suddenly (or gradually I guess), bending in the middle is more uncomfortable because there's this something inside - inside! - that's in the way. And won't move. All of this to say, what I think is so weird is that there's something inside - this whole package of life and life-support system - that is taking up residence in my body and beginning to make itself known. I have a baby inside of me! That is just the weirdest idea ever.
Probably the biggest thing of this week is my quest to find a new OB, which also brings me back around to whether or not I even want to be in the care of an OB (and ultimately a hospital birth, covered by insurance) or if I want to be seen by a midwife (home birth and paid for out of pocket). My current OB and I do not share a similar vision of pregnancy and childbirth. He's nice and all, but seems very concerned with how much more experience he has with this than I do. He also seemed to insinuate he doesn't appreciate women who think for themselves - which I have a hard time with. So I'm on the hunt for a new doctor and I hate it. I would like for the right doctor to fall from the sky, open a practice just down the street from me, and deliver in the nicest, least medically hospital not far from home. I'm not sure how to look for a doctor, not sure how to ask my questions, not sure if my questions will just put off the doctor. And I'm not sure if our current medical system allows for what it is that I'm looking for anyway. I know that midwifery "fits" me better - it fits what I want in terms of something holistic, an experience that trusts the body, and trusts that the mind and body are connected. Something that is transformative and empowering. Hospitals are more concerned with disease, things going wrong, and liability (which my current doctor also admitted, that some of his choices are simply to cover his ass).
So, I don't know. I'm not sure how to sort this out. How to listen. How to seek. How to trust - my self and others. I have a very strong sense that the answer lies somewhere within my self - that it is not about someone giving me the answer or mapping this out for me - but I feel or seem unable to find it. If you are of the praying persuasion, I'd appreciate your prayers on this one - that I know how to listen, that I know how to seek, that I know how to trust. And that I find what I need.
We took more pictures this weekend. I will post one soon.