On size

Tomorrow, I will be 33 weeks pregnant.

I have started to "feel" it. Whatever I was doing at 33 weeks previous time I was pregnant - ain't happening! I feel tired and move around quite laboriously, and get back/hip/tummy aches easily, and I am definitely not playing any ball games this time around! (As opposed to what I was doing last time, with weekly Pilates sessions and climbing an apple tree and whatever else I was doing, a nutter.)

Women keep telling me how I am not looking like I am 33 weeks pregnant, that they were "looking like that" when they were 23 weeks pregnant, or simply bloated, or whatever. Sometimes I even get asked if the baby is small inside.

After having tried a few times and seen how long it takes to explain to people that tummy size isn't necessarily correlated to how big the baby is inside, I have started to... ignore it, ignore the constant "you're not very big, are you!" attitude that I seem to come across again and again.

I'm not in a mood for giving a long lecture, but here's a few bullet points to get the idea across - in case you're interested, but haven't heard this stuff before.

Amniotic fluid and the amount of it - it's got a lot to do with how big the tummy is looking. When women have lots of fluid, their bellies balloon and midwives struggle to even palpate their babies because little critters "float away" inside their mothers' tummies; when they have little, then a lot of the pregnant belly is the actual child inside, plus placenta.

I'm on the low end of the spectrum.

People come in different shapes and sizes - that idea applies to pregnancies, too, you know! Hardcore abs, for example, may make it difficult for the belly to "pop", and where/how placenta lay affects the shape, and many other things.

A friend of mine gave birth to a 3.4 kg baby boy last winter, for example, and her neighbors - apparently - didn't even know she was pregnant when she came home from the hospital, a child in tow. (I mean, yeah, it was wintertime, so there were lots of big jackets involved... but still. You know?)

I'm not sure if I even want to keep on going on this topic.

Basically, what I think I am trying to say here is that the size of my tummy - the part that sticks out, anyway - does not correlate necessarily with the amount of space that has been squished out of my other internal organs (how other women feel, I don't know, because I am not them, but I do feel how far my lungs have been pushed, and my stomach, and my bladder n' stuff), how big my baby is (we're well monitored with fortnightly ultrasounds and we're coming along nicely, really) or whatever else has been said about my tummy.

But I'm just not fussed enough to actually talk about it, so if you, too, tell me how I'm not looking like I am 33 weeks pregnant, then most likely I will reply with a random "Uhoh, yeah" and a smile.

And then I'll probably go and use the bathroom to empty my bladder, as I do at least a dozen times a day, because there ain't any spare space left in that little bugger!

Because the space that was is now taken over by my daughter. Ahem!

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