But You’re So Small!

I’m reaching the end of my 8th month of pregnancy and slipping into the last 4 or 5 weeks before birth.

“How can that be???” exclaims many people. “You’re so small!”

Well first off, gee thanks! It’s not for lack of trying! Today I had half an avocado on top of my 3 poached eggs doused in hollandaise sauce, accompanied by 2 tablespoons of honey in my tea, followed by a can of sugary soda (bleh).

But yes, I agree. I look at all the ladies in my prenatal yoga class around the 35 week mark, like me, and they’re much bigger and rounder. And then I look at the 39- and 40-week pregnancies in that class, and the bellies there have all not only increased quite a bit past those “normal” 35 week sizes, but many have also taken on a bullet-like shape.

My weight, according to the digital scale I keep using, is at 144.4 (and I’ve been looking at it three times a day so I can see fluctuations — today, it’s been pegged at 144.4 lbs). I looked in the mirror tonight and saw that the fat on my arms has decreased, and people for months have been telling me that my face is so much leaner.

To boot, my partner just tonight said, “your butt’s disappearing.” I don’t know that I can see it, but I’ll trust him on that one.

Holding

Something came to mind as I was mulling this over tonight: in my yoga classes, the teachers remind us to hold the belly in.

And on one of my better prenatal exercise DVDs, the instructor, who bases the routine on a combination of step aerobics and pilates moves, chatters mid-squats about how “we all” like to just let our bellies hang out, so we have to remind ourselves to hold it in.

We do?

And I realized that I’m always holding my belly in. It’s the way I’ve trained myself since I started taking karate when I was 14. In fact it feels weird not to, and it surprises me to hear the instruction to do so.

Now, I’m sure growth and size have more to do with genetics and nutrition than any other factors. I’m sure as hell not starving myself here, so genetics likely plays the biggest role.

However, I can’t help but wonder if my ingrained habit of “holding” has restrained the growth of my belly quite a bit.

So as I look ahead at how much growing the baby and I have to do in the next 4 weeks, and how small my belly is compared to other women, I can’t help but imagine some impending, unearthly growth spurt that makes mincemeat of my rectus abdominus (so much for holding it all in!) and a mockery of my perfect “no stretch marks” record.

I am upping my abdominal stretching and cocoa butter-slathering regimes accordingly.

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