As my belly expands, I’m definitely starting to experience a good deal of belly love. I always assumed I’d be sort of a “hands off!” pregnant woman, but now that I’m pregnant (and really showing), I have to admit that I’m enjoying allowing others to touch my belly.
Lately, when we sleep, my wife has her hand on my belly for about half of the night. It feels so comforting, and the three of us are intimately connected in those moments. This past week, she has put me to sleep on more than one occasion just rubbing my belly. Then I’m awakened by a sharp jab from Egghead who has woken up from the attention from his Mama. This brings me endless joy.
My cat Cleo, who at the beginning of this pregnancy was my protector, now needs her nightly dose of belly. She used to crawl up on me, but now she seems to know that she can’t, so she lays on my leg, rubbing my belly with her head like she’s found some catnip.
It’s fantastic. Every night after doing this for half an hour or so, though, she jumps down abruptly as though she has suddenly figured something out. It’s strange, but quite amusing.
J and I find ourselves inviting people to touch my belly. She’ll say to people, “You can touch it!” And they will. I’m glad she acts as my gatekeeper–or belly keeper, if you will. So far these are friends, but even a waitress engaged in the belly love recently, and oddly enough, I didn’t mind at all.
For some reason, now that I’m pregnant, I feel open about it. Yes, I do feel protective of our little boy, but at the same time, I know how special a pregnant belly feels; I know how I’ve always felt blessed to be allowed to touch my friends’ pregnant bellies. I suppose I want to share that with those who want to share it. Now, I’m not going around forcing unsuspecting strangers to fondle my midsection–that would be all kinds of bizarre–but I can’t not share this with those who want to be a part of it. It feels good that somehow I’m able to be this open when I can typically be a rather guarded person. All of these pats and rubs feel a little bit like blessings for our son, and we will take all of the blessings we can get.
And the belly love continues from the inside. As our boy grows (wow, it still feels really strange and wonderful to write “boy”), he is kicking and jabbing and moving so much more. This past week, I have enjoyed many moments of just sitting and feeling him move. Yesterday, I think he had hiccups, and it made me giggle.
I guess what I’m saying is that through all of this, I am finally really enjoying this pregnancy. I’m letting go of much of the overwhelming fear that accompanied me through each of the first few months, and I’m settling in. It feels really good.