First they came for the bumpless bump Touching in wonder that you're really pregnant Then they came for the small bump Touching in amazement that you're beginning to show Then they came for the protruding bump Touching in awe that you're really showing now Then they came for the rotund bump Touching in surprise that you're now so big Then they came for the huge pot-bellied bump Touching in shock of how really massive you've grown Then they came for the unmissable, fully encompassing bump Touching in admiration and asking when you're dropping your precious bundle
Seriously people, what’s up with all this baby bump touching. I mean, hands too friendly and inviting of itself for a feel … however unwanted … definitely not requested or agreed. Would it be too much to hope it stops?
This week’s baby bump touching
“Are you … pregnant?”, I think I heard as I raised my head; followed quickly with more enquiries about if I had another little one on the way … before I could get a word in. If this is all that happened, it wouldn’t have taken more than a few minutes of my mental energy.
She came towards me with a huge smile and pointing finger, whilst excitedly asking me questions I barely had time to answer. Never mind that I was startled by it all … I was doing something else, you see. And oh the pointing finger … it had only one destination … my protruding belly. It came too close for comfort, and without hesitation, zoomed in for a touch and feel with its finger friends. It all happened too quickly and I didn’t have enough time to react as fast as I would have liked.
I tried to move back and hold this well-meaning hand, but it was having none of it. It tried to touch and feel my bump again .. and again. I had to grab it more firmly and hold it a bit tighter to keep it at bay.
Bump touching is really not my thing … it baffles me to no end, but I couldn’t really get annoyed. I knew she meant well; she was so excited for me … way more than I felt in that moment.
Even then, she sure shattered the ‘definitely-safer-from-bump-touches’ that my bubu gave me. My conclusion that last week’s bump touch was down to the absence of my free-flowing dress – my super comfy pregnancy go-to outfit, though worn when I’m not pregnant too – now stands on shaky ground.
Last week’s baby belly touching
The other day, instead of my bubu, I wore a super baggy skirt, really elasticized under-vest, and a turtle neck top to make maternity / nursing bra size detection as easy as possible. This was a task too big for my bubu, not if I wanted to keep my bump clothed.
I know my choice of outfit on this day was unusual, as I’m known for being very protective about my bump. I keep it under wraps and I stay away from clothes that particularly make it very obvious to the guaranteed stares of interested onlookers. But hey ho, that’s life, right. I kinda understand the societal mostly casual interest in the growing of another life that is likely to become a tax payer – more on this another time.
You see, I can take the looking (especially if it’s subtle) … and I’m usually happy to natter about it when I’m not too preoccupied … but the touching ….
Well, my wearing of an outfit that hugged my bump in a way that you couldn’t help but see how big it was, seemed to be a ‘touching invitation’; albeit, an unintended one.
Okay, I only got 2 touches this time, and they were from well-meaning friends. However as usual, this uninvited and unexpected bump feeling caught me unawares; even more, it kinda annoyed me. It startled me, and I wasn’t fast enough to subtly move backwards before the palm landed.
I know the touches were fleeting, and their accompanying comments were thoughtful. I mean, it’s nice to enquire about how I’m getting on, isn’t it. But did my precious bump really need to be touched to show this level of care?
Other pregnancy tummy touching
It reminded me of another time when a friendly acquaintance found out I was expecting another bundle of joy. They were very pleased for me and I really appreciated it; but their simultaneous beeline for my belly caught me by surprise. I couldn’t get annoyed, not with their beaming smile … but my word, did my bump need that touch.
I could go on about other occasions, but the sequence of events are not much different … the expression of delight that the awareness of a growing new life brings … the congratulatory and ensuing well-being enquiring words, simultaneously accompanied by the all too familiar reach for the baby bump.
It’s like baby bumps are public property; albeit one that is free of responsibilities. Why mind the feelings of the bearer of the bump and their growing pains and aches, when you can … indulge your curiosity and enjoy the moment, hey?
Come to think of it, why do people feel the need to reach out without permission, and touch baby bumps that are not theirs?
My potential tummy touching
Fancy, if I touch all my friends’ tummies just because … well … maybe after they’ve eaten a meal … to visually acknowledge the satisfaction of their hunger and their resulting raised belly. Afterall, their food belly is part of the evidence of their effort to support the sustenance of their lives, just like my growing baby tummy is part of the evidence of a nourished and growing life. It also shows my delight that the food bump bearer isn’t starving.
Okay, I know there’s a big difference between a food bump and a baby bump; but there are similarities too, right?
Or maybe I should touch the unbelievable flat tums of some of my friends, to show my amazement and admiration at how inconspicuous their stomachs are. And perhaps my wish that my tummy was that flat … and maybe to show my sadness that my tummy will never be that flat. Afterall, touching their tummy will probably be the closest I’ll come to feeling a flat tummy.
Or maybe I should touch some silently eye-popping mummy and beer-belly tums, to show my wonder about how their tummies got so big … and my hope that mine doesn’t … or perhaps to gradually help me come to terms with mine becoming like theirs one day.
Would any of these be weird?
Or maybe … okay, I’ve run out reasons why I might feel the urge to touch someone’s bump. The truth be told, I have no desire to touch anyone’s belly, and I’ve definitely never felt the need to touch a baby bump.
My husband and one of my close friends think I’m too sensitive about this issue of baby belly touching. But I’m I really? I mean, I’m happy to invite and guide certain hands to touch the incredible evidence of the amazing life growing inside of me; but only when I feel comfortable and want to share that closely.
I just wish that folks will ask before reaching out to touch, and that they’ll respect your feelings if you don’t want your baby belly to be touched.
I sometimes wish I could just accept baby bump touching like I think many do; but it just weirds me out when folks just help themselves to me … just like that.
Does it need to be said that uninvited bump touching without prior agreement erodes the ownership of the bump carrier.
My word, it’s not your bump to touch as you like; definitely not to touch on your own terms. Is this not obvious?
And here, I rest my case; fully aware that bump touching has been around before my time, and will probably carry on beyond my pregnancy days. Even then, as long as folks continue attempting to touch my bump, I will continue wonder why.
So, what do you think about this issue of bump touching?
Are you a ‘bump toucher’ or a ‘bump touch refuser’?
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