Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What to expect when you're not expecting

Yesterday, I got the question from an acquaintance as I stood holding Owen on my hip: “Are you expecting?” she asked, a glimmer of excitement in her eye.

“No!” I laughed. “We’re not having any more.”

I’m sure she was mortified. But I had it coming.

A couple years back, I asked someone I’d just met at the park who looked fairly obviously pregnant to me, when her due date was. Turned out it was nine months prior. I’ve made a habit ever since of not mentioning someone’s pregnancy until she’s eight months and bursting, unless she brings it up first.

Of course I regretted my comment at the park much more than my friend’s from yesterday. Heck, she kind of inspired me. I came home and started doing those crunches my midwife ordered immediately after Owen’s birth. (Actually she ordered a vast array of tummy exercises, all printed out on a handy leaflet I long ago misplaced and all of which I've forgotten by now.)

I also stood at a mirror, looked at myself in profile as my friend had seen me: hips jutting forward, pooch belly that I’ve never lost since Owen’s birth projecting out even further than usual, fairly low-on-the-hip jeans and overly long shirt making it all the more conspicuous…

And my unbiased assessment of me in that stance?: Obviously pregnant.

I swear I’m not. But I have had this sort of unnerving awareness of my little pooch belly for the past 30 hours or so – kind of like it’s a little third person I’m toting around.

I’m going to get down on the floor and do some more crunches now. (Actually I’ve read that aerobic exercise does more to tone tummies than sit-ups – but right now I’m too tired too jog. Here's one article with a regimen for losing belly fat that I have absolutely no plans to follow. Show me the mother who can spend 60 minutes a day alternating between weight training and aerobic exercise? It's not going to happen in this house... So I may just stay apparently pregnant for some time to come. There's also this mom-oriented beat-the-belly blog site . I have no plans to buy the video and no illusions that I'm about to get on a regular exercise regimen, but for a night or two I might try the crunch-free "bird-dog" and "medicine ball wood chop" exercises that Fit Yummy Mummy recommends. Mostly because I like their names. )


shannon said...

oh, Annie! Thanks for sharing. I think since you are the skinniest Mom I know and healthiest eater and very active, that if your belly looks protruding it's only because the rest of you is so skinny! You look GREAT.
My little sister, who has never had a baby, gets asked all the time if she is pregnant!

Annie Addington said...

Thanks Shannon. I do have a little tummy bulge but I'm definitely not getting bent out of shape over it. That set of 25 or so crunches I referenced in this post is the only one I've knocked out so far. And I have yet to try out bird-dog in spite of my vow that I was about to get down on the floor and do it. Life's too hectic for tummy flattening!