tirsdag, december 04, 2007

Just in case you're wondering what I've been doing since NaBloPoMo

Actually, what have I been doing since NaBloPoMo? Other than working, eating, and sleeping, my main activity seems to have become:

Stomach-rubbing. Yes, I'm suddenly that stereotype of the pregnant woman, who cannot stay in a seated or reclined position without having an overwhelming (and seemingly instinctive) urge to run a hand over (and over and over) her slowly enlarging belly. So far, I haven't been doing this in public (though I'm sure that will start soon enough), but certainly on the privacy of my own couch, with accompanying book and/or laptop and/or soothing cup of ginger tea.

The question is, why? Just to feel that my stomach is different? Cause it's a very strange shape, compared to what it was like before. Preliminary bonding with baby? Cause it does sort of feel like I'm patting him or her on the head (or back, or bottom, or...). Is it an instinct? Cause it sure seems to be. Maybe in order to ward off heartburn? Well, I can dream, anyway.

Of course it's o.k. because it's my own stomach I'm rubbing. The big question will be how I'll feel if and when near strangers start to do this to me, as I get larger. Friends and family, they're welcome (assuming they ask first, of course)...I've had the honor of trying to catch a kick or other movement through the stomach of a pregnant friend (though never with any success), and I look forward to participating in this ritual from the other side. But anyone else than my actual circle, it seems a bit creepy. Yet I have the sense that the pregnant belly becomes part of public space.

So, I need to know...if you've been pregnant, were you possessed with this need for belly-rubbing, and if so, what do you think motivated you most? And did you find total strangers reaching for your belly? For those who haven't been pregnant, have you ever had the urge to touch a pregnant woman's belly? And if so, did you go with that urge? Even if you didn't really know the person whose belly it was? And if you did, what on the pregnant woman's part would have stopped you from doing such a thing?

16 kommentarer:

Etchen sagde ...

Never had any kids, so I can't say first hand...but I always love to see women doing it...it seems to me as if they are nurturing and comforting their little ones.

Devil Mood sagde ...

First of all, my mother complains about those pregnant women who always have a hand over their bellies - don't know why but it gets on her nerves very much! lol

But I would rub it if it was me. (when I finish dinner, I get a really large belly and I like laying my hand on it) I think it's because it's round, it's like a ball. lol

the other day I was thinking that you're probably the closest I've been to pregnant women. Not physically. I've had many cousins and even felt kicks in the bellies, but it's different because you're sharing your experiences more directly with us. It's nice.

No, I don't get the urge to touch other people's stomachs. I feel that it's as invading as any other part of the body. ;)

Gondul sagde ...

I too love to see pregnant women rubbing their hands over their bellies - it always comes across as a serene action.

I must admit I've also done the try-to-catch-the-baby-kicking thing but only with close friends! And always, always make sure to ask permission first. Have always been horrified at those random strangers who come up to pregnant friends and starting pawing at the them. I get all protective and start making back-off-strange-lady actions.

ps - Brenda had a little girl last week : )

Vesper sagde ...

super interesting observation you've made....that a pregnant belly is a public belly! normally strangers would not come up and touch you....but when you're pregnant, they are more likely to feel entitled to put their hands on you. this happened to me a few times, and i've also felt the urge to touch a pregnant belly, but have never done so, unless i know the person and i've asked them first.

i always had my hands on my tummy when i was pregnant! i definitely bonded with my baby during those times!

Chibithulhu sagde ...

in answer to your "why would anyone bring a baby to work?" question asked over on my blog:

I don't know. it seems like a bad idea to me, but i am in America, where people take special pride in making a Bad Idea work, or at least getting away it. which does, in a roundabout way, sort of explain it.

I think they do it because they, like me, are very misanthropic, and forcing others to put up with their kid is one of their sadistic little joys in life.

or it's germ warfare. or it's because i am in a region where civility and etiquette, like education and good grammar, are seen as foppish affectations.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

on a more relevant note...

were I a pregnant woman and faced with the dilemma of strangers wantint to rub the outer layers of my gestation chamber, I would squeeze their wrist, hard, and say "It'll cost you fifty bucks or a finger," and when they looked offended as I held out the clippers to remove a digit, I would ask how they felt about total strangers trying to grope them and their offspring simultaneously.

I faintly recall one of my own progenitors, Vampire Holocaust (the female one) doing this to people. It had something to do with territoriality, personal space, and child-warping privileges.

www.AccordingToAngela.com sagde ...

hi - found your blog through the nablopomo site - congrats on winning the baby crib set!

anyway, when i was pregnant (unfortunately, it ended in miscarriage), i was always rubbing my belly, even though i never got far along enough to start showing much. i felt the difference, but it wasn't noticeable to anyone other than my husband and i!

i definitely see it as a bonding experience with your child - a comforting touch to let them know that you're thinking of them and that you love them! it's a beautiful thing.

good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

Gondul sagde ...

Congrats on winning the crib : )

Kunstemæcker sagde ...

Nope. Never been pregnant before.

Smiler sagde ...

I've not been pregnant and it's not something I plan for myself either, but if I was, I most definitely would not be okay with anyone touching any of my body parts without asking first. Also, I always ask before touching, though I don't usually want to touch anyone that I'm not already close with. I know what you mean about the belly becoming part of public domain. It's a strange phenomenon. As for belly rubbing, isn't that what all pregnant women do?

Maddie sagde ...

I did because I wasn't sure it was
my tummy as it felt so strange :)

and I HATED it when strangers
would suddenly touch my stomach ~
it creeped me out but I was
usually (not always) polite:)

Jay sagde ...

It is weird that other people rub bellies, but I think the instinct to pat your own is very sweet.

erin sagde ...

I seem to remember my mom saying once that when you're pregnant you lose all claims to personal space. It isn't a bad thing if you don't mind it, but my mom's a little antisocial.

Chloe sagde ...

i don't think i ever rubbed my belly in public or in private. i talked to it (rather, to the person inside it) some times though. but that is just me, i generally talk more than i touch!
but i didn't like others touching me either. what annoys me is this perception that a pregnant woman is a cute thing, like a dog, and anyone can touch her if so inclined.

Meow (aka Connie) sagde ...

Hmmm, not sure if I really ever rubbed my tummy ... maybe unconsciously !!! I guess it just feels so different to normal, it is just what you do automatically.
As for others touching my tummy ... didn't like that too much, especially if they didn't ask first, although when baby started moving, then I wanted everyone to have a feel ... what an amazing experience !!

Anyway, just dropping by to say HI, and to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season, and a safe and Happy New Year.

Take care, Meow

kimananda sagde ...

Etchen, it might be nurturing the little ones. Or nurturing themselves. It is a very comforting thing to do.

Ms. Mood, that's funny about your mom. I'd never really paid that much attention to pregnant women before, or not enough to notice. I do remember Thor asking a pregnant friend about why pregnant women 'do that', and she answered something like, 'it's just something that pregnant women do, just because we're thinking so much about our pregnancies'. Which might be it.

Gondul, serene. I like that. And thanks about the crib stuff! I can't actually use the bedding, as crib sizes are different here than in the states (it's crib bedding from a US bedding firm), but I can get other stuff from them instead.

Vesper, I can't take credit for that idea, I've read it before, more than once. It's only now that it resonates with me, for obvious reasons.

Chibithulhu, I like your strategy, but I may go for the softer approach, like wrist-slapping, or politely telling the person involved to keep their hands to themselves. Your ideas would certainly be more effective though. Not to mention more permanent.

Angela, thank you for your well-wishes, and sorry to hear about your loss. It's interesting, I still don't feel that I'm showing, just because I'm gaining pretty gradually...and I've only gained about 10 pounds so far. But I think that everyone around me pretty much disagrees with me at this point.

Kunstemæcker, have you not considered it? Cause it would totally suit you.

Smiler, maybe it is just part of the whole being pregnant experience, but I'm not sure. It could be an interesting topic of research, maybe for someone involved in psychology. I wonder if it's a universal or a culture specific phenomenon?

Maddie, it is an odd feeling, that body parts just become so different.

Jay, I'm not sure if it's sweet, but comforting it certainly is.

Erin, I'm a bit antisocial, but I'm beginning to realize that Danes are not so forthcoming with strangers, so I may not have to worry about it so much. I'll see what happens as I get even bigger though.

Chloe, I talk to the baby too, but usually while caressing my belly. I can be pretty into the whole cuddling thing, and I expect I'll be one of those parents who is always kissing and hugging the baby. Thor has taken to having lots of conversation with the baby through my stomach (talk which I assume is really meant for me, as it's done in English).

Meow, the baby is just now (in the past week or so) beginning to move enough for me to feel it, and that is an odd feeling. I can see wanting to share that later on (now, it's only apparent to me) when it's possible for others to feel. And happy holidays to you and your family! :-)