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?