One thing that I’ve noticed as I continue to get bigger, is that people are starting to gravitate towards touching the bump- GAH!
I don’t know why, but this makes me really uncomfortable. I’m truly not prepared for it so it shocks me every time. I actually grabbed someone’s hand rather fiercely when they touched my belly the other day- not intentionally hard it was just such a shock to feel a foreign, alien hand caressing my stomach; it was a gut reaction. Especially at the moment, I instinctively feel like I have to protect the bump.
Of course, I don’t mind when Mr. Wood rubs the tummy. He’s seen me at my most vulnerable plenty of times- not just physically but emotionally. And then there’s the big obvious, he helped make the baby in the first place. The baby is as much his as it is mine, therefore, he has every right to cuddle my bump- and do you know, when HE does it, I quite like it. Just the three of us together, mummy, daddy and bump. It’s nice. I feel secure.
I think it’s a really intimate action to rub someone’s belly- am I wrong here? I have heard other pregnant women liken “bump touching” to being assaulted. May sound dramatic, but I can see where they’re going with this. If your not pregnant or never have been, consider this; would you like it if someone came up to you and rubbed your tummy without so much as a “Hello” first? I’m guessing no!
Just because a woman is growing a baby inside her does not give people to an automatic pass to use her as a lucky Buddha statue- Trust me; unauthorized rubbing of my stomach will bring you the exact opposite of luck!
It’s important to point out a lot of “bump touchers” are clueless here. Monkey see- monkey do. People go through life seeing others touch pregnant ladies bumps and they assume this is the norm and continue the deed. Before you know it it’s socially “accepted”. I feel more of the same happened when people started thinking it was appropriate to rain a hail of unwanted advice and labour stories on expectant women.
Children saw mothers and fathers, friends, family, strangers “advising” pregnant mothers without invitation, ergo, the chain continued, snowballed and we ended up where we are today- pregnant woman = green light, do and say as you please.
I find it all very Un-English. Aren’t we supposed to be all manners and chivalry and “stiff upper lip”, no emotional involvement, prudish and prim even? Anyone who’s been to England and has known English people well, knows this is far from accurate but there are truths to the stereotypes or else where would they have come from?
As a nation we are thought to be fairly well mannered- we don’t like people who queue jump, for instance, and most of us would hate to cause a scene in a restaurant. So why do manners disappear at the sight of a bump? A question I don’t think will ever be answered…
Of course some women don’t mind their bumps being stroked by randomers. Some even love it. And I do understand why (to a degree). They are so proud of their glorious achievement they want to share it with everyone and that’s truly beautiful! Fair play to them!
So all I have to say, possible bump touchers, is this. In my case, it’s simple- ask me first. If you’re a stranger I’ll probably grudgingly agree (see very English- not even wanting to offend a stranger) if you’re a relative or friend I’ll definitely agree! In fact, as you can (almost) feel defined kicks from baby wood on the outside, I’ll probably be forcing your hand on my stomach at every moment in the very near future; so we can both enjoy the wonderful weird miracle of my pregnancy!
Your hand will, most probably, be on my bump so much you’ll be sick of it. You’ll be tired of seeing my gleeful smiling face cooing at the wriggly mass that is my stomach! You’ll find everything and anything to do with babies so mind numbingly dull.
You’ll think it’s so bizarre that I STILL get so much enjoyment from feeling my little alien twist and turn inside of me a whole 3 months on. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that by the end you’ll be so consumed with exhausting coma-inducing boredom from my belly, you’ll never want to spend another minute with a pregnant women and her bump again! So yes you can touch my bump…
…Just do me a favour and ask first.