Never has staring at my own belly button been more rewarding. What was once a definite "innie" is stretching out and becoming alarmingly shallow to accommodate the growing girl inside. This weekend brought about a whole new experience: I can now see the baby moving. While the feeling of movement has been an exciting and comforting, if sometimes sea-sickening, feeling, seeing my belly move independent of me is a whole new ballgame.
There is something disorienting about watching a very familiar part of me moving because of someone else, someone else inside. Our active little girl can now be seen to stretch my skin out or roll herself over. Andrew, lying his head on my belly, felt her little hand or foot not just kick out, but drag down his cheek. He is now regularly coaching her on the continuation of her exercises. Yes, we occupy a bit of our time these days staring down at my expanding belly.
I should say, the lines on belly are bothering me. Why aren't they centered properly? Isn't my body aware that I am a White? Do they know who my father is? He is a man who uses a level and carpenter's square to set up a Jenga tower. We missed a party once because we as a family needed to stay home to mourn the discovery that the kitchen cabinets were off by at least an eighth of an inch. Do the lines indicate that my belly button is off-center? And what if it is? It's a most disconcerting development.
Occasionally, I have the feeling that my skin is at its limit and isn't taking this anymore. I woke up the other night imaging that the breathe-taking pain on my right side could only mean that I was tearing in two. But in fact, my body is shifting everything into place and I am apparently going to follow the course most women take and not be the exception who somehow burst open.