- "On Body Image, Pregnancy, and BMI" from Anktangle: Glad my post on feeling fat during pregnancy stirred up this one!
- "Fat and pregnant: 10 weeks" from Raising My Boychick: Along the same lines. This is inspiring me to share some of my bare bump pictures at some point!
I realized after I wrote that note that, while I don't yet have a current bare-bump picture, I do have a current bare-bump video. And I assumed when Sam took it at our 20-week midwife appointment that I would never, ever, ever show it to anyone, because my belly's all jiggly, and stretch-marked, and the doppler wand had to be squished down into my adipose tissue (that's fat for those in the know!).
In fact, when Sam shot the video, he asked me if he should shoot it with the image or just with sound, as if reading my thoughts. But I told him he could go for it, even though I was aware I might never let it see the light of day.
Then I read Amy's post on accepting her postpartum body and loving every woman's shape:
"I can't look in the mirror and say mean things to myself anymore, because my body has done great things. Very recently, I made an entire human being with this body, and then gave birth to him at home after a very long labor. I did that. With this body. This amazing, beautiful, capable body. 'Obese' or not, I'm worthy of love and respect. I'm beautiful inside and out. My body rocks."
And then Arwyn's post on celebrating and displaying — even flaunting — fat pregnant bellies, or bellies that don't look the way they're "supposed" to look — because whatever we look like is normal, and beautiful, and worth viewing, despite the fact that we fat people (or anyone who feels uncomfortable or shamed) tend not to take pictures, or not to make them public:
"The only way, the only way to overcome this is for more of us to take pictures. And to show them off. To say 'this is what a fat and pregnant belly looks like'…
It’s incredibly hard to be the first, or in the first generations, when we have so little to guide us, so little to let us know 'yes, you can' and 'yes, this is "normal"', and 'no, you are not alone'. And it’s scary, and hard, and often risky. So I’m not going to shame anyone for not taking or sharing pictures of themselves. But I am going to say please.
And you deserve to be seen.
And you are not alone."
So here, unabashedly, is my fat pregnant belly with a beautiful, strong baby heart beating underneath.
The thing I want to shine through is my own joy at hearing that tiny heartbeat, no matter what I look like. And you can equally be amused by Mikko's reaction, which is distaste, every time. Even watching the video, he told me again, "I don't like that sound."
But, you know, I do. And I like my belly, too. My functional, beautiful belly. Here you are:
You can also enjoy the crotch car Mikko so thoughtfully placed, and his new, stretchy-lip way of talking. (He seriously does that all the time now — talk out the side of his mouth. Is that weird?)
And, because I've just recently been able to see the baby moving beneath the skin, I thought I'd share an older video from when Mikko was in utero and loved to stretch and do backflips:
The lovely song is "Sweet Sweet Baby," by Michelle Featherstone. I updated the captions, because I originally had them illegibly small, which messed up the audio a bit in places. Also, it's cutting off the sides of the captions, so maybe it's better to view it on the video page. Such is life.
What I'll point out is that there's a shot at the beginning when the camera's on my stomach, and I edited it away almost immediately to be a shot of a better angle, even though the continuing audio is from the original shot. I didn't want anyone to look too hard at my belly — see?
Anyone else want to answer the call and post a bare belly bump, no matter what it looks like?