Yessir, That’s My Belly

I hadn’t seen her in a while, so when I encountered my pregnant colleague in the hall last week, I actually did one of those sitcom-style doubletakes. I couldn’t help it.

She was…BIG.

                         HUGE.

                                              GINORMOUS. 

She has the same due date as me — well, the same due date that I had 16 years ago, when I was expecting my first child to arrive around September 30. So of course I found myself reminiscing about the final days of my own pregnancy. Back then, I had waddled about those very same halls with a similar stare-inducing profile, but in much less stylish clothing.

Aside from lacking good wardrobe options, I really loved being pregnant. I was lucky enough to get through both of my pregnancies feeling fine and cankle-free, with just a touch of heartburn now and then.

Looking at my coworker and the small crowd that had now gathered to hear the latest pregnancy updates and gaze upon her “bump,” I had a flashback to the same sort of scene, 16 years earlier. A few people at work had circled around me, inquiring about my water retention, my dilation/effacement stats, my breastfeeding plans, etc. (Obviously these people were women.)  And then, a young male art director I barely knew marched up to me and plopped his hand squarely on my stomach — and held it there. I can’t recall exactly what he said, but it was probably something along the lines of, “Huh. Cool.” Then he just strutted away, leaving me speechless.

It wasn’t the first time a relative stranger did that to me, and it wasn’t the last. So what’s a woman to do? Well, these days you can find endless blog posts and advice columns about how to handle the situation. There’s also a whole cottage fashion industry borne from it, if you prefer nonverbal communication.

As for me? I just wrote a poem.

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Yessir, That’s My Belly

It’s big.
It’s round.
It’s a veritable mound.
It’s renowned for its profound capacity to astound.

It’s large, not small — bigger than a basketball.
You could hardly call it diminutive at all.

You could watch it in lieu of hippos at the zoo.
(Though at the theater, it’s true, it might obstruct your view.)

It can eclipse the sun.
It can make people run.
It’s a bun that some shun, for it appears to weigh a ton.

Call it giant, if you will; say it’s huge as a hill;
Such comments will instill nothing in me but goodwill.

YET — many is the fool who feels its planetary pull
and thinks it would be cool to touch this gestating jewel
(without permission, as a rule).

Its attraction is such that they just reach out and touch.
I hardly think Miss Manners would approve of this that much.

Those I barely even know are compelled to feel it so, caressing high
(and even low!)
while, with hormones fast aflow, I long to tell them where to go.

And while I understand its draw and its ability to awe,
it’s really the last straw — it’s more than a mere faux pas –
and so….there oughta be a law.

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© 2013 Carlotta Stankiewicz

Celebrity Mom

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Being a mom is so easy, even Kim Kardashian can do it!

And as we’ve all seen from the paragons of parenting pictured above, it’s not only easy to be a mom; it’s easy to be a mom and have a successful career and a dazzling social life and a fabulous face and figure!

C’mon, ladies. It’s simple. In fact, here are a few tips from the Gooptress herself to help you along, if you’re slightly befuddled.

And stay tuned for future how-to-mother-with-grace-and-style-and-a-stiff-upper-lip updates from none other than the Duchess herself.

If you find you haven’t bounced back to your pre-baby weight (15 years later), your child isn’t fluent in at least three languages, and you don’t discuss the rewards of motherhood reverentially and eloquently on a daily basis….well, clearly, you’re doing it wrong.

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Celebrity Mom

Of course motherhood

is heaven

when you’ve a staff

of eleven.

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©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

A Limerick A Day – Day 6 – Happy Bump Day

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Is she or isn’t she?

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Was she or wasn’t she?

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THANK HEAVENS she finally is. (So that this could happen.)

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Ummm…no comment.

The cult of celebrity moms has grown to rather an insane level, if you ask me. I’m all for celebrating the sweet, sweet experience that is motherhood, sure. But not to the point of obsession, especially when it comes to the reproduction of the rich and famous. These days, their pregnancies — or, more specifically, their “baby bumps” — take on lives of their own as fashion accessories, PR generators and career builders.

Looking at the bright side, at least being “P.G.” (as they used to say in the darker ages) is no longer something to be kept under wraps, concealed in all manner of maternity fashions.

I guess we’ve come a long way, baby.

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Happy Bump Day

When pregnant moms’ bellies get plump,
We now call this big lump a “bump.”
Which, I have to divulge,
Sounds far better than “bulge,”
“Protrusion,” “distention” or “hump.”

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©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz