But First, Let Me Take A S(h)elfie

{A story about my unborn baby's stubborn streak... Takes after his mother ;)}

Something I’ve been looking forward to - ever since my cousin’s wife posted pictures of herself doing so with her own, which was a while ago now - is using my bump as a shelf. It’s one of those things, I have to say, that has always intrigued me. A bit like any menu item cooked in garlic, whenever we go somewhere new. Or the idea of owning a lizard.

As such, I have been monitoring the progress of my ripening middle with more fervour than some would deem necessary. There are many thoughts that will pass through a pregnant woman’s head when observing her changing stomach, let me tell you, and it was in-between such thoughts of ‘my belly button looks weird as an outie’ and ‘I can’t believe I soon won't be able to shower without a plan’ that I’ve had time to muse the following: ‘ soon, my precious, soon I will finally, finally have a party trick’ (which, having always had to answer ‘what’s your party trick’ with a resounding ‘errrrr…..’, is exciting AF)

One thing guaranteed in first time pregnancy is that bump size is unpredictable. And even if your baby is the same size as the woman next to you’s baby, and the woman next to her’s baby and so on and so forth, your stomachs may be entirely different, ranging from moon sized to pancake flat to all that falls inbetween. Despite comments ranging ‘you're tiny’ to ‘are you already full term?' I maintain that my own has been an average size throughout. And due to such averageness, it has taken a while to truly pop. I have waited patiently, longingly, wondering if my son would truly ever be ready, and, over the last few weeks, my patience paid off. And my time to shine arrived.

Or so I thought.

Having grown up with a younger brother, and having observed as my best friend raised twins alone from the age of 20, I am well aware that children can be stubborn. But, green as I now realise I am, I had thought such rebellion in my own would be introduced at a much later age than, say, pre-birth. But oh, what a fool I was, and so, underestimating the grasp my unborn son has on his own mind, I gleefully entered into my transition from woman to shelf, with my eyes wide shut. Meaning, I felt I had no reason to assume all would go wrong. Meaning, he already knows how to defeat me.

It started with a glass of water. Excited beyond anything I’m willing to admit, I filled my glass at the tap, and ran (/moved as fast as I can while waddling) to my husband. Sitting down next to him, I instructed he ‘watch this,’and proceeded to place said glass on top of my bump. Carefully moving both hands to the side and waving them up and down, in a move that can be universally interpreted as ‘ta daaa,’I left the full glass to its own devices atop my mound, absolutely thrilled. I was weirdly happy about the whole thing (pregnancy causes heightened emotions, I won’t apologise) my head filled with thoughts of ‘my body truly IS amazing’ and the such like, because apparently it isn’t amazing enough to me that I am growing a human. Oh no, to be amazing in my world, one must transform into a shelf.

It lasted all of five seconds, my joy, before my child rebelled. And rolled himself in such a manner that the light-bringing glass couldn’t possibly stay put. And stay put it did not. And we all got wet.

Pushing from my mind jarring memories of how often he’s kicked the cat in face since his first movements at 16 weeks, which perhaps should have been a sign of things to come, shelf viability wise, I refused to take anything bad from this experience, and continued forth with my dream.

That night in bed, I used him as a rest for my Kindle. It can be hard to get into a comfortable position, now that I’m elephantine, and I was pretty engrossed in something dark, so needed a placement that would cause the least back pain. I found myself in a great spot, with the Kindle out of my hands, and was all ready to nestle down for the night when, with the power of David Beckham on a bender, my book was kicked off my stomach. And, to ensure the deed was done, the child within went on to roll continuously for a good half hour, until I gave up entirely, and went to sleep.

I could wax lyrical about my other attempts, but I won’t, because it is heartbreaking.

Instead I will admit to this: I have been cowed by the will of my unborn child, who refuses to be used for my amusement, even though he’s nowhere near teenagehood.* On the one hand, you have to respect him for his tenacity. On the other, why shatter my dreams, little one, is this how you repay me for all of the food?

At least he doesn’t (yet) have enough strength to boot off our newborn niece, when she rests on him for snuggles.

Small victories 😉

Lottie xx

*It’s entirely possible he’s just excited by the changes to the surface of his home, and thinks we’re playing a game with him (as we will sometimes do - the 'poke him and see if he pokes back' game being a particular favourite of my husband's) but for the sake of this story, I’m refusing to believe it 😉


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