Lady of Intrigue and Mystery

I was exiting the library this weekend (I only took my big girls this time) when I was stopped by a stranger.  She asked me, “Did you go to J.M.?”  Though what I heard was, “Did you go to jail?”  My immediate thought was, “Does she mean as an inmate, or a visitor?”  Rather than ask her to clarify, I just stood there for a moment looking dazed and confused until she repeated herself.  This time I understood that she was asking me about a university, not prison.  I answered, “Nope,”  and she went on to tell me that I look just like someone she knew there.  She concluded with a big smile and a “Well, congratulations, anyway!” and we parted.  I didn’t have Mabel with me, so she wasn’t talking about my new baby.  But I was wearing this green linen dress.  It is loose and swing-y and could definitely pass for maternity.  It isn’t breastfeeding friendly, but it is incredibly comfortable, and I love it.  I wear it when I have an hour or two away from Mabel.

I do have a “baby bump” which can be confusing to strangers who don’t know that I actually had a baby two months ago.  I’d love to say to myself with a smile that it takes nine months to grow a baby, and nine months to lose the weight, or whatever the saying is.  But I know better.  It doesn’t really matter how much weight I lose.  I will, short of plastic surgery (I’m thinking no to that), always have a baby bump.  I’d also love to say that I’m totally fine with that.  I’m not, though strangers’ comments don’t bother me.  It’s more their embarrassment that makes me cringe when I say, “Actually, I’m not pregnant.”  To the woman who congratulated me on the library steps, I smiled wide and said, “Thank you!”  There was no reason to say anything else.  It really doesn’t matter if a stranger thinks I am pregnant.  But, things get tricky when I am asked when I’m due.  I confess, I’ve made up a due date before just to avoid the awkwardness.  “October!”

Because I have a small frame and a pretty decent “bump,” this has been an issue for years.  I once contemplated making an “I’m not pregnant” button to wear, but decided against it.  For now, I am trying to embrace the concept of mystery.  Is she pregnant?  Or is she not?  Who can know?  Lady of intrigue and mystery:  that’s me.  I love how intriguing my baby bump makes me!  (okay, yeah right.)  I’ve got work to do in the self acceptance arena.  Lot’s of it.  I think most of us do, though I doubt any of us would trade our children for our former bodies.  But wouldn’t it be nice to have your cake and eat it too?  Actually, in my case, I’d like ice cream.

Of course all this is beside the point of these photographs.  I really just wanted to share this scarf that I finished awhile back and forgot to get pictures of.  This was my first time knitting a substantial project in linen, and I loved it!  This scarf will be gifted soon, just in time for fall weather.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this post! You look lovely, for one thing. I’ve also had that dress in my Amazon wishlist for ages. I finally pulled the trigger after your post/review for the dress in black. I LOVE it so much that I have immediately also ordered it in this green. I am actually pregnant (with #3), due at Christmas, and it is perfect for fitting my shape. I don’t love a lot of really tight maternity clothes, so the high neckline and expansive fabric is just right for me. Thanks, and I have been really enjoying your blog. 🙂

  2. Stranger: “When are you due?”
    Me: “I’m not.”
    Stranger: “Really!?! I’m a midwife! I’m usually so good at telling these things!”
    Me: …

    • I tell people all the time that it’s socially acceptable to ask, “Do you have any kids?” To which one can reply, “Yes, I have three and one on the way”

  3. I could say “you look amazing for a woman who has had so many children,” but I could also say you look like an amazing and healthy woman, which would be the truth because your eyes sparkle and your skin has a healthy glow, and you are always active. Good job, mumma and woman, on being healthy.

    I love the idea of being a woman of intrigue, playing on the fact that it’s really nobody’s business anyways, but you might as well have fun.

    God bless!

  4. I just had my second baby a week ago, so of course I still have the postpartum baby bump. I’m thankful that it seems to be shrinking by the day, and hopeful that it completely disappears soon, but I appreciate the perspective you offer in this post. Just laugh about it! No need to get upset. Thanks, Ginny. 🙂

  5. I don’t see a baby bump. My mom used to tell a story of how she said to someone “when are you due?” and the woman was NOT expecting. My mom felt horrible and she never ever again asked that question even if the lady looked like she was going to go into labor.

    I remember this story and abide by her learning curve.

    I think we all have little baby bumps from having a kid. I think we should be happy how we look NOW because the body is always changing and gravity is not our friend.

  6. In our family, we are used to people asking if my husband is my father and sometimes people have even asked if he is my grandfather. They also assume he is my son’s grandfather. We’re used to it and we laugh about it because we’ve been asked that so many times over the years, but I feel bad for people when they get really embarrassed about it. We joke and try to make them feel better. Most of the time people feel bad about asking, but Jeff has gotten some dirty looks when people found out he was the father, which is sad. Anyway, all we can do is laugh about it I guess. I love your sense of humor!

  7. I want to reiterate the info others have mentioned about Diastasis Recti. If you’ve experienced pain – back, shoulder, neck, hip, sciatic, really any chronic or recurring pain – incontinence or digestive issues, numbness in your tummy, pelvic floor issues, or a feeling of general disconnect from your body since having children – you COULD have DR. I’m a bit of a crusader for this issue since having my first child, but I truly believe it is rampant and very under-diagnosed. This website has good info, including a method of self-diagnosis, and workouts (for a fee – but check out the free videos for sure): https://fit2b.us/how-to-check-for-diastasis-hd/. Also, look into the work of the biomechanist Katy Bowman; her principles can be incorporated into daily life and don’t necessarily require “workouts” to get stronger.

  8. I absolutely am in love with that dress. I think it looks just as comfortable as I am sure it is.
    I wish I could wear that.
    You are just stunning in it….
    WALK PROUD GINNY!!!

  9. Bethany Howard says:

    You look great by the way!! I have a very bad Diastasis Recti, I have a small torso and 5 babies that went straight out. I also have lean legs and arms so I look truly 5 months pregnant. I get asked ALL. THE. TIME about due dates and babies. The most most painful was from a lady that I only see about once a year. She was so embarrassed and I was really hurt. Why can’t we just stop asking those questions?? Do we need to know if the stranger is having a baby? I struggle with my body everyday. Even though I know there’s nothing I can really do about it, I am always feeling defeated. I’m hoping I can look at myself again 1 day and feel disappointment.

    • Bethany,
      If you’re interested in trying to repair your Diastasis Recti, I found the MuTu Program to be really helpful. It is specifically designed for women with post-partum DR and is really gentle. When I began 10 weeks ago, I could fit two fingers between my abdominal muscles and it is now almost completely closed. It takes some commitment and dedication but I’ve been really pleased after quite a few years of feeling dissatisfied and unhappy about my post-3 babies tummy. Wishing you all the best!

  10. I remember walking around the maternity ward the day after I had given birth to my son. As we passed a guard who was on duty when I had arrived the night before he gave me these reassuring words. “Don’t give up mam, that baby will eventually arrive.” At first I wanted to tell him I had already had the baby, but later I just laughed. What else can you do? Just like you said, “Thank you.”

  11. Your green dress and vibrant shawl are amazing. I too have a baby bump without the baby inside. I have five wonderfully healthy children. I do not like my left over pregnant like belly. I also get asked if I am pregnant. You are a little more fortunate in the fact that you look to have breasts that maybe even it all out. I am pretty flat chested and it looks awful to have a protruding belly. I try to walk, exercise and eat right. I try and wear clothes that don’t accentuate it too much. It will never go away and although I don’t like it I have accepted it as a part of me. My husband still finds me attractive even with my belly. I would never chose a flat belly over having a home full of children, as I am sure most of us wouldn’t. I loved your post. Thank you for writing it.

  12. This post is awesone.

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