Monday, May 23, 2011

close calls

Photo credit: goodvibeblog.com
Brad didn't believe me when I told him that friends had shared stories of others touching their pregnant stomachs unsolicited, until he witnessed my two close calls last weekend.

The first instance happened at the wedding Brad was in a week ago. We were saying goodbye to the bride, whom I had met all of two times before the wedding, when she hugged me and wished us luck with the baby while her hand drifted dangerously close to my tiny belly. I scooted away instantly, waving goodbye and calling best wishes, just in the nick of time. Watch out for those hugs, Gentle Readers, they are merely a disguise for belly groping.

The second incident, which occurred the next morning with a friend of Brad's parents at their church, was a bit more traumatizing and I'm still recovering from it. This woman, while good intentioned, can, even on her best days, be overwhelming, so I was a little nervous about running into her. She saw us coming down a large, open staircase after the church service and shrieked Brad's and my names. The morning was cold and rainy, and the church was freezing with the air still blasting, so I had wrapped a shawl around myself to stay warm. When I neared the bottom of the stairs, where she conveniently waited to pounce on me, she said, "Well, let's have a look at you!" and ripped my shawl open to stare at my stomach. When I hastily tried to cover back up and murmured, "There's not much to see...", she bellowed, "Let me see you!" and tried to violate me again. At that time, her hands were frighteningly near my tummy, so I backed away, forgetting I was on the steps, and nearly fell down the rest of them. Noticing my obvious discomfort, she then said, "How are you handling all this attention?" and I snapped, "Not well," and she said, "Well, get over it!"

Isn't she a peach?

Brad then came to my rescue, changed the subject, and like any husband who knows what's good for him, got me out of there ASAP.

Even under normal circumstances, unsolicited belly touching would have rankled me. But now, after enduring months of poking, prodding, and the like because of fertility treatments, I have no tolerance for eager hands anywhere near my stomach, unless they belong to Brad. Now that I've finally regained some privacy with my body, I will fight to hang on to it.

I had expected some of this attempted fondling, but what concerns me most is that I'm barely showing. I'm a little thicker in the middle, but I haven't developed that beautiful, round mound that even the most restrained of hands would find irresistible. Tell me, Gentle Readers, is this just the beginning? Will it only get worse over the next, Lord willing, 16 weeks? Should I crawl into my hidey-hole today and not reappear until I have to in September?

I'm tempted. That hidey-hole is calling my name.

13 comments:

akee said...

I was afraid of this happening too. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I found that strangers were always more considerate. It's the people I already knew who were so inconsiderate, like the church lady.


A friend gave me some bold (yet funny) advice - when someone touched her belly without permission she would just rub their stomachs right back (which just visualizing that is hilarious). I never had the chance to do this, but she said the people she did it too - men and women - were stunned and confused.

kerryandtorey said...

the whole belly touching thing is completely awkward. Seriously, no one would touch you like that if you weren't pregnant! I never had a good comeback because it was always too shocking. I did push a few hands away.

Avoid crowded elevators.

Organized Living by Amy said...

I don't look very approachable; so I didnt have many problems. I had more issues with the things people would say (especially with my creepy boss) like...when are you going to pop? and are you even dilated? INAPPROPRIATE

Red Stethoscope said...

Oh, goodness. Your description of the woman at the church is a riot! I hope things don't get worse and that people learn to keep their hands to themselves! (I have made a note to self for the future, by the way. I'm going to keep my OWN hands on my belly, in attempts to deter THEIR hands! :D)

SusanL said...

I am so sorry. I did not care for unsolicited belly rubs, either. Strangers and people I know both felt compelled to rub my belly. One man at church (trying to be funny) even put his coffee mug on top of my belly to show how large it was.
I, also, got the same advice your friend "akee" received...rub their belly right back. I never had the nerve to do it, but it would be great if you can!

Jennifer V said...

I never had strangers approach me either, though I did have a few family/ friends who rubbed my belly. I didn't have the wherewithal to do anything back, though I wish I had. I hope you'll do the belly-rub in response though!!

Kelly said...

I haven't had any strangers try to touch my stomach yet. Though, like you, it's not big and round yet. It pudges out, but people who don't know me could think I'm just eating too many donuts.

I had a couple friends touch me, but they asked first. I felt weird, but I can't say no to such a simple request from someone I actually like.

Jennifer said...

Have you seen the movie "Sixteen Candles"? Your story reminded me of the "I can't believe my grandmother just felt me up" scene. Equally traumatizing.

Heather Nelson said...

I had someone poke me in the belly button (literally) and announce - "Oh look! You have an outie now!" Nice, huh? She reminds me of the lady at Brad's parent's church. I think I was way pregnant with Clark and Abigail at the time, and too miserable to care about the fact that my maternity shirt was getting too tight. Either way, I remember avoiding said lady like the plague after that!

@rdweatherly said...

My offer still stands to walk in front of you and give people dirty looks if they start reaching. Bless your heart! I would FREAK! The lady at your church reminds me of a grandmother of the groom at a wedding I went to years ago. I'm not big on hugging, and this woman kept KISSING me! Once she got me on the mouth. I thought I was going to faint. Hang in there, hon. That gorgeous guy or gal you're carrying will make it all worthwhile!

@rdweatherly said...

Got a better idea. I'll have this shirt made for you! :)

Emily said...

HA HA HA--go with the shirt, Rebecca--it's hilarious and makes the point well!

Dr. Blondie said...

Thanks, friends! I've found myself holding my purse in front of my stomach recently when I talk to people. Thank goodness I carry a big purse--it's like a shield!

Rachel, love the shirt!