My three sons were each brought into this world by C-Section. That’s three separate occasions where multiple cuts were made to the skin covering my lower abdominal muscles. That’s three different times when my ab muscles were stretched apart to make room to pull a human head through them. I wouldn’t trade the way my boys came into this world. They are all here, happy, healthy, and strong. Their deliveries came with a price, though: a mum belly that’s not going away.
I’ve come to terms with the way my body looks, but it seems like the rest of the world can’t accept that my well-deserved pooch makes me look like I’ve got another bun in the oven — even though I don’t. Strangers make assumptions about my mum belly, and share their unsolicited opinions, every chance they get.
When my youngest son was a couple of months old, I went to the supermarket with all three of my kids. As I was checking out, an older woman approached me, placed her right hand on my postnatal belly, and matter-of-factly, said, “This one’s a girl.” I was floored and stammered to explain to her that not only was I finished having children, but it also wasn’t any of her business. Instead, I said nothing. Really, what was the point?
Little did I know that the next three years would be full of well-intentioned, albeit misguided, strangers asking the same question over and over again. “Oh, when are you due?” In fact, these words became something I heard on a monthly basis. I’ve tried healthy diets, exercise, and I have seen results, just never in my lower abs.
So here’s the 411 on big-bellied women from a big-bellied woman. If a woman looks 9 1/2 months pregnant and frantically asks you to boil some water, assume she wants a cup of tea. If a woman approaches you screaming, “I’m crowning!” conclude that she wants to be Cersei in your Game of Thrones role-playing scenario. Unless she’s wearing a t-shirt with the word ‘BABY’ and an arrow pointing downward, just don’t ask. It’s none of your damn business.