Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pregnancy Journal: Baby Bump

By Kelly

So I’m finally hitting the 12 week mark with this pregnancy, and the first trimester fog is starting to lift, thanks in part to the miracle combo of Unisom-B6.

And I’m already showing.

Hello baby bump, hello awkward glances from strangers who wonder if I’m truly expecting another baby or just dipping into the Halloween candy reserve a little too often.

I don’t remember showing this early before. Ever.

With my last pregnancy, I didn’t wear maternity clothes until I was near 18 weeks.  Granted, my first and second trimesters were in the summer, and summer clothing is more casual and loose-fitting.

But still. Twelve weeks and I’m already pulling out the maternity shirts.

Color me surprised.

Some friends who’ve heard me puzzle over my new, ummm, shape, have pointed out, in the kindest way possible, that it’s only natural. Not only am I older (I’m even of advanced maternal age), my abdominal muscles ain’t what they used to be. So it makes sense that they took advantage of this weak moment to get in touch with their California roots and hang out.

It reminded me of the wise words I read in my favorite pregnancy manual.
Generally, the stomach of a woman who has had a baby before will pooch out about five minutes after conception, and she will look obviously pregnant in the first three months. Most of us pregnant with our second or subsequent children have never failed to comment on how big we got immediately. It must have something to do with the stomach muscles not ever being as taut again after the first pregnancy has yanked them apart.
- "The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy: Or Everything Your Doctor Won't Tell You"

So tell me. I’m not alone, right? Someone else out there must have needed maternity clothes before they’ve even had their first official OB check. (Mine is Friday.)

Kelly is currently pregnant with her fourth and final child, a journey she's chronicling here at 5 Minutes for Parenting with the Pregnancy Journal. You can read her personal blog at Love Well.

24 comments:

  1. I only have had one, but a co-worker is pregnant with her second and look 5 months at 2. We all joked with her that she was having twins (isn't) but she is quite a bit larger now than she was with her first.

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  2. You are absolutely, totally, not alone. I had to pull my maternity clothes out of the attic at 8 weeks with #3. So embarrasing.

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  3. Oh, yeah, I feel you. :) This is only my 2nd pregnancy, and I would feel nauseous when I wore regular jeans after I was 8 weeks along - yeah, I definitely wore maternity clothes at 12 weeks! :)

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  4. Same here. Stomach muscles....what are those?!?

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  5. I am 9 weeks pregnant with my 4th, and I have been wearing maternity pants and/or pants with a Bella Band for two weeks now. It is very very bad. This week I have been digging through my maternity shirts to find the least maternity-looking ones. The baby is the size of a lima bean!!!! Be thankful you made it to 12 weeks before you broke out the maternity clothes ;)

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  6. Haha!! I'm still trying to keep my pregnancy under wraps, so to speak, and I'm 11 weeks along now, so I'm really seeking out those "blousey" t-shirts and "flouncy" sweaters. :o)
    It's a challenge, though, because I live in southern California, and it's be HOT here, and I'm a skinny girl in general, so dressing in larger-than-usual shirts when it's hot outside seems to be making my friends a leetle suspicious. :o)
    I'm not quite ready for the true maternity shirts, yet, but I'm sure wearing the maternity yoga pants at night!

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  7. Hah. I have fibroids, which grow w/ the increased hormone levels in pregnancy...with my 2nd, I was in my maternity clothes by 7 wks. (And I'm pretty sure I heard my belly give a sigh of relief as soon as that stretchy panel was in place.)

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  8. I think that what you are speaking of is not uncommon at all! I showed at 12 weeks with my 2nd pregnancy, sooner with my 3rd, and was COMPLETELY wearing maternity clothes by 12 weeks with my 4th-probably even at 10 weeks, if I remember correctly. I think you show sooner with each pregnancy; the muscles are that much looser and remember where they need to go, and go there sooner. And yes, plenty of people asked if I was pregnant with multiples or else gasped at my due date. SO rude!! It has to do with if your uteris is tipped forward or back more, too.

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  9. I always looked big, even with the first one. I liked my pregnancy clothes, so I didn't mind.

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  10. I want to encourage you a little more, darling; with my 4th pregnancy, I just did NOT care to try not to gain weight at. all. I already knew that I tended to gain a lot with the previous pregnancies, and also that I always lost the weight in between. I also knew that this was going to be my last pregnancy, so I gave in to every craving, and when I read that Jenny McCarthy ate a whole pan of brownies every night, I took it as liscense that I could do that, too!! Throughout that pregnancy, my motto was, "this is my last baby; I have the rest of my life to lose the weight." I gained 80lbs. The baby was born, and I regretted my previous motto. I breastfed and went back to my super workout self, and I lost it all within the 9 month mark, my 4th baby just turned 3, and am now in the best shape of MY life...and I was in great shape BEFORE!! SO please do not feel bad or like you have to apologize or explain away any of the weight. You are pregnant. Do what you have to do; you'll have the rest of your life to lose it! ;-)

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  11. I want to encourage you a little more, darling; with my 4th pregnancy, I just did NOT care to try not to gain weight at. all. I already knew that I tended to gain a lot with the previous pregnancies, and also that I always lost the weight in between. I also knew that this was going to be my last pregnancy, so I gave in to every craving, and when I read that Jenny McCarthy ate a whole pan of brownies every night, I took it as liscense that I could do that, too!! Throughout that pregnancy, my motto was, "this is my last baby; I have the rest of my life to lose the weight." I gained 80lbs. The baby was born, and I regretted my previous motto. I breastfed and went back to my super workout self, and I lost it all within the 9 month mark, my 4th baby just turned 3, and am now in the best shape of MY life...and I was in great shape BEFORE!! SO please do not feel bad or like you have to apologize or explain away any of the weight. You are pregnant. Do what you have to do; you'll have the rest of your life to lose it!

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  12. With my second, I was surprised too. With my third, I expected it. I popped the second I peed on the stick....but my kids were all grown and born within 46 months, so it's no wonder my stomach was hanging. My OB and I joked that my uterus was cavernous too b/c my kids were so big and so close together.

    If I go for a fourth, I'll probably explode.

    Best of luck and Congrats!

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  13. Oh damn I am re thinking my choice of the possibilty of having a 2nd child :( I got super anxious and jittery and everything that I was big with my first one and I didnt show before I was 6 months.... sigh...at least we can look at the bright side...wil have a little baby at the end :)

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  14. I definitely showed earlier with the second ... with the first, I was explaining to people at six months that yes, I was pregnant, I hadn't just been eating too much for dinner lately. I actually prefer it when I look pregnant earlier rather than just slightly lumpy forever and a day. I told my chiropractor I was going to make a t-shirt that said "I'm not fat, I'm growing a baby." She came back with "I'm growing a human; what have YOU done today?"

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  15. Oh, yes.

    I remember finally getting a cute belly with #1 when I was about 20 weeks. I was so small, I was afraid the doctor wouldn't believe I was actually pregnant when I went in for the big ultrasound.

    I've been pregnant 11 times and can attest to insta-pooch for every baby #2 +.

    I'm not sure it's JUST the lack of stomach muscles that betray a woman. My theory is that intestines get whacked during pregnancy #1, so they are more likely to bloat and retain from then on...

    It's an unholy alliance of iffy muscles and overachieving bowels.

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  16. sister-in-law, JulieOctober 29, 2009 at 5:37 AM

    Even when I was 116 pounds (5' 7"), and a junior in high school, if I relaxed my stomach muscles, I had a decent sized baby bump. I've always had to suck in my stomach, even when I have low body fat and strong stomach muscles. No baby, just a baby bump. I start showing before I am pregnant. So, with both of my pregnancies, the start-showing discussion never applies. Around 7 months it becomes very obvious. At 8 months my stomach is huge and at 9 months I really do look like I'm having twins, and my neighbors are shocked for weeks that I haven't had the baby yet every time they see me (as their eyes pop out of their head when they look at my stomach).

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  17. You are not alone! Um, I was wearing maternity clothes at 12 weeks during my FIRST pregnancy. And I hadn't even gained any weight by then! Also, I couldn't stand the feeling of a normal waistband starting at six weeks. I wore sweats or skirts for my entire pregnancy, as I was only ever able to find one pair of maternity pants that fit me (I'm short).

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  18. I commented over at your site, and what I said was TRUE, but I also wanted to add that I POPPED with both boys right away. I'm terrified of what's going to happen to my body if I have another. Especially now that 10 lb 10 oz Asher blew my abdominal wall to bits.

    anyway...I'm sure you're so stinking cute. Don't you love being called CUTE???

    And also, I love that pregnancy book too. It's really the only book a pregnant girl needs.

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  19. Oh, you're not alone. With my second, I had lost a lot of weight and started out smaller than I had with my first, so I actually didn't show as early. But this time? I was desperately digging out maternity pants at 8 weeks before going on a vacation because I couldn't wear ANY of my regular ones. And I was back a few weeks later, just like a pp mentioned, to pull out some of the least maternity-looking maternity tops. Now, at 25 weeks, I'm outgrowing some of the pants I wore to the end with my previous pregnancies. What next?!

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  20. I so fel your pain. Since my youngest is almost 8 (and I thought we were done with having any more kids), my maternity clothes were given away or thrown away long ago. I was so embarrassed to have to go buy some maternity jeans at 7 weeks - but I was just not fitting into my regular clothes. My friends were all convinced I was having twins (or more) - but the ultrasound last week confirmed only one baby is in there.

    All I can say is thank goodness for sweat pants!

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  21. Yeah, I was big with all of my pregnancies including the first - was definitely in preggo clothes probably around 8 or 9 weeks.

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