Body Image Parenthood Postpartum

On Being Asked If I'm Pregnant...Again

By Jackie Schoemaker Holmes

I am not the first or last postpartum mama who is going to get asked over and over if they are pregnant and then make the astute observation that YOU NEVER ASK A WOMAN IF THEY ARE PREGNANT because most of us are squishy and not planning on being anything else anytime soon. The public-ness of one’s body is a given as a woman – it’s something that starts in girlhood and never, EVER ends, but it does get magnified – especially when you are pregnant. And then again, when you’re not.

I made peace with people – WOMEN – touching my distended belly when I was pregnant because honestly – it gave them so much fucking glee.

I couldn’t take that shit away from them. And honestly, although I have only done it once and would never do it again (without asking), touching a women’s belly when pregnant is magical because it lets you, if only for a second, in on all the magic that is going on inside her. So, despite the fact that I thought I would be a hand slapper – I let the older women in yoga feel my belly or the young women whose magnetic stare at my belly was only a temporary stand-in for how bad they wanted to TOUCH IT, touch it, cause hey, you only live once.

No man tried to touch my belly. I don’t think I have that warm and inviting a face.

Anyhoo, in recent months, I have been asked not once, but twice, if I am, in fact, with child.

I’m not. And no, I don’t wanna be.

BUT, again I am finding myself in this completely weird place where I am totally aware that both these women want me to be pregnant because they want to be happy for me. While yes, they might be making a comment on my body which I cover with maternity-like clothes because I don’t believe in actual pants (leggings are about as far down that track I’ll venture) and honestly, my husband has always commented on my penchant for bag-like dresses. An actual quote goes something like, “That dress looks like a bag like all your other bag dresses” (he says this lovingly and kiddingly and not, I repeat, NOT, in a way that makes me want to punch him) and he is not wrong. I LOVE BAG DRESSES AND I’M NOT ASHAMED OF IT DAMMIT!

So throw in a little bag dressing, a mom pouch, a love of poutine and you know what you have: A woman that might look a little preggers.

Maybe more than a little bit. Shut up. But I wonder if it isn’t more about timing as well. I say this so I don’t feel the need to exercise. But seriously, I know everyone is awaiting THE SECOND BABY. I’ve talked about the SPECTER OF THE SECOND CHILD before and all the ways that it haunts me, but I think it’s hard for some to accept that Aya’s it. No one’s gettin’ any more outta this Mama. I get that I’m supposed to be so in love with Aya that it is just TIME for me to have another. But I’m not going to have another. I won’t. You can’t make me.

To their credit, both of these women have immediately said that they thought so because I was glowing.

I’m glowing because I’m schlepping around a two-year-old’s crap as I chase her and simultaneously try to eat the French fries that she has refuses to eat because the only thing she will willfully eat is DIRT. Also, that “glow” is a mixture of sweat, tears, and too much blush. I’m going to bottle it and call it Mama Mist – soon available at the following retailers…

So, do I wanna have another baby?

Hard no. Do I want people to stop being excited that I might? Kinda. Do I love that people care about my happiness and future? Hard YES.

Just give me and my mom pouch a little space please.

Our next recos:  Other Things Not to Say to a New Mom

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