tummy issues

Even though I’m 5’5″, I am what one might call a short-waisted girl. I remember, several years ago, when low-rise jeans first became available in stores. I still praise that day because it was the first time in my life that I was able to buy jeans and wear them off the rack.

Before that sacred, blessed day, every time I bought a pair of “regular” jeans, I had to get my mom to alter them, because either: (a) the waist of the jeans came up to about 2 inches below my bra line (sexay!), or (b) if I pushed them down so they were actually on my waist, it created this weird bulge in the crotch that made me look like I had a package. Not a good look, to say the least.

Because of that, I knew before I got pregnant that I would probably start to show a little earlier than some people. When there isn’t much up-and-down room for the baby to grow, it tends to go straight out in front of you. I know that’s something that my cousin is dealing with right now. Also, when I was in college, I worked with a woman who was about 5 feet tall, and by the time she was 4 months along, people were looking at her sideways, going, “Um…. are you sure you aren’t having twins?” (And even though I thought I understood at the time, I really understand now why those sorts of questions infuriated her.)

But still, I had this delusion that I wouldn’t start to show until my third or fourth month. I don’t know where I came up with that. I think I was basing it on the fact that Madonna was something like 3 months pregnant when she was filming “Evita,” and you couldn’t really tell except for that one scene where she danced with Antonio Banderas. Remember? She was wearing that white satin-y dress and if you looked closely, you could see that she had a little bit of a tummy.

Um, yeah. Comparing my pregnancy to Madonna’s. I’m clearly totally sane.

The point of all this is that I feel like I’m already starting to show, and I’m not even 9 weeks along. Is it possible for me to be showing this early? Or have I just taken up temporary residence in Bloatville? Because I don’t feel like I have a “baby bump,” I feel like I’m just carrying an extra spare tire around my middle. But I’ve actually lost two pounds since I found out I was pregnant a month ago. (Hooray for being too nauseated to eat, although I don’t think that’s a diet plan that I want to stick to.)

My mom keeps insisting that she was in maternity clothes by the time she was ten weeks along. She also has a memory like swiss cheese, so I don’t know how much I believe that. I’m not at the point of wearing maternity clothes yet, but I keep eyeing the few maternity tops that I’ve bought, and thinking that they look really comfortable right about now. My choice of summer clothes is pretty slim since I’ll only wear shirts that are loose around my waist. And my jeans (even my baggy ones that I always had to wear a belt with) are so tight that they’re starting to leave little denim imprints on my flesh, which isn’t too comfortable. Getting dressed for work the past few mornings has not been fun for me.

So, any of you who read this who either are pregnant, have been pregnant, or are close to someone who’s been through it – when is it “normal” to start to show? Is this what the early stages are supposed to feel like, or do I just need to pop a Gas-X and chill out?

11 thoughts on “tummy issues

  1. My mom is about 5’3″ and she started showing at 9 weeks with sister #1 and 10 weeks with sister #2. My friend L just had a baby and she started showing before the end of her first trimester. All of my preggers friends are showing and none of them are more than 4 months along. So, sounds normal from what I’ve heard! Go for the comfy clothes. Denim imprints suck.

  2. I didn’t start wearing maternity clothing until I was 11-13 weeks along. I honestly can’t remember exactly. But I was so sick I was eating one meal a day, tops. Even still, the clothes I was wearing all had elastic bands, were stretchy or I would do the old “rubber band” trick and wear a shirt that covered the waist band.
    One of the best pieces of advice I got in early pregnancy was to not squish the baby, or my uterus, by wearing clothes that were too tight. Good because it meant comfy for me, not because it’s really true.
    Something else I did that worked was to buy a few pair of “fat jeans”…trust me, you’ll need them now (pre-maternity clothes) and you need them later, when the baby is born and you can’t stand the sight of your maternity clothes any longer but your regular clothes just don’t fit yet.

  3. Totally normal. It’s not that the baby is big, but your midsection naturally grows from about 8-12 weeks before anyone thinks it’s pregnancy because your body’s making all sorts of crazy changes for the baby. So yeah, Big Fun, everyone gets to think you’ve been hitting the donuts a little too hard when really it’s pregnancy.

    I started wearing big t-shirts at about 7 weeks (to accomodate those Big Bazoombas!) and I bought a bunch of “fat clothes” like Shannon describes at about 9 weeks. I started wearing true maternity pants & shirts at about 17 weeks, but that’s partly because I’m a cheapskate and my fat clothes were stretchy. If you buy a few things that are 2 full sizes bigger than you normally wear, you’ll be more comfortable and you’ll have something to wear again after the baby’s born. It might take several months to get back to normal size.

    If you buy maternity clothes now, there’s no way that they’ll still fit in 3 months from now, much less in 7 more months. Fat Clothes are cheaper. And usually cuter.

  4. The only maternity clothes that I’ve bought are a few tops from a used/secondhand store – I didn’t pay more than $5 for anything. I got two summer-y shirts that probably wouldn’t look ridiculous on me now, and I won’t need them to fit in 3 months since northwest summers are pretty short.

    I made sure that the couple of fall/winter tops are ridiculously huge on me now, so they have a chance in hell of fitting me when the time comes.

    I’m jealous of your Big Bazoombas. Mine have grown slightly, but all it means is that I now fill out my B cups. You can no longer yell into my bra and hear an echo. Yippee for progress!

  5. One word- Torrid. I’ve extolled the virtues of Torrid many times on my own blog, where they sell flattering, normal clothes in sizes they just plain made up- 1, 2, 3- etc., but the smallest sizes are equivalent to 12s or 14s. “Forgiving” sundresses and “fat jeans” to splurge on. Don’t let initial Hot Topic-ness scare you. There are wool black trousers you can wear to work on those racks, I promise.

  6. Cat…no clue how big your Big Bazoombas are, but Bravado makes very nice nursing/pregnancy bras. I went up to an F or G when I was pregnant with Gaby, can’t remember exactly. I try to block it out.

  7. I lurk on your website, but I have a 7 month old son. Just go with bigger “regular” sizes right now. Go to target and buy some XL shirts for now. They will get you further than you think in the pregnancy and you don’t have to wear a tent. You will get so sick of wearing maternity clothes so put it off as long as you can!
    I am giggling because I went through the same thing. But, if you think you are big now – just wait until about 7 months from now when you can’t cut your toenails anymore. If you like to sleep on your stomach – do it now! You will curse sleeping on your side in a couple of months.
    BTW, I went to Millsaps in Jackson, MS and lived out in Portland, OR for a couple of years so I enjoy reading your blog. Brings back some memories. I ended up moving back to the south because I could not adapt to the rain and needed some heat and sun. But, enough about me.
    As a delurker, I am happy for you. You all have such a fun journey ahead of you. I will be reading your blog as the pregnancy progresses and throw in any advice I might have. You will get alot of advice and scary stories as you really start to show. Literally, people you do not know will stop you in the grocery store to fill your head with nightmare images of large babies born naturally, babies with three heads, babies with unnaturally large hands, etc.
    When the older ladies try to tell you the story about the woman who gave birth to the 11-pound baby naturally, just go to that special place in your head (this will become a very helpful place – if you do not have one then get one now and practice).
    It is such a great adventure!

  8. Hey LTP, thanks for the thoughts. When did you go to Millsaps? My sister graduated from there in ’92, and I went there for a year in 1995-ish. (I hated going to college in the same town my parents lived in, so I ended up transferring to the University of Memphis.)

  9. I went to Millsaps 1990-1994. Yeah – I could see wanting to get out of town for a bit. Maybe I know your sis? Was she in a sorority? I know – it is a southern thing – but I had to ask.
    I did go back to Jackson right after I left Portland and lived for a while and worked at http://www.lemuriabooks.com.
    However, I don’t live in Jackson anymore, but my sis does in Fondren. I live with my son Charlie in Chattanooga, TN.

  10. Yeah, my sister was a Chi O at Millsaps. I never did the Greek thing.

    Oh, and if you’re ever looking to get a tattoo, an ex-boyfriend of mine owns Standard Ink Tattoos in Chattanooga. 🙂

  11. Somehow I have landed on your site twice in one day doing Chattanooga google searches. Just thought I would leave a comment.

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