Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Baby on Board

I'm finally showing. At six months, it's really about time. Honestly, I was about to sling one of those "Baby on Board" window cling thingamajigs 'round my neck so that my co-workers knew I wasn't just packing on a few pounds. I know I'm not supposed to care what other people think, but women spend large chunks of time worrying about weight, so when the scale creeps upward, even when it's for perfectly good and natural reason (you know, like growing another person inside of you), I still felt a wee guilty for the thickened waist.

But I'm over that now. Sure, I still think I look like this sometimes. Not all the time, though. And the recent spate of celebrity reproduction has brought sweet phrases like "baby bump" into common parlance. It's a beautiful phrase, one that makes you think of a woman, normally proportioned in every way, with one teeny swollen area. I mostly think of myself that way, especially since I'm exclusively sporting generously cut maternity fashions these days, which seemed designed to draw attention to the bump, rather than camouflage it.

One critique of maternity clothes: they are almost all, to an item, designed to accentuate the bustline. Now, I understand that there a bunch of women out there who are thrilled to have added a cup size or two courtesy of the gestational process and want to show 'em off. I, on the other hand, sport cleavage even when I'm wearing a turtleneck and am not hopped up on pregnancy hormones. So, Mimi, Motherhood, A Pea in a Pod, etc., could we calm it down a little with the generously scooped necks so that I can dress appropriately for work?

Luckily, generous family members have given me a bunch of lovely, demure maternity clothes. But whenever I go out shopping on my own, all I find are low-cut tops with spaghetti straps. That's a whole separate issue -- I mean, if you're struttin' around with a bigger bra size, don't you require extra, um, support? And spaghetti straps don't exactly have the girth to cover more industrial straps, my friends.

There's one other tale to tell as a result of my increased size... Since I'm officially in all kinds of maternity clothes (the really obvious kind that tie in the back), and I'm all kinds of round in the middle, inquiring minds around the office want to know if I'm in the family way. My co-workers have been pretty circumspect -- they start to ask, then stop themselves, then I interrupt and tell them that yes indeedy, I'm expecting and am due in November. You should see the relief on their faces. I mean, who wants to ask someone if she's pregnant, and then find out that she's NOT? That's embarrassing for everyone involved and within earshot of the conversation.

Now, I thought I had my bases covered as far as the office grapevine goes. Since I haven't been at this job for very long, I haven't cultivated the kinds of friendships where you would run up to someone and announce that you have a baby on the way. So, I told my boss and my HR director at the end of the first trimester. My sister-in-law works here too, and she knew way back when as well. About two months ago, I made it a point to tell the two biggest office gossips. I figured that these folks would spread the word for me, but nope. Who knew that an office full of women would be so hush-hush about something like this? But my belly is doing the work for me. Good thing, too -- I was afraid that when I took off in mid-November, people would assume I quit or got canned when they passed by my darkened cubicle.

No comments: