I used to always wonder why pregnant women rubbed their bellies so much. Were they just showing off? It was very hard to watch while struggling with infertility. For some reason, I didn't get upset around babies (usually), but being around pregnant women was sometimes really hard. I have heard various reasons put forward for the belly-rubbing phenomenon, such as belly itch (from the skin stretching too fast), and aches and pains, but none of it really made sense to me. How can rubbing your belly really help with either of those problems?
Well, over the last two weeks, I've found myself furtively touching my belly whenever I think I can get away with it, in the same way that newly pregnant women constantly poke at their boobs to make sure they're still sore. It's not itchy, or achy. In fact it feels fabulous. I just find that I need the reassurance that it is actually there. After over 16 weeks, I'm still afraid that one day I'll wake up and it'll all be over. I'm trying to fight the negative thoughts, but still find myself touching my belly a lot. Short of an ultrasound, nothing is as reassuring as feeling that bump and being reminded that it's not all just a dream.
We've now had a change of location for two months. I was sent to Indonesia for work from now until the end of July. I'm actually quite happy about the short-term move, because I am much more comfortable in Indonesia than Korea. The quality of medical care in Korea is better, of course, but Indonesians are just so warm and lovely, and so family-friendly that it's a really lovely place to be while pregnant. Mystery man came two weeks before I did, so he hadn't seen my belly since the bump appeared. When I got here, he just couldn't stop touching it. Before now, he was really excited about the baby, but not so worked up about the pregnancy itself. Somehow, the bump has made it all seem real to him, I think. I can't believe that we've been so lucky. I hope the world will forgive me the occasional belly rub, because there's nothing in the world that makes me happier than feeling this miracle that's going on inside.