That’s me up there, four months pregnant with the baby I lost in December. I remember feeling way further along when I took the pic. It’s one of only two belly pics that exist from that ill-fated pregnancy.
They say by the time you sprout your second or third or, if you’re Michelle Duggar, your 19th kid, your wrung-out stomach “pops” early, making it doubly or triply or quadruply harder to resurrect your abs. This is the sad truth for all gestating women, except Heidi Klum.
I read a description somewhere that likened the bellies of women who’ve had babies to balloons that have already been inflated. New balloons are a bitch to blow up. They don’t give. You have to pre-stretch them and blow like a mother to fill them with air. Your face turns red and the tail can be difficult to knot.
Twice inflated balloons are another story. They swell immediately.
With my second pregnancy, I quickly inflated, then quickly deflated – both physically and emotionally. When it became apparent that I couldn’t repress my way back to feeling normal, I did the only two things I could think to do at the time: I ran and I blogged. More accurately, I ran a lot and blogged just once.
This miscarriage wiped me out. Running made me feel strong again. Blogging – as heavy as that last post was – helped me compartmentalize my thoughts and articulate things I couldn’t in person.
The thing is: I’m a lighthearted person. I cry NOT AT ALL in front of people. Prior to this miscarriage, few people outside my family and BFF of 20 years have seen me cry. In the last five years, I can count two: the veterinarian who euthanized my dog and my friend Kim, who watched me break down over breakfast when my son’s off-the-wall behavior became too overwhelming to handle. “I can barely parent one,” I tearfully confessed. “How will I manage two?”