Friday, August 12, 2011

May I rub your belly?

Today, as I was walking into the grocery store, I noticed a line had formed at the redbox kiosk. This is not unusual, but standing in this line was a young woman, probably early to mid-twenties. There was nothing too extraordinary about her except for her belly. She was probably 6 or 7 months pregnant. Not huge yet but with a large enough baby bump to be cute. And for the first time in my life, I wanted to go up to a pregnant woman, rub her belly and ask when she was due.

Now, I have never had the desire to rub another woman's belly. Not even when I had family members who were pregnant. Not even when a friend at work was pregnant and I was living vicariously through her. But for some reason, I had the very strong urge to do so today. Seeing this woman's extended belly, knowing that a little boy or girl was growing inside, got to me in a way I never knew it could. She was already a pretty woman, but that bulge in her middle made her appear to glow and made her beautiful.

I think about being pregnant often. Not so much so that I want to have a baby right now, but I definitely think about the possibilities. That's not totally true. There are times when I wonder when it will be my turn to smile politely at the elderly lady at the grocery store and tell her when my baby is due. Or when it will be my turn to decorate a nursery or pick out names. It doesn't help that 99.999% of the women I know are pregnant or have recently given birth. (Ok...maybe not that many but sometimes it feels like that many.) And if you are one of those 99.999%, don't get me wrong, I am truly happy for you.

In two weeks, I will be 30. I read somewhere once that women should have babies before they are 35 because the risks increase after that age. But there are women in their late 30s and early 40s giving birth every day. There is so much information out there and it seems to contradict itself most of the time...but I digress.

Perhaps my urge to connect with this pregnant woman is caused by the little biological clock in the back of my mind counting down the child-bearing years I have left. Maybe it is caused by the fact that I am a nanny and care for a cute and adorable 7 month old 40 hours a week. Sometimes, I take him for walks and people will stop to admire him. Usually, I just smile and say thank you, but the voice in my head is usually telling them he's not mine. Or possibly it is from the social pressure that I sometimes feel. Or it could just be the fact that I turn 30 in two weeks and this is just the normal pre-birthday weirdness I encounter before every major milestone.

Whatever the reason, I was able to restrain myself and walk right on by. Having never been pregnant myself I don't know this for a fact, but I think it would be a little unnerving to have a complete stranger walk up to me and put their hands on my stomach. Maybe some of my prego friends can tell me what they think. Thanks for reading.