When it comes to the way a pregnant woman is carrying, people have feelings. Some women say they'd rather carry low, while others think high is the ideal. As a gal who only experienced carrying really high, I would've preferred to have carried low (because the grass is always greener, right?). Carrying high only brought me tremendous discomfort, anxiety, and insecurities any time I tried to get dressed. There probably isn't any "ideal" way to carry a pregnancy, but there are quite a few thoughts every pregnant woman has when she's carrying high that likely stem from her bump being in such an uncomfortable place.
Before I got pregnant, I had only pictured myself being pregnant in the perfectly proportioned way that pregnant women are depicted in advertisements: with a cute little bump that is adequately spaced from the chest. I didn't expect there to be some confusion between where my boobs ended and my bump began, or to, occasionally and depending on what I wore, resemble a stumpy little troll. As if the cystic acne, the overactive sweat glands, the uneven skin color, and the nausea wasn't enough, I also had to deal with a body that didn't fit the paradigm of what "pregnant" looked like to me. Oh, and did I mention I already entered pregnancy with a history of disordered eating and body dysmorphia? Let the good times roll!
So, I had a lot of feels when it came to carrying high, that I think many women who carried their pregnancies in a similar way can definitely relate. On the whole, it just feels damn weird and awful to carry a baby basically near your lungs. If you start with that idea in mind, and work from there, you can imagine the kinds of thoughts a woman carrying high might have:
"Is This A Baby Or My Third Boob?"
Sometimes, when you're carrying super-high, instead of a cute baby bump you look like you're the proud owner of a third boob or large goiter. Is that a baby in your belly or a tissue mass that you should probably have your doctor look at ASAP?
I hated carrying high, especially since my torso is rather short to begin with and my overall stature is on the petite side. I would have loved to have been one of those lean and long pregnant ladies with a tummy sloping down towards a cute little bump at the end, but that wasn't in the cards for me. Instead, I had a nice round bump resting right under my boobs at all times, where I could lay my hands down when they were tired.
"I Would Give Anything To Breathe Normally Again"
Ladies who are carrying high often get the joys of experiencing more acid reflux and trouble breathing because of the position of the baby. It is just one of those lucky things, I guess. It is especially uncomfortable at night, when you're lying down and you feel like the your belly somehow migrates even closer to your throat, further blocking your already compromised airways.
I had the absolute worst reflux in the history of pregnancy reflux when my belly was at its highest position. I felt like the baby was pressing against my lungs, encouraging me to burp after every bite or even sip of water. My pregnancy burps were so alarming that my neighbors were concerned about the noises coming form my apartment at night (when they were at their worst.)
"Has Anyone Ever Given Birth Out Of Their Mouths?"
When your baby is so high in your belly, you start to wonder, like I did, if perhaps you are a freak of nature who might just be the first woman ever to give birth through her mouth. I wasn't sure it was possible for the baby to be any higher up in my body without a tiny little foot traveling up my throat and out my mouth one day.
"Why Does Everything I Wear Make Me Look Like Winnie The Pooh?"
To the Carry-Low ladies who feel like they have it rough in the maternity-wear department, I respectfully disagree. Carrying high is way worse because every top you put on gets about two feet shorter, making it so that you resemble an overstuffed no-pants Winnie The Pooh.
I had a few cute maternity dresses that looked bomb earlier in my pregnancy, but when my bump started climbing towards my neck they looked more like baby tees. It was not cute.
"I Guess The Baby Will Never Drop"
Carrying high means that you'll have that much farther to go in order to get the baby to drop. I was in a prenatal yoga class with moms who were more or less due around the same time as me, and I felt like the odd-mom-to-be out when I looked around and saw that, if there were a race to the due date finish line based on baby positioning, I was way behind. In fact, it looked like my baby was desperately trying to head in the opposite direction of where he was supposed to go.
Did he have a fear of the real world that was so crippling he wanted to rest comfortably in my chest cavity instead, forever? Or worse, was my baby afraid of my vagina?
"If Someone Tells Me I'm Having A Girl One More Time I Don't Know What I Will Do"
The jury is still out on whether carrying high means you're having a boy or a girl, but depending on where you live, people tend to have a unanimous opinion on your carrying state and what it means in terms of gender. In my little area of Brooklyn, carrying high meant "girl."
I knew that I was carrying high, and I knew that people telling me I was having a girl meant that other people had observed how high I was carrying. I did not need to hear over and over how high my belly looked. I was just so tired of hearing it.
"I Didn't Know It Was Possible To Get Kicked In The Throat"
Mamas-to-be who are carrying high might be familiar with the feeling of getting woken up in the middle of the night by what feels like kick in the neck from their soon-to-be bundle of joy. Talk about a rude awakening.
OK, maybe that's not truly physically possible, but when I was carrying super high it felt like my baby was kicking me in places I didn't know were possible. It made me think that I just might be giving birth to some new kind of species of Super Baby. What other kinds of powers would my baby possess, I wondered? An ability to sleep through the night from Day One? I'd take a kick in the face every night of my last trimester for that, for sure.