My first pregnancy was pretty much "by the book," including my adorably high pregnant belly. My second and third were, well, not so much. So having had experiences of both carrying high and carrying low, I know there are struggles every pregnant woman knows when she carries high. In my experience, having a "high pregnant belly" wasn't better or worse than carrying low, either. It was just uncomfortable and annoying in it's own "special" ways.
For example, when you carry high it's impossible to find maternity clothes that fit. At first, I looked like the pictures in pregnancy magazines and OMG that was so awesome. But then, and as my belly grew and grew, I couldn't wear maternity shirts without showing off the bottom of my belly, or maternity dresses without unintentionally looking like I was wearing a mini-skirt. Carrying "high" was, I think, the go-to reason why I spent the majority of my pregnancy feeling extremely uncomfortable, too. My baby was kicking me in the diaphragm, or lodged under my ribs, for months on end. I couldn't breathe, couldn't find a bra that fit, and literally always had a stain on my bump. Guys, that's not my idea of a good time.
To make matters worse, it seems like everyone always had something to say about the way I carried my babies. No, stranger in the grocery store, you can't tell the gender or sex of my baby by looking at my bump. No, random person at the bank, you cannot touch my stomach to guess what position my baby is in. Just stop. So with that in mind, here's the struggles every pregnant woman "carrying high" know all too well:
When You Can't Breathe, Like, At All
Between the baby's position — which felt like she was resting under my rib or pressed up against my diaphragm at all times — and the fact that my clothes were too tight around my chest, I couldn't really breathe for the duration of my pregnancy.
When You Outgrow Every Bra You Own
For the life of me I couldn't find a bra that fit. Every bra band was way too tight or couldn't fit between my boobs and my growing belly. It made breathing even harder, and it made finding maternity clothes impossible.
When You Can't Fit Your Belly Behind The Steering Wheel Of Your Car
Yeah, I couldn't get my seat close enough to reach the pedals without my high belly pressing against the steering wheel. It would have been comical if it wasn't so uncomfortable.
When Every Maternity Shirt & Dress You Own Rides Up
At first, maternity clothes were adorable on my stereotypical basketball-looking bump, when I reached about 18 weeks my maternity clothes struggles started. I couldn't wear any of the cute maternity shirts I owned without them riding up and showing my lower belly. You don't even want to know what maternity dresses looked like. Let's just say that passersby on the street probably could have checked if my cervix was dilated when I wore a short dress.
When Your Baby Gets Lodged Behind Your Ribs
My daughter spent months behind my ribs. I wondered how she got there and how it was even anatomically possible for my uterus to reach my rib cage. Apparently.
When Every Shirt You Own Has A Stain On The Top Of Your Bump
Every damn shirt I owned had an ugly stain on the top of my belly. It was ridiculous. On the bright side, my belly did make a convenient ledge to rest my drink on.
When You Get Punched In The Diaphragm
It's bad enough not being able to breathe, but when you carry high you also get the "joy" of learning what it feels like to get punched in the diaphragm from the inside. It's enough to knock the wind out of you.
When Everyone Tells You Are *Definitely* Having A Girl
No, complete stranger rudely staring at my belly: you can't tell what kind of reproductive anatomy, or eventual gender identity, my baby will have by the way I am carrying this particular pregnancy. And, besides, that bump is attached to my freaking body. So, you know, please stop looking at me.
The worst part, though? In my case, people who claimed I was having a girl were totally right, so I also had to deal with their shouts of "I knew it!" when I told them. Ugh.
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