Seeing as how I’m nursing my very own baby bump at the moment (no hair so far!), I’m very lucky to have Anne Bardsley, blogger at Anz World and the author of the upcoming book How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood, and Menopause, as my guest poster today. She has prepared for you a fabulous story about her two daughters who had two very different ways of dealing with the stresses of being pregnant at the same time. Turns out mischief and gullibility are two of the lesser known symptoms of pregnancy…
Hairy Baby Bumps
My two daughters were pregnant. The babies were due two months apart. Erika was having her second child. Jamie was a first-time mom. Both girls were having bouts of hurricane strength hormones. Truthfully, they were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Erika didn’t have an ounce of patience. Every blessed thing got on her nerves: the dog barking, morning sickness, night time sickness, leg cramps. She also had a two year old daughter who wanted to know “Why?” every three minutes. “Why are you barfing, Mommy? Why is the sky blue? Why can’t I have Rolos and licorice for breakfast? Why is the puppy pooping on the carpet?”
Jamie, on the other hand, couldn’t stop crying. She cried at TV commercials, songs on the radio, it didn’t matter what happened, she cried. You can only imagine the conversations between the two of them. Erika would tell Jamie that Kaylee asked, “Mommy, why is it taking so long for Baby Riley to come out of your belly?” This struck Jamie as the sweetest thing she ever heard. Tears flowed. Erika’s reaction was, “Seriously? Come here and you answer her questions all day long, seven days a week. Then you’ll have a reason to cry! If the dog barks one more time, I’m going to duct tape his mouth shut!” The patience gene had left her body completely. Her husband hid the duct tape, just in case.
Both daughters live out of the state, so it’s difficult for me. I wished they were both closer for the emotional roller coaster of their pregnancies.
One night Jamie sent Erika a picture of her belly. “Look! I’m huge!” read the caption. She was six months along and her belly was definitely big for her small frame. Her bust had also tripled in size. She was not a fan of these new bawanga boobs. “For the love … can they get any bigger?” she asked.
Erika didn’t want to upset her and tell her, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Then it was Erika’s turn to send her belly photo. Erika is more of a prankster. She asked her husband to pull up his shirt and make his belly puff out. “You want me to stick my stomach out to look pregnant? Are you crazy?” he asked. “Uh, no! Not doing it,” he said.
“Just do it and do it now!”
He could feel the hormones heating up, so he posed.
She snapped the photo of his hairy, poofed out stomach and sent it off to Jamie. Now, Erika has been complaining about these raging hormones daily. We all knew not to upset her because she was slightly over the edge … like one of those cats hanging on a limb pictures.
Jamie was shocked when she saw that belly pic in her phone. First of all, Erika had grown hair on her stomach! Curly hair, no less, and it was dark brown. She was aghast! Her entire stomach was filled with curly brown spots of tightly wound curls.
Since Erika had been snarky with the pregnancy, Jamie didn’t want to incite her or hurt her feelings. She decided to be a kind and supportive.
When Erika called to see if she got the picture, Jamie said, “Oh E, you win! Your belly is much bigger than mine. It must be a boy. Look at all that hair!” She was walking on eggshells knowing that her hormones had been on fire. Erika played along a little longer coaxing Jamie to discuss this large, hairy belly of hers.
Jamie asked, “Is all that hair giving you heartburn?” She’d read that in one of her books. She maintained her cool and said, “I bet you’re having one cute little boy with curly hair.”
Erika continued the fun. “I didn’t have this much hair with Kaylee. I hope it goes away after I give birth.”
Jamie replied, “Oh my, God! I hope so too. You can’t visit mom at the beach like that.”
Erika cranked up the hormone level and asked, “Why would you say that!?!”
Jamie, being the peace maker, didn’t want her hairy-bellied, hormonal older sister to freak out. So she replied, “Well you’ll get all that belly hair knotted up with suntan lotion. That’s just gross!”
Erika suppressed a fit of laughter and asked, “Are you calling my belly gross?”
My phone rang. I could hear Erika laughing before I said hello. The call waiting was beeping. It was Jamie. Oh boy.
Erika’s version was that she had a hysterical conversation with her younger sister.
Jamie, on the other hand, called shocked at the hair on Erika’s stomach. “Oh my God, Mom! She’s really hairy. She has curls on her stomach! Did you get like that when you were pregnant with her? I think she’s mad at me because I told her it would be gross if all that hair knotted up with suntan lotion at the beach.” She was sniffling on the other end.
Her phone pinged that she had an incoming call and I suggested she take it, knowing it was Erika calling her back.
Erika confessed that she was just having fun which made Jamie burst into tears. I think it was pure relief, but I could be wrong.
The funny thing is Jamie’s baby boy had all the hair. Erika’s little girl was bald as her grandpop.
I survived both pregnancies. It’s amazing how much you forget when you hold a beautiful newborn—two on this case. I am happy to report that neither of them had hair on their bellies. Both cry and one has a temper, but with our family genes, what do you expect?
Anne Bardsley is a humor writer, blogger, and author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood, and Menopause. Over the years, her work has appeared in several publications. More would be available if she was not so busy pondering ways to firm her thighs. This uses a huge amount of her already limited brain cells. She barely survived raising five kids. They were all worth the labor pains in the long run and have given her wonderful grandchildren. Anne currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband of thirty-five years and two spoiled cockapoos.