As if there isn’t enough to remember to do during pregnancy, you get thrown a curveball- a whole new body area that you didn’t have to begin with: The underbelly.
Perhaps it’s an “out of sight, out of mind” type of situation, but my poor underbelly got sorely neglected during my first pregnancy. Since i’d never had it before, I don’t think I even really knew it existed until it got pissed off at me and a nice purplish-red stretchmark started to creep across it. It was at that point that drastic lotioning measures were taken and luckily I saved the underbelly skin before it decided to hold a grudge against me and all was well.
With this pregnancy, I knew the underbelly would be there- so I knew to take good care of it before things once again got out of hand.
This time around, though, with the way i’m carrying (LOW LOW LOW), it’s harder to reach, harder to see, and the skin is angrier. I find myself standing on my tip-toes in the mirror as I slather the belly in shea butter to make sure I get every inch of it (and there are quite a few inches of underbelly unfortunately).
Typically, one of a preggos best allies is the elastic waistband. It’s comfortable, it’s stretchy, and most importantly: it fits.
Leave it to this pregnancy to decide that the elastic waistband is its mortal enemy.. because the underbelly just ain’t havin’ it. Instead of slipping on a pair of stretchy elastic-waisted pants and feeling comfortable, my belly is so low that the elastic does nothing but chaffe.
A lot of mornings i’ve woken up with a sore spot on my stomach that I can’t see, only to ask Thomas what the hell is going on under there and have him tell me there’s some sort of bump, or rash or mark from where my pants sat the day before. So much for glowing pregnancy skin. Stretchies AND bumpy rashy underbelly? That just doesn’t seem fair.
Currently, my skin is completely stretched to its limits. Especially the underbelly area. I’m carrying farther outwards and lower than ever before, and it is not pleased- and it is letting me know it is not pleased. Loudly.
There is one pair of capris that I have that generally does a lot of the chaffing i’ve experienced since the belly started to hang.. but I don’t have many clothes that actually fit at this point and they were the only clean pair, so I had no choice but to put them on.
A few hours later there was a burning sensation on the right side of the underbelly. I hobbled to the bathroom as quickly as I could manage, stood on my toes once again and peered into the mirror to try and see what the hell was going on.. only to find no red marks, no chaffing, no bumps. My eyes aren’t all that fantastic, so of course I went to Thomas for a second opinion. Confirmed. Nothing was there.
What the hell? Why does my skin feel like I touched a hot stove with it and it’s about to just tear apart?
I lathered the area with lotion to try and please the underbelly.. no dice. The underbelly can no longer be pleased it seems.
It’s even got my hip skin in on the angry action, and now that area hurts too but for no apparent reason.
I think the underbelly is telling me it’s time to give it a break and let it go back under the evil rock it crawled out from under and get this kid the hell out of me. I have no say in the matter, of course, or i’d oblige.
The underbelly hates me- and the feeling is quite mutual.
Take care of those expanding bellies, ladies, or you will have a hateful enemy on your hands that will only get bigger and angrier with time. It’s a battle you can’t win!
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