Exposed baby bumps.
Ah, the subject of such discourse.
And the “love it” or “hate it” mantra.
I will never forget the first time I saw the exposed baby bump of a total stranger.
This was way back in the summer of 1980 when I was six months pregnant with Jane (I know that mamas-to-be now talk in terms of weeks, but I just can’t multiply that quickly). I was at First Beach in Newport, Rhode Island with my husband and Keith, Adam and Audrey. I, of course, was all appropriately covered in my proper matronly bathing suit. OK, maybe my boobs were hanging out more than normal, but I wasn’t used to rocket ships that size.
I was digging in the sand, building sand castles and motes… when I looked up to see every eye on the beach staring at something in the water. No, not a shark. Not a whale (that would have been me). Nor a long, lean lifeguard rushing to the rescue of a swimmer in need.
The spectacle was a mama-to-be. More specifically, a mama-to-be in a bikini. And even more specifically, a mama-to-be in a bikini who looked ready to deliver.
This woman was mesmerizing. If she were a mermaid I would not have been as mesmerized. Of course I knew what a mama-to-be looked like. I had been one and was one at the same moment.
But everything else was different.
I was wearing a blue and white polyester bathing suit with an over-sized tunic top and skirt. Yes. A little skirt.
She was wearing a black bikini.
It hadn’t been that long before that itsy-bitsy bikinis were my beach attire.
I had every inch of my baby bump covered.
She had every inch of her baby bump exposed.
People started to murmur… “Well, she has a nerve.” “How disgusting.” “She must be European.”
Well, then I wanted to be nervy. Disgusting. European.
She was the most radiantly beautiful, confidently mesmerizing being that I had ever seen.
Well, summer was almost over… so I did not run out and purchase a black bikini. But I did know that at some moment in time, the mama-to-be in all of her fullness and beauty and glory would emerge.
And then in August of 1991, Annie Liebovitz, Demi Moore and Vanity Fair changed the face… er, baby bump… of pregnancy in America. Forever.
Now my daughter fully, beautifully, and gloriously shows her baby bump. I marvel at this. I am amazed at this. I am still mesmerized.
I, for one, love it!
I know that I don’t exactly qualify for Blogger Baby Bump Watch 2008… but I wanted to share these pictures of me pregnant with Audrey (April 1978, 7 months pregnant – chaperoning a prom with my husband Barry):
… and with Jane (July 1980, 5 months pregnant – yes, I was wearing a denim jumper in July!):
Don’t forget to share your Baby Bump 2008 with us here!
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