My belly has officially taken on a life of its own. It's almost as if it has become a separate entity, functioning on its own accord, but allowing the rest of me to stick around like an unfortunate kid sister after mom and dad said, "She goes to the movie too, or you don't."
According to my cell membranes, my own head and limbs are now less important than The Belly. Sometimes it sends a little messenger to one of my ears to relay messages: "That spear of broccoli you just ate? And the milk? You can have the leftover nutrients. The Belly will be taking its cut first. And don't expect much. The Belly is a crude business-savvy type. If it offers you a 90/10 split ... TAKE IT."
Not only is The Belly moving on its own these days, but it has its own feelings, too. When I go about my day-to-day routine, I sometimes notice these weird sensations that are completely foreign to me after almost three decades of existence. Strange pulling sensations. I have no idea what it is, but I'm pretty sure The Belly is like a Spanish conquistador trying to conquer more skin territory and force it under its reign. When the skin doesn't submit willingly, it gets taken by force.
Then there is my outward appearance. I am no longer Kelly. I'm pregnant. The Belly precedes me. Strangers no longer see a tall female twentysomething with brown hair, they see a pregnant woman. A big lumbering pregnant woman with a wide girth.
What scares me is that my third trimester hasn't even started. I'm days away from the last leg of the race, but The Belly has already won. How much more does it want? My ribcage? To spread around my sides and start bulging out of my back, too? Maybe by November I'll just be an indiscernible mound of flesh. A circle. A ball. With a bloated head on top and tiny flailing hands and feet. Kind of like Violet in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" after she ate a piece of the turkey dinner-flavored gum.
Only I don't have any oompa loompas to roll me around.
So it could get ugly.
Kind of like my bellybutton. I think The Belly has hired experts to see if they can coerce it to start communicating with the outside world. Any day now I fully expect that little indent in my midsection to develop linguistic skills and shout a command like, "ICE CREAM, WOMAN! THE BELLY WANTS SOME ICE CREAM!"
And if I don't oblige and instead decide to muffle the screaming hole with a thick sweatshirt? I'm pretty sure it would chew right through layers and layers of fabric to continue dispensing orders until I dutifully horked down a bowl of Tin Roof Sundae just to shut it up.
I'm still fighting the good fight. I'm trying to hold onto the part of me that was there before The Belly. The part that remembers what zippers are and how they function.
But it's getting really hard.