16. Baby Bump

16. Baby Bump

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident

Baby Bump

Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom.

~Harriette Hartigan

Unloading my shopping cart onto the conveyer belt while juggling both children was no easy feat. The baby was perched on my hip, and the toddler was alternating between clinging to my legs and trying to escape the checkout lane. I’d already had to chase her down twice.

Time to pay. I swung the baby to my other hip so I could sign with my right hand. The toddler made another break for it while my hands were busy. A scamper of tiny shoes and she was gone again . . . right into the arms of a sweet, middle-aged lady who scooped her up and plopped her in my cart.

As I gathered my last bags and tried to get out of the way, I thanked this helpful lady. She just smiled and said she had been there too.

Then she placed her hand on my soft, round belly and rubbed it. “I just love baby bumps! When is this one due?”

“Well . . . I’m actually not pregnant. It’s just left over from having two babies in less than two years.”

My new friend was horrified! “I’m so sorry! I — I thought it was a baby bump . . . I mean, you look great! I hope I didn’t embarrass you. You . . .”

I started laughing. “It is a baby bump!” I gestured to the toddler, now trying to climb out of the cart, and bounced the four-month-old a little higher on my hip. “It’s my bump from that baby and this baby. It has given me my children. Why on earth would I be embarrassed about that?”

“It’s my bump from that baby and this baby. It has given me my children. Why on earth would I be embarrassed about that?”

“Well dear, just give it time. I’m sure you will lose it. You’ll have your tight belly again before you know it!” And with that, she hurried out the doors, still obviously embarrassed.

Later that evening, in our oversized recliner, I was rocking the baby when the toddler crawled up onto my lap. She nuzzled her head into the soft flesh of my mama belly and let out a sigh. You could almost see the day’s tension leave her little body. This is her favorite place in the whole world. Snuggled into mama’s squishy middle.

So thank you, Grocery Store Lady. And yes. I love my baby bump, too.

~Jessica Ghigliotti

More stories from our partners