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Documenting the Belly from Start to (Almost) Finish

When we first found out we were going to have a baby, I was totally motivated to take nice pictures every week so we could track the progression of the belly. We found a wall, we got out the fancy camera and for 3 whole weeks, we took pictures. And then life got busy. My husband was on call several Sundays in a row, which was when we were taking the pictures. The tank top I had been wearing in the pictures was dirty, etc etc. We just…stopped.

I knew I was going to want to keep track of the growth of the baby and belly over time and so my belly documentation stopped being fancy pictures and started being iPhone pictures. Many of them involve me making very strange concentration-y faces. Others are blurry. They are not the finest pictures I’ve ever taken, but I love looking at them and seeing how quickly things went from ridiculously small to holy cow I’m smuggling beach balls.

For the sake of time I certainly didn’t include every week, but I know that when I was early in pregnancy I’d have loved to see the progression of the belly. I couldn’t wait to go from looking like I had eaten a large meal to notably pregnant. And you’ll see the week that happened, it’s pretty obvious.

Without further ado, the belly, from start to (almost) finish.

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  • 14 weeks 1 of 14
    14 weeks
    This was the first week that there was anything to document. And it was woefully small. But it made me feel so very pregnant after all the weeks of feeling bloated and nauseous.
  • 16 weeks 2 of 14
    16 weeks
    I'm super happy in this picture, but the soft little bump is definitely growing a little here. Though it still was easily confused for a big lunch. And would be for several weeks.
  • 17 weeks 3 of 14
    17 weeks
    I clearly remember taking this picture and feeling like I was HUGE. Looking at it now makes me laugh because I was still so so small. I remember thinking that people should know that I was pregnant already, but so far no one seemed to notice. Gee, I wonder why!
  • 20 weeks 4 of 14
    20 weeks
    This was pretty much the earliest anyone ever really noticed that I was pregnant, and while I couldn't fit into my regular clothes, it was still pretty easy to pass myself off as unpregnant if I wanted to.
  • 22 weeks 5 of 14
    22 weeks
    Again, I remember feeling so clearly pregnant and now, um, not so much. I mean, yes, there's something noteworthy happening in my middle, but let's be honest, it doesn't look much like a baby yet.
  • 25 weeks 6 of 14
    25 weeks
    Okay, now we're starting to talk. This was the first week that anyone asked if I was pregnant. It was when I finally started feeling slightly more confident in my appearance as a pregnant lady and not as a bloated version of myself. But just wait...
  • 26 weeks 7 of 14
    26 weeks
    Pop! This seems to be the week that it went from a soft middle section to a firm, notable bump. This was the week everyone noticed and asked. The first week where strangers began violating my personal space. And the first week where wearing most of my non-maternity shirts became next to impossible.
  • 30 weeks 8 of 14
    30 weeks
    No mistaking the belly here. And to me, this was the first week it started to look a little higher. Before this week it seemed like I was going to be perpetually carrying the baby on top of my thighs.
  • 32 weeks 9 of 14
    32 weeks
    This was another MAJOR growth week. And the first week I realized that I really couldn't breathe very well. I spent all day yawning and gasping because the baby had made his way into my diaphragm. If you're in this phase, try getting on your hands and knees, for whatever reason, this was the only way I could get a deep breath for a while.
  • 33 weeks 10 of 14
    33 weeks
    The dressing room light was just too good to pass up. And by this time, even some of my maternity shirts didn't cover everything that was happening below my boobs. Nevermind that my belly wiggled obviously, as if possessed by aliens.
  • 34 weeks 11 of 14
    34 weeks
    BOOM. I honestly think this was the biggest my belly ever was, which I know is weird since it was a month ago, but seriously, I think I peaked at 34 weeks. I look way bigger than the week before and honestly, you can judge for yourself, but I think I look bigger than the weeks after, too.
  • 36 weeks 12 of 14
    36 weeks
    Closing in on the last month, I firmly had my watermelon smuggling belly in play. I can still wear my regular gym shorts under the belly at this point, but the waistband is stretched to it's absolute max and sitting is not so comfortable.
  • 37 weeks 13 of 14
    37 weeks
    Okay, this one may be a contender for biggest belly, but it's awfully close to 34 weeks. And it was maybe 2 days later that the baby dropped and according to my OB my fundal heigh shrunk 2cm (he doesn't seem much lower to me). Unless my baby is the incredible shrinking man, I think it means we're gearing up for labor.
  • 38.5 weeks 14 of 14
    38.5 weeks
    This is today. It probably doesn't seem that way to you, but the belly feels and looks to me to be way smaller, even though small is probably the last word I'd use to describe it. We're waiting on a new ultrasound tomorrow to check my fluid levels, so we'll see how much longer the belly gets to grow before we meet the little man inside. But I think we can safely say he's had his share of growth spurts, and so has his mom.

It seems to me that 25 and 34 weeks were my biggest growth spurts. What were your biggest belly growth weeks?

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