Oh, a slightly unsettling (and a bit upsetting?) realisation this week – I was walking down the high street and happened to catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window.
You have to understand, I stopped looking out for myself in this way whilst out and about a while back – as every time I do I am struck by how much further out I am protruding. Anyway, I accidentally caught sight of my reflection – in action, as it were – and was somewhat staggered to realize that I had definitely developed the telltale pregnancy waddle! You know, the one where the pregnant woman walks with her hips jutted forward and head back and her spine looks like it's at a bit of an angle. Add the appearance of the feet pointed outward and a roly poly stride and there you have the distinctive preggers duck walk!
Now I've actually caught myself doing it (and I swore to myself I'd try to avoid it, I really did), I found that there is a very good reason for this somewhat exaggerated gait. And its not that you are just carrying a heavier load and want to engender sympathy from onlookers in order to show them just how ready to pop you are! It's due to the fact that when the baby drops further into the pelvis, it becomes harder to remain tall and straight, and in order to compensate for this additional, new change in your centre of gravity, you naturally have to lean backwards, as it's much more comfortable. The baby's dropping further into the pelvis is known as 'engagement' and is a sign that your little one is getting ready to come out in the coming weeks. It's also referred to as the baby "dropping", and will become more and more pronounced, the further the baby moves into your pelvis. Another, unfortunate bi-product of baby's engagement is the additional pressure that gets applied to the bladder, which by the full engagement phase, has been squashed to under a third of its normal size – say hello to visiting the loo even more often, and only having a small amount of wee wee to show for it!
Whilst I am and was unsettled by the sight of my less than gazelle-like gracefulness (which, to be fair, I never really had in the first place!), I just keep telling myself that this is yet another step forward to the day when we get to meet our little baby boy.
Did you suddenly notice that you had 'dropped' – how did the signs of your baby's engagement show themselves?