Family Life

2011: The Year I Lost My Belly Button (Among Other Things)

Or, 2011: The Year of the Baby

When 2011 began, I wasn’t thinking much–if at all–about my belly button. It was there. It was an innie. And it had a little freckle on one side of it. But it really didn’t enter into my thoughts at all.

Babies, on the other hand, did enter into my thoughts. We weren’t trying to get pregnant, but we also weren’t trying not to. As 2011 began and I wondered what the year would bring, I did wonder if it would bring a baby.

January began, and I wondered. February began, and I still wondered. March began, and I wondered again.

But March brought other excitements. I got to buy a fancy new computer. We went on vacation. I broke my old computer and had to wait two weeks for the new computer to show up. I wondered how I was supposed to work without a computer. And then at the same time that my new computer showed up, I started wondering about babies again, and about one very specific baby that would join our family in November.

I still didn’t think much about belly buttons, but as the months passed and as my belly got bigger, I began to lose my belly button. It became less of an innie. The freckle got bigger. And in August, when I visited my family in Texas, this happened:

My niece, who was almost two, was spending the night at my parents’ house. She showed off her belly button, and then wanted to see her Poppy’s belly button. Then she wanted to see Gram’s belly button. And then she turned to me, so I showed her mine. She took a step away from me, a puzzled look on her face. “Aunt Sherrah’s belly button is all gone,” Gram said. “All gone?” the niece asked. Then she made the rounds again, and when she came back to me, she shrugged and said, “All gone.”

My belly button wasn’t the only thing I lost while pregnant:

  • I lost my memory. (Babies eat brain cells.)
  • I lost my ankles. (And my feet looked like water balloons.)
  • I lost my immune system. (And caught every cold that walked by me.)
  • I lost feeling in my right hand. (Did you know pregnancy can cause carpal tunnel syndrome? Supposedly it goes away after baby’s birth. Supposedly…)
  • I lost sleep. (Four trips to the bathroom every night will do that to you.)

But in spite of all the losses, I gained something amazingly sweet and precious and very, very dear to me: my son. And so, 2011 for me is the year of baby, the year of family, the year of an amazing gift, the year of lost things, and the year of gained things.

This blog is part of a writing adventure. The current theme is “2011 in review”. Check out the rest of the blogs at Via Scribendi.