For my 16th birthday, I only wanted one thing: my bellybutton pierced. I wasn’t badass enough to find an unhygienic place that would do it illegally (must be 18+ to get piercings here), so, goody-two-shoes that I was, I begged my mom to take me. She was not on board with it at all but gave in because, as she even admitted, on the spectrum of ridiculous things teenagers do, this wasn’t so bad. However, she made it very clear to me that she thought it was a stupid and unnecessary piercing.
I didn’t think it was stupid or unnecessary though. I really loved it. I liked having a little barbell in it, with a sparkly purple stone. Then I went to college and my boyfriend gave me a hoop with a freshwater pearl on it to put in there (I thought this was extremely classy, which is hilarious, since it was a freaking bellybutton piercing).
Then, somewhere around age 24, I realized the piercing wasn’t really doing anything for me. I actually remembered back to high school when I found out my physics teacher had her bellybutton pierced, and it totally weirded me out. I then realized now I was a teacher with a bellybutton piercing and I didn’t care to be. Not that I would judge another woman for rocking it into adulthood, I know many people that still do, but it just wasn’t me anymore. So I took the jewelry out and didn’t think anything of it.
I had sort of assumed the hole would miraculously heal shut and disappear, just like some of my old ear piercings, tongue piercing (oh man can’t believe I had that, yikes) and even my nose piercing did.
However, if you’ve had your bellybutton pierced, you and I both know that it most certainly doesn’t go away. In fact I could probably still put jewelry in there if I wanted to. But you’ll see in a second why I would never, ever do that.
Anyway, the little dot above my bellybutton never bothered me. I was never that into my stomach. I wasn’t strutting around in cropped shirts on the regular or anything, so whatever. It was all good.
Belly circa October 2012.
Then I got pregnant, and one of the first things my best friend Kari warned me about was the disintegration of my bellybutton. At this point she had a one year old and was still (half-jokingly) mourning the loss of her pre-pregnancy bellybutton. She had also had a piercing back in the day, and told me that this was the very worst part of the bellybutton’s demise.
Oh maaan was she right.
In general, I’m really okay my belly’s weirdness. Linea nigra is fine with me. I know that it’s normal, natural, etc. Like a rite of passage. And my bellybutton itself is weird as hell, all flattened out, brownish, with the visible slit above, but I actually think it’s kind of cool. I always wondered what was happening inside there. But above that bellybutton slit… is just this weird extra hole that is now getting oddly brown and, dare I say, crusty? And the fact that I decided to put that hole there because I thought it looked cool, just makes me shake my head at 16 year old Carly.
So, just as I’ve done so many times before, I now need to admit to my mom that she was totally right. It was a pretty stupid and unnecessary piercing. But hey, I genuinely loved it at the time. I really did. So I guess I need to accept the way it’s playing itself out on my tummy today. And if I ever have a daughter begging to get her bellybutton pierced, I’ll show her these pictures before letting her make up her own mind.
Considering that my blog is named “Love more, be happy” this is admittedly a pretty negative post but, hey, I gotta keep it real. Hopefully it will make you feel happier because you aren’t me right now, and then in a roundabout way the title of my blog will be accomplished, yes?
On a paradise-esque beach where we live. Ew.
Considering that I live in a popular travel destination, on the beach in Mexico, many people might perceive this as a lovely place to be pregnant. In fact, I see women all the time that around 7 months pregnant that have obviously bopped down here from the states for an idyllic “babymoon” and I’m sure they’re having a wonderful time. However, I have officially decided that where I live is one of the worst places in the world to be in your first trimester.
Here are reasons why the first trimester sucks where I live:
1. Mmm, who doesn’t get excited about a big seafood dinner when the mahi mahi or shrimp has been plucked from the sea just a few hours prior? Oh, that’s right, me. I don’t appreciate the fact that every single restaurant I walk by absolutely wreaks of fish, the multiple fish markets here literally churn raw fish smell out onto the street and pick-up trucks full of raw shrimp drive by me, blaring loud shrimp-peddling propaganda.
2. Unless you are a rich tourist renting a golf cart, you have no choice but to walk everywhere here. I used to love this quaint quality of small town lifestyle, as it forces you to get to know everyone in town pretty fast. I even appreciated the fact that it forced a healthy lifestyle upon me. However. When I’m so tired after work that I feel as if my body has been inhabited my zombies, the last thing I want to do is walk home and get stopped in conversation 10 times. And yet, this happens daily.
3. It’s hot as balls. Right now is supposedly the nicest time of the year, and I still think it’s hot as balls. It is, by my standards anyway, summer year round. It just changes by season from unbearably torturously hot in the summer/fall to pleasantly hot (pleasant by someone’s standards that isn’t me, that is) in the winter/spring. When we moved here in July and it was 100 degrees plus humidity, Hus and I were taking about 5 cold showers a day to function. None of our houses here have ever had air conditioning. If you are lucky, you get a ceiling fan placed strategically above your bed. I thought I had adjusted to the heat, but sure enough, this first trimester has made me extremely sensitive to heat. When I get hot and tired, which happens when I walk anywhere or move too quickly in the house, I get nauseous. Awesome.
4. My strongest food aversion these past few weeks has been Mexican food, which is so convenient when 99% of the restaurants in town serve only Mexican food! Just the smell of spicy fried meat or fish or onions as I walk by a taco stand makes my stomach turn. What’s worse is many of the workers at the local places know my husband and I and are confused by our disappearance over the past months, so they’ll swoop in when they see us and try to question and lure us in as I start to gag.
5. Now let’s talk about the other food options. What can I eat here? The two foods I’ve wanted the most are string cheese and Annie’s cheddar bunny crackers, neither of which you can buy here, so I’ve been pretty much screwed. The french bakery here has known me really well because I basically buy bread and cheese and that’s it. I have honestly been dreaming of wandering the aisles of a Whole Foods and grabbing crackers and kettle potato chips off the shelves. My comfort foods just don’t exist here.
6. 90% of the female population here (ok, this is a very high ridiculous estimate) surfs and has a six pack and wears a bikini 24/7. Meanwhile, I’m in the stage of pregnancy where I don’t look pregnant, I just look a little fat, feel like hell in a bikini and hate all these girls with a vehement passion.
7. Anytime you need to leave our small town for, say, a doctor’s appointment or to get your car fixed or whatever, you need to drive on the curviest, most death-defying jungle road for 30 minutes first. I’ve never been one to get motion sickness, but even my non-pregnant self has gotten carsick on these roads multiple times (especially if you glance at your cell phone for any reason, don’t do it!!!) so now that the first trimester constant nausea is here… forget about it.
8. My first trimester conveniently overlapped with the spring break holiday. This was actually wonderful because it allowed me two weeks to not be at work and take naps whenever I needed them, which rocked. However, spring break is also when tourists – particularly of the teenage, loud, drunk, Mexican variety – flock here. A group of fourteen of these tourists decided to rent the place above our apartment and party until 5AM screeching makeshift karaoke and blaring a blow horn. For real. Not to mention the four different bands that were playing in the plaza until 3AM each night, echoing up the hill into our apartment, the four different genres of music all meshing together most un-melodically. Sleep is pretty much the #1 most important thing in the world to me right now, and for these weeks it just wasn’t happening (at night, anyway).
9. Living in a small town is kind of like high school again, because everyone is always up in everyone else’s business. My husband and I both wanted to keep the pregnancy on the down low until the second trimester so we knew that all was well and good with the baby before others were informed. However, I kid you not, the very same day I peed on a stick a co-worker at school came up to me and said “You’ve gained weight. You are pregnant.” Then this continued to happen over and over again as the weeks went by. It didn’t help my case when I went running out of my classroom at 8:30am to throw up. There is also a very strong drinking culture here, and for me NOT to be drinking a margarita was a huge red flag to people. People in town pretty much knew I was pregnant before I did. So much for keeping things on the down low.
10. It’s unbelievably, stunningly beautiful here! Really, I am looking out my window right now at the ocean and both hearing and watching the waves break. A slight breeze is making the palm trees rustle and hills dense with jungle are to my left and right. I am fully aware that I live in a beautiful paradise and yet I feel so icky, nauseous, tired, disgusting and constipated that I’m not even appreciating it here. I keep wishing I lived in a boring, ugly, cold place where I could snuggle up in bed at home with a string cheese and with my chihuahua and not feel like I’m missing anything outside. But here, with each day pristinely sunny day (we’ve had one, exactly ONE day of rain since September people) I feel like my condition is really in stark contrast to my surroundings.
11. I have no television or internet in my apartment. This isn’t really fair to list as a reason why it sucks to live here, because other people here are normal and have at least one if not both of these things. But anyway this is my blog so shhh. All I want right now is to be a lazy bum and watch HBO or read trashy blogs but I can’t. Instead, I have been having staring contests with my dog, reading books (can’t find a good one either, I keep reading and ditching) or getting on my computer to complain to myself via typing a blog post that I post later on when I find wi-fi. Thus, this post was born. You’re welcome.