“I am not pregnant, but I have had three kids and there is a bump,” said Garner on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on October 7. “I get congratulated all the time by people I know. This one woman who had babysat for us said, ‘Oh, my gosh! I can’t wait for No. 4,’ and I thought, ‘What is going on?’ So I asked around and apparently I have a baby bump, and I’m here to tell you that I do!”
The actress was responding to persistent rumors that she and husband Ben Affleck were expecting baby #4 after photos in which she appeared to have a bit of a tummy surfaced.
I can so relate to Jen’s take on her post-kid belly. I have two babies and there have definitely been times when someone has congratulated me on being pregnant…when I haven’t been knocked up at all. The most obnoxious time went something like this, about two weeks after my daughter Poppy was born:
Dad I barely know at the playground: “Wow, you guys are going for it again already! Congratulations!”
Me: Sitting with a group of other moms, breastfeeding my two-week-old, cheeks flaming, completely horrified. “I just had a C-Section two weeks ago. I’m NOT pregnant!”
Of course, one of the other moms tried to make me feel better by rolling her eyes at the guy as he wandered off and telling me that it took about eight weeks after her second baby was born for that distinct bump to go down. But I was already totally self-conscious about my lingering bump — my 4-year-old pointed it out every day, “Mooommeeee, your tummy is still big even though the baby is out!” The last thing I needed was for some jerk at the playground who should have known better to point out that I still looked pregnant.
Now, nine weeks postpartum, the distinct swell of my belly that announced my pregnancy to the world is gone — but I still have a bit of a tummy. I’m taking Pilates twice a week and hitting the gym when I can, but I’m certain my belly will never be like it was before I had children. I’ll probably have a bit of a pooch forever now, and I’m totally cool with that; my babies are absolutely worth it. I’m equally certain that there will be another person who will congratulate me on a pregnancy that doesn’t exist at some point in the future (probably loudly, in a public place for maximum mortification).
Next time I hear the dreaded “You’re pregnant, congratulations!” when I’m not, however, I’ll try not to feel as horrified as I did a few weeks ago. I’ll remember that lots of moms struggle with the less glamorous parts of motherhood, even the ones with glamour squads at their fingertips. I’ll remember that it’s OK to fret a little about the trivial stuff (like a pooch), as long as I don’t waste energy dwelling on it. And I’ll remember to rely on another mom for some support. After all, she’s probably been there too.
What do you think about Jen Garner’s “baby” bump confession?