The moment you realize that you just can’t quite swing wearing the clothes you’ve been wearing. Your pants may make it up over your hips, the zipper manages to find its way up despite the newfound fecundity of your backside, heck, you might even be able to get the pants to button, but that doesn’t make them passable.

This day came yesterday. My favorite cords, a not quite gray, not quite mauve, don’t really match anything, but by-god-they’ve-always-been-long-enough-and-given-spectacular-ass-pants were sitting just north of my hip bones. Actually, sitting isn’t quite right, grasping on for dear life and causing a landslide of “Get me the hell out of here” overflow from my torso that I shudder to call muffin top is more accurate. I had on a longish, ribbed, black sweater which should have disguised the disagreeing areas, but it seemed to me to just blare obnoxiously: soft, abundant and breaking free from the bonds of structure.

The thing people who’ve not been pregnant don’t really understand is that despite how things look, the belly only really achieves beach ball type shape and feel at the very tail end of the pregnancy, and even then it is malleable, yes malleable. So, at this particularly awkward crossroads of regular clothes and maternity clothes, it can be maneuvered to accommodate vanity, but ultimately, if the belly and the lush, beautiful body around it are not allowed to sort of do as they please? Well, you really begin to look like the dude at the fair who you see and you think, “Dude, hike the pants up over that gut and loosen the fabric around those spare tires you’ve got.”

It just isn’t tha simple. I’ve got maternity clothes and I’ve tried putting them on, what I end up with is chafing between my thighs where the fabric is too loose as my belly, which seems so ample as I dart quickly past the mirror and into the shower each morning, but is really rather unimpressive when faced with the generous swaths of fabric intended to hug it. As my belly gets bigger the pants will grow shorter, oh the shortness of maternity pants on a tall woman. And the tops, the empire tops and me with my incredibly long torso guaranteeing that any empire waist will perfectly slice me across the bust line. Tug, tug, tug.

I know this seems like a rant, but here’s the thing, this moment brings something else. Last night, happily tucked beneath thick, heavy layers of quilts and flannel, wearing nothing but a couple of loose tshirts, comfy underwear and socks it happened. Our little baby began its months-long swim meet, pushing off one side of my belly and breaststroking around, little limbs pressing and stretching as the warm hand of a proud papa applauded from the sidelines.

Sean’s body was tight against me, his legs tucked in behind mine, supporting and warming me, while his arms wrapped around my middle and rested on my belly.

“You feel that?” I asked.

Silence. Still.

“Yes,” a throaty exclaim. “And that.” More silence, warm breath on my neck, “And that! Hello baby,” he sang as he stroked the skin beneath my belly button. The baby responded with an impressive series of turns and rolls while Seans hands continued to caress a message of intense pride and adoration. We fell asleep to the ebb and flow of butterfly kisses upon my belly and Sean’s hands.

Today, with a looser waistband and an impossibly comfortable shirt falling gently over my growing curves, I passed my day falling in love. Stealing litttle touches, whispering “I love you’s” and reveling in the wonder of having it all returned in swishes and flutters.