When we consider the changes that are going to take place in our bodies during pregnancy and afterwards, most women fear things like weight gain, stretchmarks, boobs not bouncing back or even shoe size increasing and not decreasing again. Me? I worried about my belly button.
It sounds weirdly random, but I rather liked mine pre-pregnancy. It was an "innie" and it had a nice shape. It's not like it was sitting on a rock-hard six-pack or anything and I've never been a bikini person, so it wasn't even as though I cared about showing it off in public. I just... liked it.
As my belly grew, I started to worry about my belly button "popping" and becoming an outie. What if it felt weird, all out in the open after so many years of being on the inside? What if I had to stick a plaster over it like some people do to keep it down? And worst of all, what if it never went back in?
The bump expanded and my belly button got smaller and smaller, but to my relief it never did pop out. It stretched and flattened out until there was only the tiniest little slit visible and there it stayed, until the baby vacated the premises.
Now a post-pregnancy tummy is a sad-looking thing for most of us (those who aren't Victoria's Secret models, anyway). But while my slowly deflating bump wasn't exactly a pleasure to behold, it was my poor belly button that really got to me. All of a sudden I could see all the way to the bottom of it! Yes, it was technically still an innie, but a sadly stretched-out one to be sure.
Over the months, my stomach went back to some semblance of its previous self, but my belly button was gone forever. I swear the baby even laughed at it as she poked her finger into it playing in bed with me the other morning (lying down it looks more shriveled up and sad than when standing up).
I did discover one thing that helped a bit - the wonder-oil that is Trilogy rosehip oil. Applying a few drops to the area every day after showering helped to tone the skin up a little bit - reducing the crepiness and improving the appearance enough for me to be able to accept the new shape.
And while I'd never be bothered to actually consider cosmetic surgery, an idle search brought me to a page detailing "umbilicoplasty" and the confirmation that yes, if I ever change my mind, the option to have my belly button "sculpted" to regain its former shape does exist. The accompanying pictures of ancient greek-style sculpted figures were an interesting way to illustrate the possibilities, but for the moment, I think I'll stick to the oil...