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Pregnancy Diary | Week 13 | The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Bump

13 Weeks Pregnant – Thursday, June 29th

13 weeks today! I can’t believe I made it to the second trimester: I really wish I could go back in time and tell my post-miscarriage, post-ectopic self that one day I’d be 13 weeks (and still MOSTLY sane, into the bargain…) – I know she wouldn’t believe me, but it would maybe have made her a bit less of a miserable sod at the time, huh?

Honestly, though, I may have crossed that invisible line in the sand, but I’m still struggling with the ol’ imposter syndrome. Now that the nausea has started to settle down a little, there’s really not much to reassure me that everything is still OK: there are still at least a few weeks to go until I can expect to feel movement, and although my bloat-bump can look fairly impressive, depending on the time of day, and what I’m wearing, it’s not any bigger this week than it was last week, which leaves me with that whole, “Am I REALLY pregnant, or did I just eat too many bagels again?” feeling.

(Oh, I’m back on the bagels again, by the way: so, yeah, I probably DID eat too many of them, to be perfectly honest…)

On the subject of the bloat-bump, I thought it might be nice to celebrate the start of the second trimester by taking some photos of it, and what was weird about that was that, when I looked back at them, I immediately noticed that it WASN’T MY BODY in them. Like, it was my head (not looking its best, it has to be said, but still recognisably MY HEAD), but with SOMEONE ELSE’S BODY attached to it. And yes, this was an ALL-CAPS kind of moment for me.

It’s weird: I mean, I obviously knew I had a bump (even although I still think it’s mostly bloat, on top of the pot belly I’ve always had…), and that my boobs were a bit “HELLO BOYS!” (I’m flattering myself wildly here: they’re still a B-cup, but now they actually FILL that b-cup, which is a novel experience, to be sure. Terry was all, “Geez, your boobs are busting out of that bra!” and I was just like, “Nah, that’s just what a bra’s supposed to look like, actually…”), but I hadn’t realised I would also get pregnant in my butt, which is a bit of a bummer (boom boom! I’m here all week, folks!) because, guys, I AM PREGNANT IN MY BUTT. Or so it would appear, anyway.

So, I’m trying my best not to freak out about this, because I obviously know my body is going to change, and I’ve actually been looking forward to having a cute little bump – I guess I just didn’t anticipate my entire BODY being the bump? Or not being able to get that new-this-year Vivienne of Holloway top over my boobs. And honestly, I’m torn: part of me is kind of hoping the boobs stay this size, purely for the novelty value, but on the other hand, I DO really like that top, which, admittedly, was always a bit snug on me.

Dilemma of the Week: Should I buy the VoH top in a larger size? Answers in the comments, but only if your answer is going to be, “Yes, Amber, you should totally buy the top, why is this even a question?”

13 weeks pregnant: numpshot

13 Weeks, 1 Day – June 30th, 2017

Since posting the pregnancy announcement on the blog and social media, I’ve found myself having a number of online conversations that have gone a bit like this:

ME: “I’m 13 weeks today! So relieved to be in the 2nd trimester, with a lower risk of miscarriage!”

THEM: “I wouldn’t be so sure: I had a miscarriage at 15 weeks – let me tell you aaaaalll about it…”


ME: “I’m still really anxious about all of the things that could go wrong…”

THEM: “I’m not surprised: I thought my pregnancy was going really well, but then <insert hugely traumatic event of choice>”

or even relatively silly stuff, like:

ME: “I’m really worried about the hospital stay, so I’d appreciate it if everyone could avoid posting scary stories about hospital stays: thanks!”

THEM: “Here is my scary story about a hospital stay: you’re welcome!”

So, obviously I’m exaggerating just a little here, but that’s honestly how some of the responses I’ve had have come across to me, and there’ve been a few times this week where I’ve found myself scratching my head and thinking, “WHY would you tell me that, other than to just terrify me?” (And, if so NO NEED, seriously: I’m totally good for terror over here, I really don’t need any more of it!) I also feel like a bit of an asshole for even thinking this, because, just a few months ago I was all, “People should be able to talk openly about miscarriage!” and now I’m all, “Er, not to me though, thanks!”

In my defence, I DO still firmly believe that society needs to change the way it deals with miscarriage, and that it shouldn’t be this secret, hidden thing that women essentially have to go through alone: at the same time, though, it just seems really obvious to me that a pregnancy announcement is not the right time to start that conversation, and when someone’s specifically said that they’re kind of terrified right now (I actually started writing about health anxiety a few months ago because I knew I might get pregnant, and I was hoping those posts would help people understand my anxiety about it a little better, even if they don’t relate to it…), it honestly seems a bit cruel to me to try to add to that with horror stories that just re-inforce those fears. I mean, I THOUGHT that, but now I’m thinking maybe I’M the unreasonable one here: it wouldn’t be the first time, after all, and I AM an absolute mess of hormones right now, so… gah.

Speaking of being a hormonal mess, I woke up in a bit of a panic this morning with some random pains (Actually, “pain” is really too strong a word here: they’re more like… sensations? Discomfort?) in my left side…and then sometimes in the right. I’ve been getting things like this on and off since the start of my pregnancy and I know it’s probably just round ligament pain or something boringly normal, but every little twinge sends me into a mild panic, so fun times all round, really. And NOW I’m thinking I should probably delete this paragraph before this post goes live, because I’m really just asking people to comment and say, “Oh, I had that, and it turned out to be the baby trying to tear its way out of the womb, Alien-style: we’re both dead now,” aren’t I?

(Just FYI, what I’m ACTUALLY asking is for people to comment and say, “Oh, I had that and it’s completely normal: my baby is a rocket scientist now, and I have hair like a mermaid, which is directly connected to that weird pain I had at 13 weeks, apparently!”)

13 Weeks, 2 days – July 1st, 2017

I’m still thinking about that top.

13 Weeks, 4 Days – July 4th, 2017

So, it looks like the theme for this week is, “OMG My Bump Has Disappeared Since Yesterday – Oh No, Wait, There It Is!” The following events take place between 19:00 hours on Friday and 21:00 hours on Monday, and, even by my own admission, will make me sound crazier than even I thought was possible. But I think my levels of general craziness have been well established by now anyway, so here goes…

My bump disappeared.

And then it came back.

So, picture it: it’s Friday night, I’m lying on the couch watching Fear the Walking Dead, and every time I happen to glance down, my view is basically BOOBS! and then BELLY! This is kind of strange, because HELLO, NOT MY BODY! but also quite reassuring as the presence of the bloat/bump is really the only evidence I have that there’s something in there, as I can’t feel any movement yet, even although people keep on telling me I totally should by now.

Anyway, fast-forward to roughly the same time on Sunday night. I’m lying on the couch, watching Fear the Walking Dead (this isn’t Groundhog Day, by the way, it’s just my life now), but NOW when I glance down, my view is basically BOOBS! and then NOTHING! Well, OK, not quite nothing – my belly is looking significantly flabbier than it used to, but what it does NOT look like any more, is a BUMP – and this freaks me out. Where did the baby go? Is it, like, hiding in my leg or something? Is that why my butt is so big? WHERE IS MY BUMP?

Now, I should add here that I’m not totally stupid. Like, I am FAIRLY stupid, yes, but even I know that the first trimester “bump” is mostly just bloating (Which makes it even weirder for me when people want to touch it: I’m just like, ‘Er, you do know that’s just my lunch you’re fondling, right?”) so I guess it might make sense for that to go down sometimes? Maybe? Also, when I weighed myself on Sunday morning, I had lost a pound again (I’ve basically been losing and then regaining this same pound since the start of this pregnancy, with the result that now, at 13 weeks, I weigh exactly the same as I did before I even found out…) so I guess that might be why. Whatever the reason, though, I worried about it all day, and then on Monday night I… well, I lay down on the couch again to watch Fear the Walking Dead (Hey, did I mention we’ve been watching Fear the Walking Dead? Because we’ve been watching Fear the Walking Dead. We really need to get out more, huh?), and BAM – the bump was back!

I’m now trying to just accept that it’s Not Actually a Real Bump at this stage, and that it’s probably going to come and go due to bloating, but yeah, that was a very Not Fun 24 hours, with the worry compounded by the fact that the nausea has all but disappeared this week. I SHOULD be happy about this, obviously, but while I did know that a lot of people start to feel better in the 2nd trimester, I didn’t expect to be one of them, and I REALLY didn’t expect it to disappear right at the very START of the 2nd trimester, so I was a bit thrown by that. With that said, I may not have a lot of nausea, but I have absolutely no appetite whatsoever. People keep saying, “But what would you LIKE to eat, if you could have anything?” and I’m just like, “NOTHING. I would like to eat nothing. If I could just somehow arrange to be given all of my nutrition in capsule form right now, that would suit me down to the ground.”

(I AM still eating, by the way, so no need to worry: I’m just not enjoying it. Which is a shame, really, because eating is normally one of my hobbies…)

I wonder what the bump will look like today?


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  • Laura


    I did have the same pains at the beginning of my pregnancy and while my baby isn’t a rocket scientist yet (at three months old, which IS a dissapointment, but we’ve decided to give her another six months before disowning her, mainly because she is so darn cute) she is perfectly healthy and happy (most of the time) and my hair actually IS the best it’s been all my adult life.

    The movements you should start to feel at 18-20 weeks, approximately, so absolutely no need to worry about it now.

    I’m sending happy thoughts and positive vibes your way!

    July 6, 2017
  • Andrea


    Get the top you totally need and deserve it

    July 6, 2017
  • Hey lovely, I’m about 7 weeks ahead of you, having suffered through miscarriage and infertility in the past, so I know how the anxiety (and the disbelief) is always going to be there. However to reassure you – everything you have described is normal. The bump comes and goes. Mine still comes and goes, and I am still (for the most part) in non-pregnancy clothes, with my 20 week scan this afternoon. Stretchy waistbands are a godsend though as they just feel a bit more comfortable. Bump will be bigger in the evenings, but don’t worry about it disappearing and reapperaring.

    I’m still not really feeling movement, even though everyone says I should be (I got the first ‘I think that might be a flutter but it also might just be gas, I genuinely have no idea’ feeling last night). Again, completely normal – don’t freak out if things don’t happen the way they progress with someone else, you are completely differnet and so is your baby. Some people don’t get movements until much, much later, especially if the placenta is basically sitting between yourself and your baby, giving a nice squidgy cushion to absorb all that movement.

    The cramping / stretching / twinging in the lower sides. Completely normal. And it comes and goes. Sometimes it is a sharp stabby pain as well -that freaks you out of course but it is normal. Leg and foot cramps. I get those a lot at the moment (apparently pregnancy = more lactic acid, who knew!). All normal. Constipation – irritatingly normal. Headaches – normal. Fatigue – normal. Disappearing symptoms so you feel exactly the same as you did before you got pregnant and a complete fraudster (I had this for weeks 13-17) – completely normal and rather terrifying but it’s all fine. Also good skin, good hair and the best nails I have ever had in my life kinda make up for the other less fun symptoms.

    It’s normal to worry, especially with a past history but if you get quite panicky 1) stay off Dr Google 2) Step away from online forums and 3) call the midwife for some reassurance. It sounds like everything is progressing beautifully.

    And buy the top. Maternity clothes don’t always have to be actual maternity clothes if you know what I mean!

    July 6, 2017
  • Mandy


    I second what Becky said (I can’t remember much of my own symptoms being as it was 18 years ago:) but my beautiful bambinos are happy and healthy despite me worrying nearly every step of pregnancy. Buy yourself the top – Enjoy those bigger boobs ? xxx

    July 6, 2017
  • Lunch fondling – oh my, I have just laughed a lot at that. I always wondered about those early pregnancy bumps… cos the baby is so small at this point it’s not the baby so what is it then? And now I know, it really is the food baby mostly…

    Also definitely buy the top 🙂

    July 6, 2017
  • Haha, I didn’t think I could enjoy a post about pregnancy that much! You’re hilarious Amber! I nowhere near thinking about a baby but tbh I’m a little excited to my hide bloat all the time once preggo haha. Keep your hilarious posts coming!

    xx Pia

    PS. Also, forget those socially-inept people on social media. They probably mean well but you have no obligation to hear them out at all.

    July 6, 2017
      • Ginger


        Direct messaging this stuff?? That’s crazy! I really hope they’ve figured it out now!

        July 6, 2017
  • Mana


    Well not only did I have the best hair of my life after I had my son, I did keep the boobs too, going from a small B to a almost overfull c, and at my 6 week check up my midwife yelled at me for working out, since I had lost all weight (and then some) which I didn’t work out either, because new baby omg.

    My hospital stay was easy. I had a great midwife deliver him (different from the one that hated me) and it was easy and funny and if you’d like that story I’ll happily tell you.

    Also, buy the top. Always buy the top.

    July 6, 2017
  • Buy the top!! X

    July 6, 2017
  • D


    I remember that first flutter (40 some years ago)! It only happened a couple of times though and then nothing. It was weird…but eventually replaced by movement, ligament cramps, swollen feet. Ugh! In spite of it all, I knew there was a little magic bean in me and it was the best of times (no talking about the opposition). Beautiful baby boy arrived perfectly.
    Now get on line and buy that top…you deserve it!

    July 6, 2017
  • First up, you’re looking great!

    I started out with a belly you could probably mistake for pregnant but it definitely
    fluctuated in the early 2nd trimester. I do remember sending weekly photos (in the same outfit, obviously) to a friend and being like OMG definite bump. Now I mostly look back and think how flat my stomach used to be!

    I also had the random ligament pains for a while – especially bad when I got up too quick from the sofa and would then be saying ow, slightly bent over and often clutching myself above the crotch like you might when you had a stitch. Thankfully it mostly happened at home…

    July 6, 2017
  • Caroline Skydemore


    Oh Amber, you make me laugh out loud as usual! Here’s my tuppence: pains are so totally normal and freaked me out every single time I got a pang. All I can say is thank goodness for the Internet as everyone I Googled “xx weeks pregnant weird stabbing pain in left abdomen” (for e.g.) I got “I had that – it’s normal” from someone on some forum somewhere… Kept me sane. I also had a disappearing bump and every single scan (of which there were many because of twin factor 1st time and therefore high risk factor 2nd time) I was expecting to be told I wasn’t actually pregnant and the whole thing was in my head… It never was!

    I don’t think you can ever know the answers to any pregnancy because every one is sooo different, but if you want an inexpert opinion on anything do give me a shout – I’ve carried twins, had prem babies, had an emergency c section (with spinal, not general anaesthetic), miscarried twice (both in 1st trimester) and gone past my due date to have a natural delivery with no drugs – so I reckon I cover a lot of possible scenarios! You know where I am! cx

    July 6, 2017
  • Deanna


    Amber, you should totally buy the top! It will make you happy! I have no idea why folks are telling you that you should be feeling the baby move at 13 weeks – that occurs much closer to the 18-20 mark as others have mentioned. And you may not recognize it as movement until 22-24 as the first ones just feel like butterfly wings/gas bubbles (I prefer butterfly wings). I love reading your posts as it brings it all back to me – my babies are 24, 21 and 19 (and doing marvelously well at life despite all my mistakes in parenting lol). Although my youngest does think it’s funny to send me photos from the Grand Canyon that look like he’s fallen over the edge and is about to slip into the canyon, so OBVIOUSLY I messed up somewhere with that one…

    July 6, 2017
  • Angie


    If you can afford it, buy the top. Do things that make you happy – endorphins are good for the baby!

    I had quite a bit of random pain while I was pregnant. I also had lower back problems that made walking really hard at various points. And it would all come and go at random intervals. Oh! And you know how you can’t stand coffee? I didn’t have any of that develop until my late third trimester, when even the thought of the smell of beef would make me ill.

    My labor, while a bit longer than average, was fine. By far the worst part of it was the IV. The most important part though, is that at the end of it my baby was born 100% healthy and I was fine. He’s not a rocket scientist, as his aim is to become a naval architect. He’s a bit of a handful, but he really is brilliant. You and your baby will be fine.

    July 6, 2017
  • Erin


    You already have mermaid hair, you beauty! Get the top – presumably you’re going to buy maternity clothes anyways, and the bump needs that shirt 😉

    July 6, 2017
  • I honestly don’t understand why some people feel the need to share their horror stories with you, especially when a) you’ve been through some really tough pregnancy-related things yourself (so you’re very aware of risks etc.) and b) when you’ve made it crystal clear that you’re already worrying enough without unhelpful comments.

    I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant and I definitely had a case of ‘the disappearing bump’ early on in my second trimester. Last thing in the evening, it was very much there in all it’s rounded glory and then as if by magic it’d be gone in the morning. Looking back, it was definitely 99.9% bloat and not baby but having never been pregnant before I didn’t know what to expect. You wait ’til you reach the ‘I can’t lean forward to eat at a table stage’ it’s most fun ;). Seriously though, it’s only when I couldn’t tie my own shoelaces that I felt pregnant and not like a fraud.

    Anyway, If I’ve learnt anything this pregnancy it’s that every womans experience is different. Although, many women like to share their experiences and make you feel abnormal. For example, a lot of women had told me they’d felt their baby move at 15 weeks, so when I reached 16 weeks and hadn’t felt so much as a flutter, I was worried sick. But, after having a chat with my midwife she said it’s unlikely (especially in a first pregnancy) to feel much in the way of movement before weeks 18-20. She also explained that I have an anterior placenta (a placenta located on the front of a uterus) which although perfectly harmless, means I was less likely to feel the baby move for some time.

    However come 20 weeks, he was kicking and punching like there was no tomorrow, and he’s been very active ever since. It’s a weird thing pregnancy, bizarre but fascinating at the same time. I wish you the best with yours Amber, and look forward to reading more of your posts xx

    July 6, 2017
  • G


    Hi Amber,

    You look lovely. I laughed all the way through your post – your writing is fabulous. I’m 18 weeks pregnant today…and I have no bump (just a bit of fat that doesn’t look remotely “baby”) and I also haven’t felt the baby either. I saw the midwife this week and she said it isn’t uncommon in a first pregnancy not to have a visible bump or feel the baby until after 20 weeks so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    Looking forward to the rest of your updates. Take care xxxx

    July 6, 2017
  • Frida


    First, BUY THE TOP! Of course it has to be a one size bigger. And second, avoid all the scary and horror tales about pregnancy and giving birth! When i was at your stage people started telling me about their horror stories. No thanks. It’s not really what a pregnant woman needs! Then I had a good talk with a friend of mine, whose pregnancy and birth were wonderful. And then a cousin also reassured me with her beautiful tale about giving birth. And from that point on, I was like who cares about those people who wants me to get scared? I was positive, relaxed, and full of hope. Second trimester also got an important part on me being relaxed (you know, hormones!) and it turned out beautiful. As it was the third trimester, when I was also going at pre-birth courses and swimming pool (never did sports before in my life! pregnancy month 7 was a good start! And it worked! ) Giving birth to my child was wonderful. Really, the best thing in my life. And I was relaxed, hopeful, as a woman should be.
    Stop even listening at the horror stories, most of the times people is exaggerating and just wants you to get scared. Because THEY were scared! And scare shoul be left out of pregnancy and birth.
    Stay relaxed and feel your.. feelings. They are precious.

    July 6, 2017
      • Frida


        Yes, maybe if you are just getting all this stuff via social media, you should just ask or make an announcement about it… it has to stop. hopefully they will understand that you just need positive feelings, not scary tales.
        Btw, all pregnancies and birth are different, and MOST depends on our very selves. You deserve positive things around you!

        July 6, 2017
      • Linda


        Hi Amber. Just been reading your post and it’s fabulous. You’re so funny, and you’ve also reassured me heaps as I had an ectopic resulting in losing a tube in emergency surgery and then a miscarriage too. So even though I’m 16 weeks today with this pregnancy, things still weigh heavy on my mind. Aaaanyways… to the positive. My bump keeps appearing and disappearing so I was googling and came across your post which, along with the comments from all these other lovely ladies, has made me feel much better. So I really just wanted to say thank you 🙂 also, ignore the nitwits who are posting scare stories and definitely buy that top – you totally deserve it and you’ll look gorgeous too xxx

        June 16, 2020
  • Fiona


    Get the top! Get the top! And this is the first time I’ve commented on any of your pregnancy posts so firstly, enormous congratulations to you & Terry! Secondly, I can completely believe that people comment like that, pregnancy/birth is so momentous that some people just can’t seem to help but share their story no matter how inappropriate…but yeah. They should just go and get their own blog, tbh. I can’t remember many details of mine (I have two children) but remarkably they ARE beautiful and brilliant and even though one is a teenager, wonderful company. And I don’t have mermaid hair but I would LIKE it which counts, I think. Keep writing/documenting, especially if it helps. Wishing you all the best my dear! (And get the top!)

    July 6, 2017
  • Oh, I had that and it’s completely normal: my baby is a rocket scientist now, and I have hair like a mermaid, which is directly connected to that weird pain I had at 13 weeks! Also: it sounds like round ligament pain to me (time to start thinking about yoga balls and knee cushions, if you haven’t already) but call your midwife, if you’re not reassured by random people in your comments section – she’ll have heard it all before and won’t raise an eyebrow.

    As for changeable bumps – bumps DO come and go and change shape, it’s 100% normal. Your baby is moving around in there and the bump’s shape will reflect that. So, instead of “is it a real bump?” try playing “what position is my baby lying in?” (you can feel smug at the 20 week scan when it turns out you were right).

    July 6, 2017
    • P.S. As for movements, 13 weeks is really early to feel them (says she, the lucky exception). My sister felt her first at 14 weeks but didn’t feel her second til 23 or 24 weeks because of where the placenta was. There is no normal, only the average, so it’s not fair of people to try to tell you otherwise. There’s enough impatient waiting around in pregnancy without giving you unrealistic deadlines!

      July 6, 2017
  • Natalia


    1. Buy the top!
    2. It’s just round ligament pains. Consider them a Good Although Annoying Thing: That bump is definitely on its way.
    3. It is going to be fine. Absolutely fine. Just buy the top.
    4. Do the birth business the way you see fit. There will always be someone with an all-important opinion that HAS to be shared no matter what you decide on. Still, your body, your baby.
    5. I tried to convince myself it’s OK to freak out to the max for the full 9 months, since the arrival of the baby will make it worth it. And it almost did:)
    6. Last thing: If in a couple of months’ time your baby is screaming its head off for 24 hours flat and you wonder WHY did you want this so badly, well that’s fine too. It will get better and easier.

    That’s all, big hug. Almost wished I was pregnant again so I could totally steal your maternity style.

    July 7, 2017
  • Myra Boyle


    I had a changing bump all the way to the end – sometimes it was huge and felt like a rock, that there were just bones in there, and then it would feel like flab, all soft and wobbly (that unfortunately has lasted lol). Everything you describe sounds common, rather than normal. Funny how books don’t describe things like this, just the “facts” about physical development.

    July 9, 2017
  • Myra Boyle


    PS bet you’re pushing out your tummy and arching your back because you can’t wait to look very pregnant x

    July 9, 2017
  • D. Johnson


    Buy the top! Enjoy the boobs! Make yourself feel pretty and enjoy those endorphins (and Terry, too!). Your comments on how anxiety works in the brain continue to help me. So may I borrow some Girl Power? Angie said she had lower back pain with her pregnancy to the point where it became difficult to walk. Others have mentioned “Round ligament pain”… what is that?
    Love your humor (…that’s just my lunch you’re fondling…)!

    July 9, 2017
  • Rachel Old


    Hi there…I’m 7 weeks according to the last period etc…and had a miscarriage 2 years ago so am freaking out that the same thing will happen…just wanted to say you are one of the realeast writers out there and so glad I read your blog at 7 weeks…and made me feel no longer alone with the thoughts in my head!!!Great writing ♡

    May 3, 2019
  • Adri


    Obviously I’m reading this almost 3 years after it was written but having just googled “13 weeks bump“ precisely because I’m 13 weeks and think my bump has disappeared, I came across your blog! EVERYTHING you have said is what I am thinking at this same stage now. You’re so brave to say these things in this public forum but I am truly grateful that you have. I’ve just told lots of friends and family post scan the happy news but feel that I’m making it up. My mild nausea is getting better and I’m like, how do I know things are going ok?!? That was my most reassuring symptom! Headaches do not count as pregnancy symptoms in my book! Anyway thanks to you and the other supportive comments I’m soooo reassured. I’m guessing things went well from the future blog post titles but I’ll read them week by week as I’m sure I’ll need that reassurance again then too. ❤️

    February 16, 2020