21 May Operation-turn me into a mummy
Last night my mom, sisters, daughter and I participated in a strange new ritual that is really popular today: making a belly cast as a keepsake of exactly how big your belly got when pregnant.
Picture it: three generations of women (one naked), rolls of plaster cast material, clear plastic wrap and a very large bottle of olive oil. I ordered this kit to do mine, although there are also many people that offer this service.
I decided to do it myself as a bonding experience for all the women in the family; and a bonding experience is exactly what it turned out to be!
We all actually live on boats, so the choice of where to accomplish this task was an interesting one. We ended up in the bathroom of the marina where my mom and sisters live, praying no one walked in!
We started by reading the instructions . . . each of us . . .many times – we are women!
We cut the plaster rolls into piles of 6 inch, 8 inch and 12 inch strips as instructed. I cut some in thinner strips because I wanted to cast my hands holding onto my belly and holding up my breasts – as the instructions said “pregnant breasts can be saggy breasts”!
We laid out the plastic drop cloth to protect the floor – great addition to the kit, and a must if you only order the rolls and make up your own kit.
While my mom filled the shallow pan with warm water, I stripped naked and slathered myself with olive oil to prevent the plaster pulling my hair out, amidst such helpful comments as: “Mom, all you need is salt and we can bake you like a chicken.”
There was some argument over who would have the privilege of covering my, let’s just say, “hairier areas” with plastic wrap since I could not see or even hold the wrap with my slippery hands. In case you were wondering, my mom was nominated since she had changed my diapers once upon a time 🙂
I assumed my pose – also difficult while slippery – and tried to hold still.
They started out slowly and awkwardly with each one taking a different area. I made my older sister do the hands given her perfectionist tendencies 🙂 My mom was very efficient and I think my younger sister and daughter just enjoyed the process!
There was a moment before the cast started to dry on the inside that I felt a little claustrophobic and took some very deep breaths to make sure I could, in fact, still breath which led to frantic shouts of “don’t move!”, “hold still!”, “you’ll mess it up!”
The little guy in my belly who was the cause of all the fuss, kicked my sister a few times in the beginning and then succumbed to all the rubbing and smoothing and conveniently fell asleep.
Everyone worked quickly as the cast dries surprisingly fast. We used up every scrap of plaster wrap in the deluxe kit. I held still for another 10 minutes while my sister mopped my sweaty brow, and then carefully pulled my skin away from the cast.
There were a few places where I had obviously not put enough oil – ouch – and one particularly tight spot where my daughter had decided to wrap my arm very precisely . . . but I escaped! Their reaction afterwards was hilarious. “Be careful with her!” “Let me hold her!” “Put her down gently” – her being the cast not me!
We took many photos and congratulated ourselves. It was a great thing to experience together and something I’m sure we’ll never forget.
. . . until my next adventure,