I was 23 weeks yesterday…one more week closer to 40 and meeting this little lady.
But one thing that I haven’t really discussed is my body image during pregnancy. For me, loving what I see is insanely difficult. Some of you are probably going to think this post is ridiculous or whiny but I’m just going to put it all out there since I’ve found it difficult to find other bloggers who are willing to admit online that pregnancy is anything other than rainbows and butterflies (or maybe I’m just super jealous of women who legitimately feel that way). It’s so easy to portray your life one way online, but not truly share what your reality is like. I like to think that I’ve kept it as honest and raw as I possibly can on this blog since reading about someone’s perfect and carefully curated life can get pretty tiring…quickly.
Honestly, anyone can take a flattering photo (with cell phones you can just take a million until you like one). And even then, I look at the photo I posted above and can’t get over the weight that I’ve already gained in my hips, thighs and lower back. When facing head on, I look like a human pear. See…that’s what I do to myself.
When I’m surrounded by images of beautiful pregnant women with super tiny baby bumps, I’ve found it hard to accept the changes that are still in store. Me on the other hand, I’m 5’7 with a short torso and longer legs (which can be massively difficult to dress while pregnant since low rise maternity jeans still come up to my belly button and high rise come right up to under my boobs). Jeans must be longs or I look like I’m ready for a flood and stripped dresses are not my friend. I tend to look further along with my bump due to there not being a lot of space for this little baby to begin with.
I can remember a lady telling me around 27 weeks when I was pregnant with Mabel that I must be due any day now. Ugh.
Body image has always been an issue for me, nothing super serious but of course an issue while trying on clothes; picking out every flaw I see. Accepting compliments is even more difficult. I was teased horribly when I was in middle school for my pants being too short, not wearing something designer, or just in general looking awkward. Kids will be kids but some of these things stick with you for a long time. I was always the sensitive kid and it was hard to let things just roll off my back.
I don’t think I’ve ever come out and said, but with my first pregnancy with Mabel, I gained 50 pounds. Yep, you read that right. I was never scolded or shamed…my midwives actually supported me so I can’t express how thankful I am for that and not feeling judged. But because of the total weight gain, I’ve found myself glued more to my scale this time around. I’m at 16 pounds for 23 weeks which is right on track and much healthier than last time. But…I’ll admit that I’m a little worried that everything will get out of control in the last 17 weeks like it did with my last pregnancy. I’m going to keep plugging on and doing my best!
Honestly, I don’t think there is a magic cure for loving my pregnant body but I can accept that it’s going through changes that are helping to create a lovely little girl; a sacrifice that is well worth me being uncomfortable for a few more months. I can do my best to make changes after birth to be healthier but I still think feeling comfortable in my own skin will always be a work in progress. And of course that’s a necessity since I want to set a good example for Mabel and this new little baby girl; I would give anything for them to have a healthy self confidence within themselves…one that I’ve never had.
I’m hoping that at least one person might be able to relate to this post and know that even though maternity clothes may not fit right, scale frustrations are a headache, and along with all the other related body issues pregnancy brings…you’re not alone. Pregnancy isn’t just a fashion show about who looks best in designer maternity gear (this is coming from the woman who won’t spend over $30 on maternity clothes since it’s pointless if you’re only wearing it for a few months)…and it’s certainly not middle/high school all over again…so try not to be so hard on yourself. Enjoy the little things like baby kicks and feeling hiccups because you won’t be carrying him/her forever.
I should really learn to listen to my own advice.