I’ve been asked by some friends about this, and have noticed this issue posted on some online friends’ blogs (including www.mamademics.com, a great new blog) and thought I’d just share my experience and opinion of the pregnancy body issue.
Before getting pregnant I worried about how much weight I’d gain (I wanted to gain tons so I’d have a nice fat baby, but on the other side, I didn’t want to get and stay big), if I’d be able to lose the weight, the stretch marks (I’m still worried about those damn things), if my nose would stretch from ear to ear, if my feet would go up a size (please God no, I have too many size 7 shoes I love), and all of that.
Now that I’m actually pregnant, I’m AMAZED at the changes in my body more than anything else. My body naturally knows to stretch and grow to accommodate another human inside of it!! Initially I was worried, because my belly was getting a little bigger and the number on the scale was staying the same…and then getting lower (I didn’t share this here…or with John until after the fact…. but I lost a good 10 lbs and was FREAKING out…on the inside) But once I started gaining weight, and feeling like a proper pregnant woman, all thoughts of “I hope I don’t get too huge” went right out the window.
I’m a naturally small person, you know, you’ve seen my pics. I’ve been slim all my life and that’s just how I am. My parents are slim and my brother is slim When I was younger, sure I got weight comments every now and then, but I ate like a beast so I knew my size was just the size I was supposed to be, so all the people commenting could just suck it.
Now that I’m pregnant, the comments are a lot more frequent. From strangers and from “friends” who have children already, mostly.
- You’ve got so long to go, you’re going to be huge by the end (um, DUH, I’d hope so!)
- That pregnancy mask is starting
- Just you wait, you’re gunna blow up soon.
- Your nose is starting to grow
- Are you eating enough for that baby?
- You haven’t gained enough weight (how the F do you know, beyotch?)
- You really should eat more. Is that all you’re eating?
- Should you be eating that? It’ll stick to you after pregnancy.
- You better breastfeed so that weight will come off.
In my head I’m like, “please shut the fuck up” but on the outside I’m just like “I’m healthy, and my baby’s healthy” and just leave it at that.
But sidebar: what on earth gives strangers the right to tell you about yourself? I guess when you’re pregnant you’re fair game?
What is a big change that I’ve noticed since getting bigger is, while I look at my growing pregnant body with awe and joy and excitement, I realize I no longer feel sexy. I don’t feel desirable. John has started a campaign against my feelings of unsexiness, bless his heart, but it’s still how I’m feeling. I feel awkward and heavy, cumbersome and unweildy and that doesn’t help the mojo when you’re ‘getting down’ nahmean? (neither does a well timed kick to your ribs or a baby somersault…..thanks a lot for ruinin the mood Embry!)
I don’t worry about keeping the baby weight on after he’s born, despite what people say. I love to run and work out, so I know once the doctor OKs me I’ll be getting back in shape eventually. Though, I doubt I’ll have the time or desire, as I’ll probably be spending my time just staring at a beautiful baby boy all day and all night and not want to do anything else with my life but that, but at least the weight is not a pressing concern right now.
That said: I can totally see myself freaking out one day like a month post partum when I look in the mirror post-shower and see myself all loose and saggy, and heavier without the baby inside to take the blame and immediately going for a 10 mile run or something crazy. HA!
Honestly, thinking about this pregnancy and how it effects my body image kinda feels silly to me, overall. Yeah I go on about the stretch marks, but seriously, I’d take tiger stripes from head to toe if it meant my little guy is born 100% healthy and well. So I feel unsexy for a while, it’s temporary, and John’s still happy so what’s the big deal? Bigger feet? I’d get to buy new shoes!! All the aches and pains, heartburn, uncomfortable sleep, feeling heavy, unable to stand easily, unable to roll over in bed without a fork lift and an oxygen tank….in the grand scheme, it doesn’t matter one bit.
I’m freaking pregnant! I’ve kinda got an important job to do. I have a miraculous little life developing inside of me. I’m experiencing these discomforts because my son is growing healthy and strong, and he’s comfortable, and he’s well, and he’s cozy, and he’s getting bigger and better. So, if I barf, or ache, or get obscenely obese, or my chest cavity is aflame…it doesn’t matter.
I’m trying to remember this daily. I was complaining to John (okay, and everyone else who’ll speak to me for more than 2 seconds) every day about each and every ache, pain, burn, twinge, hickup etc… How annoying is that? I don’t focus on the negative in other aspects of my life, so why on earth was I going on about the negatives in this, the most amazing thing going on in my life right now? Yuck!
So I’m on a complaining diet. And even though when John IMs me midday asking “how are you feeling?” I want to spit my TUMS at my computer screen and say something snarky. I just say, “I’m great, Embry’s moving around.”..or whatever. So far, so good.
How did your changing body impact you during pregnancy?