Gina over at The Feminist Breeder posted yesterday about body image, the holidays and pregnancy. While I wouldn't normally post about a post, this one really resonated with me. Her suggestion to really speak not to what we hate about our bodies, but what we love. I thought that this was a good topic. This is something we all struggle with it. I don't claim to have any solutions, but sometimes just knowing that this sucks for someone else helps.
This pregnancy has been hard for me when it comes to my body image. After gaining 70lbs with Fiona and then loosing about 60 of it, I was finally starting to almost feel human again. Then, there I was, staring at a second pink line and trying not to throw up. It didn't help that just a few short weeks into my pregnancy nothing was fitting again. How do you look ahead at the next 32 weeks knowing that you're just going to get BIGGER? I saw that scale that had a number over 200 when I was in my final week of Fiona's pregnancy and vowed that was NOT going to happen again. How do you come to terms with a changing body that is doing something so wonderful and hate what you see?
Anyone that's had children knows that in those weeks where your shape first starts to change are hard. You don't look pregnant. It looks like maybe you need to dial back the cheeseburgers a little. It's the period day when all you can wear is sweats - except it doesn't go away. At 8 weeks I started putting away my "regular" clothes and pulled out my maternity gear again. And not happy about it.
I think I've been really lucky this time. I've gained 9lbs in the last 13 weeks (my first to most recent OB appointments). I've gained 13 from my last PAP in April until my most recent OB appointment at 22 weeks. Right now, I am pretty much all baby. But like Gina said, it's hard to not believe you look like a land whale when you feel like a land whale. Little Miss Georgiana is sitting so low in my hips that I sometimes have trouble walking. My hips hurt. I can barely put my shoes on. Dropping something usually elicits some swearing.
But there are the better days. There are the days when I can look at my swollen pregnant belly and feel down right sexy. It's not something that happens often, but it does happen. Here I am with this swollen, pregnant belly and full, round breasts. It doesn't get more feminine than that. My body is doing what it was designed to do and this is how it looks doing it. And for a brief shining moment I can celebrate that. Doug has even, in a moment of uncharacteristic complementing, said "girls are supposed to look like that. You're making my baby." How do you not feel like a goddess at that point?
I love the times that I can celebrate my changing shape. Because of how I'm carrying this little one maternity jeans are uncomfortable. They are tight around the bottom of my belly and make it even harder to move than it normally is. So, I've decided that since I don't have a dress code I'll be living in yoga pants for the remainder of my pregnancy. That way when I'm not quite in my pre-pregnancy jeans yet and need some comfy pants to chase a toddler while nursing a newborn I'm already set. The best part of this is that I feel like I have been able to accentuate this ever growing belly. I love my fitted maternity (and non-maternity) tees. I've gained a pretty good size in my breasts, too so I'm feeling kinda rock-star. A knocked up rock-star, but still.
I will say, thank you Gina. For reminding me that looking like this is beautiful in its own right and we all need to feel like a rock star sometimes. Knocked up or otherwise.