Honestly Speaking 

I’m going to be honest with you all today. 

Not that I’m usually dishonest, but this isn’t a “share every detail of my life” kind of blog. So sometimes things get left out. 

But this is something that I think is important to share with other moms-to-be, future moms to be, and just women in general. Because while we are all force fed images every day of so called “perfect” women with perfect bodies, who smile with perfectly bleached teeth and flaunt their perfectly glowing skin, the rest of us are here, on some days just trying to survive. 

We know that these images aren’t real, because we also have marketing vigilantes like Aerie telling us in all caps that their models -gasp- aren’t photo shopped. And I love them for it, but also some small part of me hates that that has to be such a big deal. And let’s face it, most of their models still look “perfect”.

And that’s what brings me to today, because my pregnant brain is having a really hard time with these images lately, even more so than usual. Because not only am I shown visions of the perfect female, but I’m also told that I’m supposed to be this radiant, glowing goddess of procreation, maintaining that perfect tan, perfect smile, all while sporting a perfectly perfect bump. 

I’ll tell you one thing: it doesn’t work like that. 

My body is changing in ways I never imagined, and I’m just at past the halfway point– I’ve got a long way to go with this whole baby growing thing. I don’t feel like I’m glowing or radiant– I feel like I look tired (I am). I don’t feel like I have a cute little bump growing, I feel like I have a cute little bump, plus a little more in the thighs, some love handles that have shown up out of nowhere, and an extra “plumpness” to my face. Glowing? I’m not sure. Growing everywhere? Absolutely. 

And this, my friends, is difficult. It’s not that difficult physically, after all I’m well within the healthy weight gain range for this point in my pregnancy,  and I’m lucky to be feeling pretty good. But it’s difficult mentally and emotionally, especially after fighting my mind and body for so long in my younger years. 

I’ve worked extremely hard for the past several years to be at peace with a body I love, even if it isn’t “perfect”. It’s strong, it’s a machine, and it has helped me to accomplish some amazing things. I’ve hit a point in my health and fitness where I’ve been just about the exact same size for about 5 years now– this is my body’s happy place that allows me to lift heavy things, eat delicious foods, and feel great about myself consistently. 

And now this is all changing before my eyes. In fact, the change is so rapid I can see differences literally from one day to the next. For someone who’s life is based around moderation and balance, this is jarring. It doesn’t feel like my body, and except for the little bump and the kicks I feel, I’m having a hard time welcoming it as the new me, even if only temporary. 

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change this for the world, and I feel beyond fortunate to be growing a healthy baby girl. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing that I feel lucky to be able to experience. But if I’m being totally honest here, I don’t feel amazing all of the time. I’m learning to deal with the changes, and I’m learning to accept my rapidly expanding self with grace. 

I may not love my thighs every day right now, but that has to be ok. We’re told to love our changing bodies and embrace the changes that are occurring because they are a part of this amazing and beautiful process of creating new life. But at the same time, pregnant women are often told to remain perfect, even though much of this is far out of our control, no matter how healthy our lifestyle. But it’s ok to not love every moment. It’s ok to be scared of the changes that are occurring. It’s ok to wonder what will happen to your body after this is all said and done. 

I’m not saying that I lament these body changes day in and day out, but I’d be lying if I said these thoughts never crossed my mind. And I think it’s important to talk about it, because it’s important for other women to know that it’s possible, and perfectly ok, to love being pregnant but still be unsure about all of these changes. I’d love to tell you that my body is a temple and that I love the way it looks no matter what, but that would not be the truth. I have days where I don’t love what I see, just like most other women out there pregnant or not. I have recently had days where I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the body I know, simply because things are changing so fast. 

I suppose the point of this post is simple: it’s ok to feel imperfect even while truly loving yourself. It’s ok to be scared of changes that you can’t control, even if those changes mean that you are creating a beautiful life. So if you are pregnant, know that those feelings don’t make you a bad mom or shallow woman– they make you human. And if you’re not pregnant but know someone who is, for the love of all that is good in the world, say three little words to her next time you see her: “You look great!”. 

She will glow. I promise. 

6 thoughts on “Honestly Speaking 

  1. Great post. Hang in there. Personally, I don’t understand how any woman could enjoy being pregnant. There are many changes, just feeling not like yourself and having a lack of control over what happens all the while wanting to give everything to your growing baby! I also wonder whether some of the body image challenges go along with where one is in their pregnancy. “I swear I am not just fat, there is a baby in there!” Not all women hold onto their weight in the bellies. Not pregnant enough to have a large belly which wouldn’t draw as much attention to growth elsewhere. Hopefully it gets better… but then there are challenges with a bigger belly, too… tying your shoes, turning over in bed, reflux.. the fun never stops 😉

    1. Thanks! The funny thing is — I really do enjoy being pregnant, at least so far I do! We’ll see what I have to say about that when I’m 36 weeks in the end of August 😉 But you are so right — I think the hardest part for me is that I’ve never held on to fat in my belly, so this is TOTALLY foreign to me. I know it’s different for everyone and every pregnancy, so I’m trying my best to acknowledge and appreciate the changes as they come!

  2. Oh the memories. After two kids and two rather large bumps – think Mr Bump or just one of those exercise balls with arms, legs and a head. That’s what I felt like. The fun thing was while I was working, my bump was hidden by the desk (mostly) and I thought I’d changed a lot, no one else saw the change. Whenever I turned around or stood up from my desk the attention was directed by my significant bump and the look on their faces were – Where did THAT come from!!!! You don’t LOOK pregnant from behind or at your desk!! That’s what shocked me most. I could see the changes because I was looking at every small detail that was changing, as a whole, not much had changed at all. Apart from the giant belly that is!! Haha!
    After – I’m heavier but stronger, I have scars from caesareans which took me a while to be happy with, they’re mine – my kids gave me those scars and I’m happy with that. I’ve changed a lot but I’m very happy with what this body has managed to do. Well done body x

    1. I think that’s the biggest thing here — most of these changes I’m noticing are not that big yet, but I’m so focused on them that it’s all I see. People keep telling me that I look like I haven’t gained any weight yet, and I have to refrain from staring at them and saying “Are you Crazy? Can’t you see this? And this?” It’s hard to accept changes on yourself sometimes, especially when they come on so quickly. I’m happy to hear about your great perspective and your pride in what your body has done — I will get there too!!

  3. Old guy… father of four… speaking out of turn… as in I’ve never been pregnant. You is now the two of you. You have a traveler on your journey. The two of you look great! Those words me and I are now history. Embrace the new “you” and enjoy this special time.

    1. Thanks!! And I know, this really is a whole new “me” that isn’t really just me at all anymore. I’m definitely grateful for everything my body is doing right now, and I really am enjoying the process overall, it’s just a little difficult to grasp these changes when they occur so rapidly. Thanks for your input 🙂

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