Body Image & Pregnancy
Some clothing items in this post are courtesy of Pinkblush
On a walk the other night, I was wearing one of Tom's sweaters and asked if I looked pregnant (because even with my belly it sort of swallowed me up), and before he could answer, I started laughing and said,
"I wonder when I'll quit wondering if I look pregnant and accept that I do... all of the time" and we both just laughed.
You see, before getting pregnant, or even trying (not knowing we would struggle to conceive), the words of so many women echoed in my mind.
Words of sadness and grief for the loss of their pre-pregnant bodies. How they cursed the stretch marks that appeared. How unattractive they felt. How their (in my opinion) adorable bumps just made them feel like a beached whale. How they felt their husbands wouldn't desire them. And on and on.
I would often listen and sympathize, trying to understand, yet never truly grasping their feelings - as one often can't when they've not "been there" themselves. I'm sure for so many women, it's a process of letting go of the body you've come to know and love and even be able to anticipate its changes. Pregnancy sure throws it all for a loop, and it can come as a shock to see your body change by no doing of your own.
However, for the not-yet-mommas who are worried about this:
Pregnancy is beautiful.
It's a privilege.
It shows the incredible capability your body has.
It adds to your beauty - it does NOT take away.
I must admit, pregnancy has not caused me to mourn my body - not for a second. Mourning your pre-pregnant body isn't something we will all face, because we all come from different places and perspectives and there is no shame on either end. We all get to feel how we feel.
But you see, I have had stretch marks since puberty. During a time when I believe insecurities are at their height. Those marks are still there, but they've faded. I've bared them at the beach, in front of boys I liked, and friends who didn't have them. I've simply become accustomed to them, and think nothing of their presence anymore. To be honest, when pregnant friends would speak of the disgust they felt over their stretch marks, it used to hurt me. I've had them since I was 15... does everyone else really find them so revolting?!
"People get them ALL the time!" I'd think. "Who cares! Of course you're getting them - you're growing a human being! I wonder what you think of mine..." and a feeling of judgement would sweep over me. As if I wasn't pristine and perfect and my marks should be something to cover and be ashamed of.
I've since come to terms with their perspective versus mine, and recognized that their sadness is just as valid as my content on the subject.
Then entered yet another perspective.
After two years of trying to conceive, seeing this body of mine change, and stretch, and grow, has been nothing short of a privilege. I cannot find it in me to curse the heartburn or hemorrhoids or crowded lungs or bulging belly. When my old clothes stopped fitting, I met it with relief and joy. For so long I hoped and prayed to be able to carry this life, and finally my body allowed me to do so. Each change and symptom is a clear reminder that my body is doing exactly what it should to accommodate this baby. There is no mourning from me - only joy.
I'm writing this simply to share my own, personal identity with pregnancy and my body image. It may be different from yours, and that's okay.
Today, I'm simply celebrating this growth, and the love and admiration I have for this body. I'm celebrating the spider veins, and hips, and moments when my husband comes up behind me to hold my belly, kiss me on the neck, and say, "You are more beautiful than ever. I've waited so long to see you pregnant and I'm so happy to see you grow. I can't wait for you to get bigger!" Goodness! Swoon! To hear him say that is music to my ears. I've never felt so beautiful in my life, and he just reinforces my thoughts.
I know it can be hard for some women - and I validate that too.
But for me?
Plus, not having to suck it in for nine whole months is pretty awesome - haha - so I'm reveling in every part of this season. Okay, even if sometimes I do sound like I ran a marathon after going up a flight of stairs #beachedwhale #owningit
AND a huge thank you to Pinkblush for making pregnancy even more enjoyable and helping all sorts of women feel beautiful in their pregnant skin. Clothes that flatter those new curves make a world of difference, and I love that I have a platform to share such a great brand with you all ♡ Here is that adorable floral dress I'm rocking in these photos (just a different color).
And keep scrolling for a Hondo photobomb!