Pregnancy Body Image

I’ve mentioned my dislike of my own pregnant form and the changes that accompany an expanding midsection. I’ve complained about the extra pounds, the pain, the heavy breathing, the unattractiveness of it all. This does not make me ungrateful. That was a hard concept for me to grasp — realizing that pregnancy is not my favorite body, and realizing that that was okay. It’s hard not to embrace every step of pregnancy, especially when there are so many women that would love to be pregnant. The reality is that plenty of parts of pregnancy are neither enjoyable nor glamorous. It is difficult to feel like yourself when your normal self is constantly going and you are now sleeping away your days. It is difficult to feel attractive when you are sneezing and blowing your nose constantly. Due to a weakened pregnancy immune system and extra mucus, there will be no break in the Kleenex usage. It is difficult to watch a body morph into something completely different and foreign. It is difficult to try to find a position to get comfortable enough to sleep in when your body is needing to be supported from all angles while also needing to have room to breathe and grow. It is difficult to embrace the beautiful and feminine change while holding on to your own sensuality. It is difficult to get some alone time when someone is constantly making their presence and pressure known. It is difficult to get exercise and take care of yourself and your family when running with the toddler once around the dining room table leaves you winded. It is difficult to do the prenatal yoga to relieve the hip pain when you are in so much pain that it hurts to start. It is difficult to require an ever-changing wardrobe because of your ever-changing body, one that maintains your personal sense of style and ethics. It is difficult to be so in love with the baby growing in you and want it out so badly because of the huge desire to just get back to normal. These things are difficult but not impossible. Pregnancy is a precursor to motherhood and much like the desire to not miss a moment and to fully embrace, it’s not a possible task. There will be moments that test your patience, your will and your desire to have ever had children; and that’s okay. It’s okay to not embrace every moment of every step of motherhood. For me it’s the body change, for you it could be something else. Either way, we are all only here to support each other on the journey.

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