Posts Tagged ‘ 2nd trimester ’

The Truth About Pregnancy Pounds

Monday, October 29th, 2012

While I can joke about my pregnancy weight gain, I thought it only fair to be completely candid about the mental battle with pregnancy pounds in an attempt to acknowledge and commend all my pregnant friends who struggle like I do at times, to love their changing bodies.

Body image is a large component of the nine-month wait and while intellectually most know that weight gain is positive, some days it is just not easy to accept one’s expanding figure.

I have a strict policy that I don’t look at my weight, ever. Aside from the doctor’s office, I don’t step on scales.

Being pregnant requires that I step on a scale at regular appointments, but I always turn around so I don’t see my weight. My doctor and I have an understanding that we don’t discuss weight gain unless it is medically necessary. I have no idea what I gained with my first pregnancy except that it fell into the “healthy range.” I plan to do the same with this pregnancy.

The habit of no numbers and scales is one I have cultivated after many years of beating myself up for what the scale did read. I have discovered that no good comes from them. If the number is too high, I berate myself. If the number is low, I think of a myriad of ways to keep it low. This is why scales and I have parted. It is a no win situation.

During pregnancy and post-pregnancy there is so much pressure surrounding weight. The media perpetually reports about and flogs stars for “letting themselves go” during pregnancy, yet eagerly applauds them when they shed the baby weight and walk the runway with a “perfect post-pregnancy figure” just two months postpartum. It’s devastating, unrealistic, and harmful.

There is so much pressure to look a certain way. During postpartum recovery the nurses continually commented on how small I was and how I’d fit into my regular jeans in no time. While I enjoyed the flattery, it also made me uncomfortable that these were the most readily available compliments. It only adds fuel to the body image fire. Instead, I truly relished the compliments about our adorable baby and sweet family.

It is also frustrating that the amount one gains during pregnancy is a source of competition. Women congratulate each other or smugly compare notes regarding who gained the least. No good comes from this either. I think it should be outlawed to talk weight with other women.

There are so many things women give up during pregnancy. While it is overly apparent that one’s body is sacrificed, it is not always discussed how much mental anxiety this places on women. I have been very fortunate to run for the last 25 weeks of this pregnancy. I was unable to run that long with my first. I know my running days are numbered however. I feel anxious about giving up running and I’m afraid of the mental war it will wage. It makes me admire the women who are put on bed-rest and the inner struggle some face to wonder and worry at how their body will change. Pregnancy requires much sacrifice and it is most definitely worth it, but sometimes, amidst pressure, hormones, and the day-to-day work of growing a baby, it is hard to remember that.

I think the difficulty of letting go of control and embracing one’s pregnant body is a common but not always acceptable topic. It may be viewed as superficial, but it is truly valid because of the conflicting messages to simply “love whatever skin you’re in.” Women are told the pregnant body is beautiful, but society outlines a very specific type of pregnant body that is beautiful and doesn’t truly celebrate the different ways bodies carry babies. It’s too much about numbers and looks.

While some women more easily accept their changing bodies, others struggle for longer. It took me five years to mentally prepare for the uncontrollable nature of pregnancy and the acceptance that having a baby was worth sacrificing my body. I feel selfish and embarrassed admitting that, but it is the truth. The journey to embrace one’s pregnant body is different for everyone, but my hope is that all come to a place of confidence and gratitude for their bodies.

Some days I am love what my body is doing. Other days I struggle to love my new curves or stretch marks. When I am in my head a little too much, when I let the superficiality consume me, I look at my daughter. Her innocent, inquisitive voice calms the negative voice in my head and really does remind me that this job of mothering isn’t about me or my looks. I would endure anything for her and the sweet babe in my belly. And even though it isn’t always easy, I know I can and will and want to endure and embrace it all.

Image: Bathroom scale via trekandshoot/Shutterstock.com

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Back in the (Pregnancy) Saddle Again

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I am a little over 19 weeks pregnant.

But let’s just say 20 weeks since it’s a nice even number and it’s my pregnancy and I’ll round up if I want to. I believe that translates to 4, nearly 5 months pregnant for those who don’t speak weeks (read: me). Let’s be honest, all the weeks, months, trimesters, etc., are just a tad bit confusing. I remember learning pregnancy, depending on how you count it, is considered 10 months by some. My response? Slow your roll please.  Don’t rock my newly mushy pregnant brain. I can’t handle the truth.

What I do need to know, and can handle remembering is the fact that our second baby is due February 12th, just in time to be our valentine. We are over the moon about expanding our family.

I’m very happily 27 and pregnant…again. I’m discovering a second pregnancy is a little like déjà vu. The rosier aspects of pregnancy feel dreamy and familiar, but hard to place exactly on a timeline next to my first pregnancy. When did the baby move again? When did my belly pop? When were skinny jeans no longer looking so skinny? But then there are the symptoms of irrefutable force that were never forgotten. Oh yes, I remember you toilet, my foe. Hemorrhoids? We’ve never parted. Gas? Let’s just say if there was a way to harness all the “natural gas” I’m expelling, there’d be no talk of alternative fuel sources.

Hailing from Arizona, I’m delighted to spend the majority of my pregnancy in the cooler redemptive season, as opposed to the infernal and eternal summer season in which I want to give the weatherman the bird every day.  I also recently quit my part-time teaching gig to spend the days wrangling, singing, dancing, and talking Disney princess at length with our 2-year-old daughter. I do not take myself too seriously, but I do take remembering the ups and downs of pregnancy and motherhood seriously. I’m looking forward to chronicling all of the shenanigans of this pregnancy and my growing lovely lady bump.

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