Pre-pregnancy, I was thin. My mother once made a joke about my body type when I was in my teens. She told me that I was a carpenter’s dream because I was flat as a board and never been nailed. Yes, this is the kind of relationship I had with my mother, saying things like this to me was the norm and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bringing it up here seems appropriate because it makes me realize that even my own mother was just pretending to parent. She did what she thought was best, as I will most likely do.
The above picture is technically not pre-pregnancy. I took those photos at 5 weeks pregnant. Not much about my body had changed at that point. Believe it or not, my boobs were bigger than before I got pregnant (yes, I know) and I noticed my waistline was becoming a little more wide.
Before I got pregnant there weren’t too many things going on with my body that had me pausing and going “hmm”. My weight was constant, lower than I wanted it to be due to an over-active thyroid, but it was pretty constant. The biggest issue I had was acne, which was controlled by my birth-control. However, when I became stressed or over-tired, my birth control couldn’t keep a few blemishes from popping up here and there.
For the most part, I knew my own body.
From the very start of my pregnancy I have noticed changes. First there was the tense, bloated tummy that I felt like I couldn’t even put weight on. Then there was the constant erupting of gas. The sensitive nipples, the swelling boobs. And this was all just in the first month of pregnancy.
As I dove deeper into the waters of pregnancy, I realized that was only the tip of the iceberg.
My nipples became these massive angry beasts. Darker with areolas doubled, almost tripled in size. I got this dark racing strip down my belly. I am not 100% sure what this is for, but I think it is like a landing strip to show the doctor where the new arrival will be coming in a few more months. Worse, I noticed thick, black hairs down that line…
With all the hair growth, the swelling, the soreness… I thought, alright. I am pregnant. I am making a baby over here people, leave me alone. I was coming around, shrugging off all the changes.
Until the other night.
I had spent the day out with a girlfriend wearing yoga tights that may have been a tad snug in the waistband. As soon as I got home that night I stripped them off to hop in the shower.
Ever since I got pregnant, I have this habit of pausing in front of the mirror before I hop in the shower to see just how much my body is changing. It was then, my eyes dropped just under my belly and my brow furrowed.
Below my growing belly was a fanny pack. A jiggly bit below my bikini line. Reaching down, I touched and poked at it. What the hell was this? Was it swollen from wearing tights all day? I mean, the waistband would have been pushing down where my abdomen still looked thin under my belly and then this new juicy bit… it just felt full.
Letting out a defeated sigh, I got in the shower thinking it was probably just swollen and would return to normal.
Of all the nights, my husband decided to hop into the shower with me that night. He started to chat about his day and soap my belly when he paused and poked at the same fanny pack I had been poking at earlier.
Now before people reading this judge him, this is just the kind of relationship my husband and I have. We approach everything with a light-hearted attitude. We laugh over the things we can’t change, we joke constantly.
Before he said anything, I threw my head back, covered my face with my hands and moaned dramatically. “I know! What the fuck is that?” I wailed.
My husband, being the same man I fell in love with just continued to shower. “More of you to love?” He said.
I couldn’t help but laugh as I looked at him. We then went into a full conversation on how it was jiggly and odd but something neither of us could change so why fuss over it.
Getting out of the shower, it was still there but I felt better.
As women we go through so much when we get pregnant. So much of it is physical, but a huge chunk of it is emotional. We are so sensitive. Our bodies become these baby making factories working around the clock, pumping and trying to process all these hormones, trying to figure out where everything will move to, grow, and make our little bundles of joy.
I have and always will be an insanely dramatic person. Not in the way that would make you shudder or anything like that, but I am loud, I am not opposed to doing something in public that I know will make a fool of myself if it is something I want to do or something that will make someone else happy. I am outspoken, and stubborn, and when it comes to my husband, I am the throw myself on the floor and moan until he acknowledges me type of person.
With pregnancy, a lot of this drama has taken an emotional turn. Where I used to laugh at myself, I find myself getting teary eyed. When I used to shrug things off, I am obsessing for hours, even days. With every change to my body, I find I am thrown into an emotional battle with myself.
Every day I put on my smile and pretend I am still the same person I was before I got pregnant. I am not sure why. It’s like I only allow myself to be uncomfortable and 100% pregnant when I am inside my own home with my husband. I think it’s important to find some outlet, someone to talk to about all the weird things that throw us through loops during this time so we don’t completely drive ourselves crazy.
Maybe then we can all stop pretending we know what we are doing or that we are fine, and will get that much closer to actually being okay.