Thoughts and Ramblings – Body Image

It hit me hard this weekend baby loves, it really did.

(and yes that is a broken rubber band that was holding my non-maternity pants together)

Let me first start off by saying I LOVE my growing belly. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It means you are getting bigger and getting ready for your grand entrance in November. I love the new shape I carry and I proudly show off my little bump when I can. I’ve fully embraced the figure of a pregnant woman’s body and I think it’s sexy and beautiful. Honestly, I love it. If I can’t have my tight flat tummy, this is the tummy I would want…one that is growing a person.  In fact, I will my tummy to grow day by day and look for the most minute changes and signs of growth. It truly makes me happy.

Despite all that, I am still having body image issues. But it’s not what you might think.

On Friday as I got ready to go see your Grandma in LA, I began trying to figure out what I was going to wear. Now let me state, for the record, that I have been the same size for the last 10 years. I buy all my clothes to fit…not baggy, not super tight, but they fit, perfectly. It hit me after I had stuffed myself and my boobs into my third attempt at an outfit and all I saw in the mirror was a fat chick trying to wear skinny clothes – with bulges coming out in every direction, that I might have a wee bit of a problem. I blame it on the hormones, but I broke down right then and there into hysterical sobs. I had NOTHING to wear. And this time, it was true. I’m at that really weird phase in pregnancy where it’s not quite evident that I’m pregnant and I might get mistaken for a girl who just had one too many beers in the last couple of months. And to be honest…that REALLY bugs me. I want people to recognize that I’m pregnant, not chubby. I’ve never in my life (well past the age of about 9 or so) had a gut or a bloated belly. Your grandparents’ genetics blessed me with a teeny tiny flat tummy (you’ll have the same one so you’ll see!). So now that I have one, I feel like I totally look prego! But sadly when I look in the mirror I realize, no I just look a little soft in the middle…and it KILLS me. I’m sorry but it does. I don’t want there to be a question as to whether I’m with child or not and it bugs me that it’s very ambiguous right now.

Then there’s just my overall feeling of well-being and health. I used to be a gym nut. It kept me sane. Intense cardio 4 times a week, light weights and muscle toning including abs 3 times a week. I also ate fabulously…lots of  veggies and fruits, lean proteins and water…absolutely zero junk food. My body felt amazing and so did my spirits! This helped to keep my energy up and my body working like a well oiled machine and a smile on my face! Knowing my heart and body were healthy, made me so happy.

But something funny happened when I found out I was pregnant again…all that went out the window. Immediately. The moment I knew you were in there, the most important thing to me was YOUR well-being, and not my own. It wasn’t even a question.  You were and are my number one priority. Gym? No thanks. I sat at home with my feet up for the first 12 weeks of your life. I had to. I can’t help but feel I overdid it last time with your sweet angel sibling. I was NOT going to make that mistake again.  So, I assumed the “baby growing position” every day after work and given the chance I would do it again. And thanks to first trimester nausea, I couldn’t keep anything down, except carbs…yep…french fries, potato chips, pasta, rice…if it was carby I ate it…including junk food. Oy. I still can’t believe that was me haha. But again, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. No question.

So that brings me to my current state of emotional and physical well being. I’m having body issues. I feel soft and unhealthy and so out of shape. My heart misses the challenging workouts (I can tell because I get winded going up two flights of stairs haha) and I miss the rush and high of endorphins I would get post work out and the contentment I felt putting fuel friendly foods into my body.  But I don’t want to do anything that would harm you either. I would never ever ever ever forgive myself if something happened to you.  So what do I do?  Once we hit the second trimester I felt it was a little safer to indulge in some physical exercise and try to begin to eat the way I used to. It’s been challenging to hold back and not exert myself too much, but even more challenging has been to resist those “empty calorie” cravings I tend to get. But it’s a work in progress and I guess that’s all I can hope for.

I went to the gym yesterday and did some light cardio and light weights and I started to feel a lot better…emotionally and physically. It’s a roller coaster of emotions, because while I feel great after a workout, I undoubtedly worry that I’ve done some damage to you. Of course I check in with you using my fetal doppler and you’re always happy as a clam in there hovering around 140bpm and it reassures me. But I don’t think I’ll ever stop worrying. (For the record, scientific data has shown that physical activity while pregnant is actually a benefit for both mom and baby and is highly recommended by physicians).

So for now, what do I want? I want my belly to look like a prego belly and not have anyone question that; I want to eat better, for you and for me; I want to feel physically fit and in shape; and I want to fit into my clothes!!! <– so this last one requires me to go shopping and actually purchase more maternity clothes which I will do this week (not an easy task considering 99% of maternity clothes look like moo-moos). In fact, I went to Target yesterday after the gym, looking for some summer pieces.  See, progress. 🙂

(Target dressing room after the gym…I think I look prego, but you should have seen the confused stares I got all day…wah!)

So there you have it…more thoughts and ramblings from your extremely hormonal and emotional mommy. Bring on the BIG tummy, please!!! Love you, monkey.


About Em

After the loss of our first pregnancy, we took a much needed vacation to Costa Rica to enjoy each other and clear our minds. Well, as luck would have it, we brought home much more than great memories and great tans...our own little Costa Rican souvenir. Here is our journey!
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4 Responses to Thoughts and Ramblings – Body Image

  1. Dani says:

    You do not look squishy! Being pregnant affects more than your belly, Mama. And let’s face it, we all know where you’re carrying all 3 of those new pounds. 😉

    I wore very form-fitting tops to ensure everyone knew there was a baby in there. And it was fun to turn around with my belly in tow and see the surprise on people’s faces. So much fun!

    We will hit the stores this week. Just let me know which day. Elliana says that she can’t wait to help you find some cute stuff.

  2. Megan says:

    how funny, i wrote almost the same exact post at 19 weeks pregnant haha.
    You’ll be fine. Just remember your changing body is for your growing baby.

  3. annika says:

    Nope, you’re wrong. You look pregnant, not squishy. I remember that time, and the feeling, but you definitely have the belly. I bet people were just thinking dang, she sure looks good – wish I had looked that great pregnant. But I know – I do. Hugs!

  4. Melissa says:

    I think wearing tight clothes is just the only way to prevent the ‘fat’ look. I wore a maxi dress friday and even with my belly i just looked like a fat chick in a big dress. But then later I wore my skinny jeans and a maternity top, and felt so much better. Tighter is better! (but not so tight you get the sausage look).

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