Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pregnancy Body Image

On the IPOD "Landslide" By: Fleetwood Mac

I'm not exactly sure how some of you are going to take this but to be true and honest to myself it needs to be discussed and hopefully you will see my side of it without feeling the need to tell me to get over it... :)

I know that there are many women out there who get pregnant and are able to just let themselves go. They see their bodies changing and they somehow embrace it and realize it's for a great cause, they are growing a baby. I wish that I could say that... I wish that I didn't have guilt over each craving, but I do. And I wish that I could someday see myself wanting to mold my pregnant belly with paper mache and hang it on our wall, but I can guarantee that will never happen in this house!

I have not gained any weight thus far...due mainly to the fact that I can't keep a whole lot down. But I would be lying if I didn't say that I'm a little scared about not having morning sickness..... I'm scared of losing control and gaining too much. I'm scared of how I will perceive myself. And I'm most scared of being completely overwhelmed in 7 months with a new baby and massive weight to lose.

The book I'm reading told me to look at my body in the mirror and see the changes going on... Obviously the lady who wrote the book has no experience with body image issues...I'm not talking about small issues with your body ie: my butt's too big, I'm too short, too tall, my boobs suck, etc. I am referring to the people out there whether skinny, chubby, or fat, who have debilitating feelings about their body. Those of us who have cancelled plans while crying in the mirror because we can't find something to wear that looks decent. Or have honestly wanted to beat a photographer for taking a picture of us. I'm a tad bit better about it now but I'm far from perfect... I decided to go ahead and partake in her little exercise, I took off my clothes and gazed into the mirror. I wish I could say that I got all teary eyed and saw my growing belly as a home for this precious little baby inside but in reality it pretty much just looks like I've eaten too much! I'm going to go ahead and say that this exercise really didn't do much for me today...I'm thinking that maybe it would be best to look again at say 6 months pregnant when it looks like there is really a baby in there, but for now I'm content with staying far away from naked mirror shots of myself and will instead just try to embrace the feeling of being preggers.

I think that these "feelings" are going to need to be talked about from time to time because I can't imagine them just vanishing. But please don't misunderstand me, I am absolutely thrilled about carrying this baby, we have spent lots of time, money and heartache trying to get to this point and we just can not wait until we are able to meet our little one. But in truth most of the books and websites discuss how great you should feel about your expanding waistline and I want to make sure that the women out there who are maybe feeling a tad bit apprehensive about it know that there are others, like me, who are still completely elated about having a baby but have normal, hard to explain fears about what is happening to their bodies in the process. I just can't imagine going through the feelings I'm having and not having you to talk to about it. It saddens me to think that there might be some of you out there who are embarassed about not feeling thrilled about your image in the mirror and I just want to make sure that you are aware that it is really not that uncommon, it is just not discussed enough.

xoxo chef a


Amanda said...

Oh you're not going to get any "embrace the change!" from me. The first trimester especially is yucky as far as physical change goes, especially when it's your first pregnancy. As you noted, you don't look pregnant. You just look like you're gaining weight.

It's annoying.

I still look at my stretch marks from my two pregnancies and roll my eyes at them. I adore my kids and wouldn't trade them for the world, and I don't think the stretch marks are too high a price to pay or anything, but still, it's aggravating.

Add to that the fact that I'm still losing my pregnancy weight from my first son, who's eleven (hey, it's my weight and I can pin it on a pregnancy that ended over a decade ago if I want to!), well... your feelings are safe with me, LOL

Debbie said...

Two things:
1) I think you should change the name of your blog to: Confessions of an Over-Eating, Pregnant Personal Chef (at least for the next seven months)!

2) Can you PLEASE make sure you have all of this saved for me so that I can read it again when it's my turn?

Love you :)

Meredith said...

I completely agree with Amanda. Embrace the change...yeah right! I mean on one hand it's an incredible miracle that a human life is growing inside of you - seriously it is, but the havoc it does to your body is pretty insane. And then after you give birth, you expect a magic wand and fairy dust to make you look like your pre - pregnancy body - and it doesn't. The good news is that you earn the stretch marks, the extra weight and the sagging breasts - they are kind of badges of honor.(Kind of like the Scarlet Letter! HAHAHA)