Strangers : How far along are you?
My Response: 22 weeks.
Strangers (gasping): Oh wow! You’re really big already!
My thoughts (smiling on the outside): please don’t call me big, I’m carrying a baby …and just a few other choice words I would like to say but will keep smiling and laughing because what the heck else am I supposed to say…. Really?
I’m growing a baby, and yup I am bigger this time around than I was the first two times, but what am I really supposed to say or do about it. And … since when is it not ok to get bigger while pregnant … should I not eat? I apparently weigh the exact same at this stage now (confirmation that I’m just stretching a lot faster) as I did with the previous two, so I’m not over eating, and honestly… why do I need to justify this?
I’ve had a lot of questions about how this pregnancy feels in comparison to my previous two and to be honest, a lot of it feels the same, and the rest I really don’t remember. What I have noticed this time around that seems different is that how I feel about myself has changed. Some days I feel great, pretty even; you know the myths of glowing skin, good hair and all of that… it’s very real, some days and other days I can’t find one item of clothing that fits or makes me feel good about myself. I have days where I have honestly internalized this idea that I’m HUGE and just don’t want to get dressed and go out.
Self-Image hasn’t been something that I’ve been worried about or really even put much thought into since high school, yup those really awkward years where you wonder if you’re pretty enough or skinny enough, those were a real thing for me, as I’m sure they were and know they still are for many young girls. After high school though, I never felt that way and I think that meeting my husband and gaining some confidence in myself along the way had a lot to do with it.
My husband has always been, and still is, a huge factor for me in this equation, he has a way of making me feel good about myself that honestly shines through when I’m around him. I started to realize this over the last few years when I began to look at the pictures he takes of me or the pictures taken of us when we are together, I just feel good when I’m with him. Lately, though I have mornings when I don’t see him (our lives are crazy right now and the morning rush is nuts) and finding that confidence on my own while trying to tune out all of the “you’re so big” comments has become more and more of a challenge, especially because I’m not getting any smaller.
So, instead of letting this eat away at me, I am finding ways to make myself feel better and doing my best to drown out the “big” noise.
Five ways to Love your Body While You’re Expecting
1. Seeing My Body as Blessing
During my first pregnancy I really had no concept of what was on the other side, what life would be like with a newborn or even that the pregnancy really wouldn’t last that long. This time around, it’s number three for us by the way, I really understand and truly appreciate this as a short stage that is nothing short of amazing. A life, a person, is growing inside of me and that’s way bigger than feeling big.
2. Rest: Giving My Body & Baby What they Need
Pregnancy is no joke. I’ve tried to maintain the pace of my “pre-pregnancy” life in previous pregnancies and have finally realized that this is not a thing. When you are tired, rest; when you are hungry, eat and when you just can’t, don’t! Self-care in pregnancy is huge and while I did have some understanding of this in my previous pregnancies, I think my body and my intuition have really taught me a lot this time about just how important this is. To read more about practicing self-care during pregnancy check out Pure Nurture: a Holistic Guide to a Healthy Baby by Kristy Rodriguez.
3. Internalizing the Compliments & Positive Talk
“You look beautiful.” Yes, people have said this while I was pregnant, but for some reason we seem to dismiss compliments and internalize the negatives. So I am doing my best to take note of the good stuff, the stuff that makes your day and boosts your confidence. I’m also trying to avoid re-hashing the negative stuff by telling my husband about those negative moments in my day and instead tell him when something made me feel good, because let’s be honest we’d all rather re-live the good stuff.
There are days when I get dressed and feel great; my hair is co-operating my skin is kind of glowing and the dress I planned to wear still makes me feel just as good as it did the night before. There are also days when I feel terrible and want to throw on a “moo-moo” and call it a day. So I’ve decided to try and find one thing that makes me feel good about myself each day, maybe it’s just my eyebrows, or my hair falling nicely, but recognizing these little things and trying to be positive with yourself really makes a difference.
4. Finding Outfits that Fit and Make me Feel Good
I’m almost completely out of the I can still wear non-maternity clothes stage and while I’d still love to squeeze into my old jeans, it just isn’t happening . So, I am making an effort to find pieces that work for me this time around and help me feel good even on those not so good days. Mamas let’s hear it for the Kimono please! That is the best thing to have come out of this season for sure!
5. Surround Yourself with People who Celebrate Motherhood
It took me a while to find my “momunity” (in other words the community of moms that really helped me to grow on this motherhood journey) but when I did, it made a world of difference. From close friends (who I’ve been through everything with) to brand new groups of momprenures that I met through blogging, building a community truly was a game changer for me.
I was so lucky that the online community that I built through my blog also became my real-time community as well. Meeting like-minded moms and connecting with other creatives though blogging really helped me to feel like I wasn’t alone on this journey. One of the places where I met and really did get to know a lot of these amazing mothers was at The Bump to Baby Show.
The Bump to Baby show is an amazing event that is hosted by Hosted by Dr. Rachel Schwartzman and Mira Heitz. It truly is a celebration of motherhood/parenthood and community. The venders are local and the market space itself stunning! Rachel, one of the B2B co-founders, is one of the most supportive women I’ve ever met and she is truly a believer in the power of community. Read more about Rachel and all the she does in her Creative Career Moms Feature.
The Bump to Baby Show Details
VEGETARIAN FOOD COURT
FAMILY FUN ZONE
MUSIC AND DANCING
RAFFLE AND MORE!
If you are in the Toronto area this weekend be sure to stop by and say hi!
2 thoughts on “I’m Not Big, I’m Having a Baby: Five ways to Love your Body While You’re Expecting and This Spring’s Bump to Baby Show”
You’re beautiful mama! Growing another little human, taking care for 2 kiddies, working full time and you still look put together.
Thanks so much Christine! I feel like a mess most days lol but that’s motherhood, right.