Because of society’s odd way of claiming pregnant bodies as their own – touching them, commenting on them, etc. – it’s easy to get caught up in the way we’re “supposed” to look, even when we’re struggling to not toss our cookies while housing a growing human being.
I’ve had friends who feel self-conscious because their bump is too small, and they get comments questioning whether they are being healthy enough for the baby. I’ve had (more) friends freaking out about how fast they’re gaining weight or how soon they’re starting to show, especially with second and third kiddos.
Which is why I absolutely love this post from mother-of-three Laura Mazza. She shares the differences in her body from pregnancy 1 to pregnancy 3, but she also shares the difference in her frame of mind and emotional health.
In the picture on the left, Laura was 14 weeks into her first pregnancy. In her own words, she thought she was “huge” and “was embarrassed at how bloated” she looked.
“I spent time hiding my stomach even though people knew I was pregnant…I was embarrassed that my husband had this blimp of a pregnant wife and all these people would constantly remind me that I’m gonna have to work hard to go back to my pre-body.”
Fast forward two (and a half) kids later, and Laura is 9 weeks pregnant in the picture on the right – and feeling none of the anxiety she did with her first, even though she’s showing wayyyyyy sooner.
“I’m double the size of the first. There’s no muscles in there, I didn’t lose the baby weight after the first kid nor the second, and after this kid I won’t rush to lose the weight, either..doesn’t look like a bump should at 9 weeks, but I don’t care. I won’t hide my little pouch. It’s a growing baby and I should be proud of it.”
It’s easy to fall prey to the feeling that we have some obligation to look a certain way to make the people we pass on the street comfortable with our bodies. But the truth is, only WE have to be comfortable with our bodies, and the fact that they’ve done some crazy amazing things should be reason enough to love them – whatever they look like at the moment.
“I’ve been through so much with this body, how can I resent it and hide it away? Bodies change. It’s brought me three children, it’s gone through battles, it’s had cancer scares with lumps in my boobs, it’s fought mental illness, it’s wrestled with no sleep and been a home to three kids.”
Amen, sister. You’re amazing.
So are you, and you, and you, and me.
Love yourselves, friends!
h/t: The Stir – Cafe Mom