Dear Friends of the Internet,
As I write this post, I am 6 months pregnant with our second child. My lower back feels like it’s 83 instead of 33, I wake up several times a night because my bladder might actually explode, and brushing my teeth nearly makes me throw up every single time. Needless to say, I am not one of those pregnant unicorn glowing goddesses. No, I am not blessed with clear and radiant skin. My hair does not magically grow as luxuriously as Rapunzel’s, nor do I possess a cute little basketball bump. My body is not my own right now.
Rather, my thin, fine hair somehow gets both thinner and finer. My skin has never looked worse, and my bump can best be described only as WIDE.
Let’s get the most important thing clear: I am beyond grateful to be bringing this little one into the world in a few months. But I’d be lying if I said I was 100% confident in this new and ever-changing body of mine.
You know what doesn’t help? All the unsolicited comments. I get that most people mean well. And when they see a pregnant woman, for whatever reason, they just can’t help themselves. Filters fly out the window, and the remarks start rolling as soon as people see the belly:
“You’re pretty big for 6 months, aren’t you?” (This person literally waited for me to respond. I did not.)
“Oh, I thought you were much further along than that!” (Well, intrusive stranger, I am not.)
“Are you sure it’s just one baby?” (Ha-ha-ha… come up with something original, please.)
“You’re getting so BIG!” (Yep. That’s what happens when you are growing a human being.)
“You look so tired/uncomfortable/etc.” (Thanks for the astute observation.)
After all these comments from the Peanut Gallery, is it any wonder I just want to wear a burlap sack around for the next few months to cover my pregnant body? I don’t enjoy being the center of attention, and pregnancy seems to shine a spotlight on those of us who are more content to stay in the background.
To be super honest, I’m sure that I am extra sensitive because I haven’t always had the healthiest body image. During my first pregnancy, I was pleasantly surprised that I was pretty comfortable with all of the physical changes, but this time around it’s different. This time around I’m different.
This is my second pregnancy, so my body remembers the drill. I am only 5′ 1″, and my torso is very short. Baby boy doesn’t have much space to occupy. I started off this pregnancy heavier than my first, so EVERYTHING is bigger. My body feels more womanly all over, and it’s a totally weird and foreign feeling to me.
Logically, I get that being “big” while pregnant is not a bad thing. It means my body is growing a strong baby, and I don’t take that fact for granted. But the other thing I get is that I know I’m big! I don’t need others to point it out for me. I know I look uncomfortable and tired – that’s because I am! I have anemia, I’m a walking kidney stone factory, and I wake up approximately 18 times a night.
So, friends, here is my advice to you: the next time you see a pregnant woman, you can offer a sincere congratulations. Tell her it must be a very exciting time. You are happy for her and her family. Or, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all – that’s cool, too.
But whatever you do – do NOT comment on her body.
A Hormonal (but still totally right) Pregnant Woman