I love side-by-side photos but mine are never the “right” way society deems it should be.
You know, on the left I was 14 weeks pregnant. First child. I thought I was huge. HUGE. I was embarrassed at how bloated I looked. I spent time hiding my stomach even though people knew I was pregnant. I even wore spanx to a wedding because I was afraid of how jiggly I looked. I wanted to get to the right size before I celebrated my bump.
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-baby body, that I better not eat too much... Now, I look back and that makes me sad.
I see it all the time, women who think their bumps are too small or too big. Who have people constantly commenting on their pregnant bodies. Constantly saying “you’re sooooooo tiny!” Or “you’re soooo huge!” like it’s okay to comment and a growing baby makes it free for all.
And then there's judgement from ourselves on how we are meant to look. The perfect body and the perfect bump that’s aaaalllll bump, but not too big right? (And not too small... otherwise you must surely be starving your baby.)
LISTEN: What to pack in your hospital bag. (Post continues after audio.)
By my second pregnancy I got asked, “are you sure it isn’t twins?” Yeah for nine months that second baby has been hiding... No, not twins, but thanks for helping me feel positive about my body at such a vulnerable and hormonal time.
Now I think I’m about nine weeks, this is my third child. 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 after this one either. The baby is a size of a pea, and in there are some noodles, some banana lollies and about a kilo of watermelon... It doesn’t look like every other bump at nine weeks, but I don’t care. I won’t hide my little pouch. It’s growing a baby and I should be proud of it.
I’ve been through so much with this body, how can I resent it and hide it away? Bodies change. It’s brought me 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. Worrying about how big I look surely does it an injustice.
I am a woman, I am a mother. I’m not a perfect size 0, one day I might be but at the end of the day, I’m a perfect mother to my children and future children. I am happy, my children are happy and to me that is all that matters in life.
And please, well meaning individuals who feel the need to comment on a pregnant woman’s body, or any woman’s body, know this: The only time you should worry if something is too big or too small, is the cake and flowers you’re going to buy her for being such an amazing human being.
Listen to the full podcast here: