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On Body Image (week 24 update)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This week has been a hard week for my perception of my body.

I haven't always had good (okay fine, medium) self-esteem and sometimes those haunting old thoughts and phrases scrape through the box I've buried. Sometimes I catch it before I dive into a bucket of icecream, but sometimes they fester and grow and morph in fron tof my very eyes.

And when you're pregnant, suddenly you are a body. I am no longer strong, capable, funny or beautiful. I am pregnant. I am pregnant. I am pregnant.

And when you are pregnant, certain parts of your body protrude.

And when part protrude, they become part of the public space.

And when they become part of the public space, they become part of the public property.

Didn't know that? Then I promise you aren't a very busty person, because thanks to my chest, I am constantly groped, grabbed, brushed and commented on.

And now, it's all about my belly.

But not in the way you'd think.

No one can see that I am pregnant.

and it's very hurtful.

I'm a big girl, but I CLEARLY have a protruding belly.

It's hard. It's round. It's nothing like a fat belly.

But people don't have a problem commenting that I haven't popped yet, and still look fat.

Ouch.

I'm told I'm gaining weight when I eat poorly (8 pounds is all I've gained so far). I'm told I am looking too skinny when I have a salad for lunch.

I'm constantly critiqued or criticized for my body- as either too big or too small and it's reeking havoc on my body image. I don't know right now if I'm a lovely pregnant lady, or if I just look fat. Or if I look too small. Or too wide. Or too low. Because apparently the jury is still out.

And because of the culture I live, I get comments from friends, family, coworkers, clients and strangers without restrain.

Plus, I'm pretty much a hormonal wreck this week. Changing doctors was a very important step, and one I recognize that I have to do, but the idea of a new person knowing me so intimately scares me deeply. The anxiety is high at the moment, and so these comments are not viewed in the most positive light.

I suppose it's extra sad for my heart because I had always hoped I'd be pregnant. Pregnant and radiant. Not with swollen feet and a fat belly. I would be the glowing lovely girl. And while I try to be, and try to view myself as this person- other people don't see that.

It's a tough one for me. This tightrope between being fat and pregnant.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
LIBELULITA 1/21/2013 5:54AM

    emoticon Sorry emoticon I think you look beautiful and you will be a wonderful mother who teaches her child to be more sensitive to hurting other peoples feelings emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/18/2013 4:49PM

    *hugs* I'm so sorry. I've gone through some of the same stuff too; and it's mean and hurtful - and NOT TRUE! As long as you are taking care of yourself and your baby, DON"T LISTEN to them!!!

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LITTLE1DER 1/18/2013 3:50PM

    I'm sorry you are having these issues I am about 10 weeks behind you and feel fat-period though I have only gained 10lbs total, but most of my gal pals of all sizes have told me for the majority of the 2nd trimester you just feel fat.
The truth is you most likely are a radiant pregnant woman you just don't feel like it.
Remember it is within the perimeters of "crazy pregnant lady" to just snap and go off on these people if you can't hold back.

Generally people (usually other women) feel the need to comment about your pregnancy, weight, size, condition, diet, moods and feed you all of the stories from when they were pregnant like it's fair game or you care. It's amazing to me how many women who have been through this forget how emotionally taxing it is to begin with, let alone feeling scrutinized over everything you do.
I am freaked out over the unwanted touching of my belly by strangers and acquaintances that will happen in the future...I am a no touching kind of gal in general-just because I'm knocked up doesn't give anyone the right to touch me...my general plan is to return the inappropriate touch and ask when they are due as well. For crying out loud at least ask first!!



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AMCLELLAN 1/17/2013 11:12AM

    I completely understand. I was very heavy when I was pregnant with my son. Starting at 20 weeks I was being asked if I was sure there weren't two in there. Grrr. I managed to not get many comments to my face, mostly because I wasn't working and didn't leave the house much. I hated it when my mom or husband would take me out to a restaurant to eat and they would give us a booth. By about 26 weeks, they were hard to get in and out of, by 30 impossible. It felt like some sick joke they were playing on the "fat" girl. Yes I was fat, but I was also very pregnant. My mom was awesome though, not only would she ask for a table not a booth, but she would make a comment about how pregnant I was too.

Don't let people get you down. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, even when people are being rude to you. My sister-in-law and I both agree that it is most difficult when people don't comment on the fact that you are pregnant because all they see is a fat girl. Something skinny girls don't get, my other sister-in-law (short and thin) complained during her pregnancy that she felt when people would comment on her being pregnant they were really thinking she was fat. OMG, no, when they don't comment they think you are.

Anyways, you are beautiful. You are growing a life, and that makes you AMAZING!!!!!!!

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AIMEESINGS 1/17/2013 9:27AM

    Urrrr I hate rude people. My FIL said to me, "Your belly is getting fat, how much have you gained?" Gosh what a horrible thing to say and ask a pregnant lady! Especially since I had barely gained anything and it has all gone to my belly. Thankfully you only have 16 weeks left of this unfair torture. You know that inside that belly is a beautiful baby... people suck. I hope it gets easier for you! and people shut up a little and turn their comments into positives for you.

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STEPH-KNEE 1/17/2013 4:51AM

    Well the comments before put it so much better than I could ever do, but I completely agree. When you shared the baby bump photo with us at 17 weeks, it was quite clear you had a beautiful baby bump. Anyone who thinks your lovely baby bump is just a "fat tummy" really needs to have their head examined. It is crazy how peoples perception changes based on what they see... when you are eating poorly you "shouldn't be eating that" and when you are eating well you aren't eating "enough". You just can't catch a break, and I'd like to drop kick anyone that has even had one negative thought about you, let alone have said it out loud. You are a beautiful girl, period, and I think some people just can't handle that. You were beautiful at your highest weight, you were beautiful after losing weight, you are beautiful pregnant, and you will be beautiful after the arrival of Baby Boops... and if other people can't handle it they can suck it! emoticon

(Like I said, the other said it with an eloquence that I just couldn't muster up emoticon ) heart you! emoticon

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JACOBSBELOVED 1/17/2013 1:24AM

    I'm so sorry people's comments are getting to you. This is supposed to be such a special time for you and it seems like people are taking that away from you.

You are such a beautiful person inside and out and I wish such negative comments wouldn't affect you. However, I feel that it's in our nature to to be more affected by the negative more than the positive.

I also think that everyone thinks they're an expert when it comes to pregnancy. You are a unique individual, so why wouldn't your pregnancy be unique? I just hate that pregnant bellies all of a sudden become everyone's business and they feel that their comments are valuable. Pregnant women are not public domain.

You know my doctor history so you know I can totally feel for you about changing doctors. Everything about pregnancy is so intimate and it must be hard to allow someone to treat you and Baby Boops, let alone someone new.

Keep your chin up, lady. You are beautiful and you are so strong for carrying your baby. This pregnancy is what you have been wanting for so long and just think of that beautiful baby boy that you will soon be holding. :)

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WINDSONG26 1/16/2013 9:51PM

    You're not fat in any sense of the word. And look at Kate Middleton. She's being criticized for being too skinny to be a proper mom! Quite frankly all that bull about eating everything in sight when your pregnant stereotype in this world needs to stop. Good for you for eating the right foods for you and your baby.

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DUMBBELLE84 1/16/2013 6:29PM

  I can assure you that you are still strong, capable, funny AND beautiful - despite the changes going on with your body. I'm sorry that you are having a rough week. You are creating a life, and that's a lovely thing, even if it can get a little messy.

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GRACEMCC45 1/16/2013 4:58PM

    That is a really crappy thing you are feeling right now... and you aren't alone.

I don't understand what it is about a pregnant woman that makes people feel like there is no such thing as personal space or decorum when it comes to asking questions.

Even those who start at a "perfect" BMI face the same things; I got continually harrassed through my first and second trimesters for "not eating enough/giving in to cravings/exercising too much"... mostly from people I couldn't give two sh*ts about.

It was a huge mental block for me to gain weight to begin with. I had just spent over a year losing weight, and had barely slowed down into maintenance phase - we can't be expected to just change gears.

Know in your heart and soul that you and the closest loved ones in your life are doing the best things for this baby. When you get to know your new doctor well enough, she can attest to the importance of slow and low weight gain - and let only her remarks and advice come close to swaying your gut Mommy feelings and actions - not a coworker or acquaintance.

You are doing wonderfully - I promise!

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PUNKY100 1/16/2013 12:50PM

    Well since I've never been pregnant, I'm going to try to help the best I can. We all know you are a lovely lady, and your words show how amazing and excited you are! I wish people's opinions really didn't matter, but it does start to get to you when you hear it all the time. Maybe you'll completely explode out the last weeks and be just totally huge belly lady for the last few weeks!

And trust your doctor more than other people. It is AMAZING that you have only gained 8 lbs, with your doctor's blessing. Don't let people's comments on what you are eating EVER get to you. They have no clue what you have eaten the rest of the day!!!

I think everyone imagines they will be the glorious, radiant pregnant lady, but from what I've heard, everyone ends up swollen, bloated, and sore. It's just the way it goes, so don't be too hard on yourself!! You know what you're doing is right, and all those people can suck an egg!

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