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Posts tagged ‘Body Image’

Nine Months Up, Nine Months Down

The baby is officially 9 months old!

Baby Smiles

When I was pregnant, I read a book called The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy

and I really liked it. I would totally recommend it. It has a fun sense of humor and makes you feel less alone if you don’t have a lot of mommy/pregnant friends (I don’t). It’s written by an L.A. resident, so maybe it has a few concerns that I didn’t have/feel while living in occasionally arctic New England and never feeling much societal pressure about my makeup and hair, but I still really enjoyed it.

One of its tips that I loved and want to share (but can’t remember the direct quote… although it was said a few times) is basically: it took you 9 months to gain the weight, don’t beat yourself up (or be surprised) if it takes you 9 months to lose it.

It really made me feel ok with my body for the last 9 months, especially the early months after her birth. I had been warned that I would still look 6 months pregnant when I left the hospital (and I did!), but I didn’t expect to look 4 months pregnant when she was 3 months old. But I rolled with it with the thought “9 months up, 9 months down.”

And you know what? I think it was totally right for me. The baby is 9 months old and I fit in almost all of my pre-pregnancy pants now, there are two hold-outs but whatever. My body doesn’t look exactly the way it did before, but it feels to be roughly the same size. I feel like I’m back to living in my old body, more or less. And when I see myself in the mirror, I’m no longer surprised by the reflection. The image of myself that I hold and the image in the mirror finally align again!

And the bonus of this mantra is that I didn’t beat myself up for no good reason while I was enjoying this tiny human being that my body incubated!

100_0220.edit

Also, yay for fitting back into my old clothes!

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Body Image – Part 4

I’ve finally hit the point where I feel huge. I feel like I waddle everywhere. In my last preggo update I was about to be tested for gestational diabetes. I passed! I don’t have it! Yay! When I got the results, my wonderful boyfriend and I celebrated with a cookie… seems reasonable, no?

My latest physical obsession: My ankles. Or rather, my cankles. This process started slowly… I would come home from work at the end of the day and I felt like I had muffin tops over my socks.

picture this… but as my calves over my socks

And it was weird… but that phase has long passed. After the muffin top ankles, I lost my ankle bones on the inside. Then I lost the ankle bones on the outside. I miss seeing those bones. I hope they come back someday. Now I have puffy ankles… and puffy feet (seriously, I think my feet are an inch taller on the top!) and puffy little toes. This little piggy isn’t going to the market or going wee, wee, wee. It’s staying home, elevated, on the couch! I’ve grown out of all but one pair of shoes. Luckily T’s 11-year-old niece has bigger feet than I do, so I was gifted a pair of shoes that she grew out of. Yay!

How I feel physically: Generally, I’m feeling good, but tired. Because of the move (and my regular yoga class was cancelled), I’ve missed about a month of yoga classes and I can feel it! I’m starting to get all of those lame aches and pains associated with pregnancy, but nothing major so I’m not complaining!

My current bit of crazy worry: We started our childbirth classes last Sunday. We were 20 minutes late and forgot to bring the recommended pillows and yoga mat, but remembered snacks… sigh, I’m sure this hints towards some “awesome” parenting skills… We missed the introductions so we don’t know when the 7 other couples are due, but I feel like I have the smallest belly in the room (T agrees). I worry a lot about my pregnancy weight. I feel enormous, but everyone says I look small. My doctor said that by my due date, I should gain 25-35 pounds. I have a month left to go and I’ve already gained 32 pounds (I’m pretty sure 10 of those pounds are in my ankles and feet alone though). It’s rough to feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to and still not be doing it right.

On a related note, they’ve started to “weigh” Booger. On the bell curve of baby weight, Booger is around the 30%. The doctor is ok with this (they only worry at 10%), but it made me really nervous. Do I need more vitamins? What aren’t I doing that I should be doing? A minor spiral of crazy happened. And then I thought about it a little more rationally. As a child, I was always below average for weight. No eating disorders, I just have tiny little bones (like my parents). As a fun example, I learned once that the average female ring size is a 7, most jewelers don’t carry a ring below a size 5 and I wear a 3 1/2. Yeah… little bones! So I shouldn’t be too surprised that a child I would create would be small as well.

My current bit of additional crazy happy thought: I still have an “innie” belly button! It’s super shallow but it’s not an outie!

Booger’s Movement: Still super active (which actually does make the doctor really happy – she’s says it’s a better indicator than weight, so I should stop my worrying). We’ve started to be able to see Booger move (without the ultrasound)! Such a trip! Booger also gets the hiccups a lot (websites say it doesn’t bother Booger, but I hate when I get the hiccups, so I can’t image that he/she likes them!) As of last week, I can now watch Booger’s hiccups (my belly bounces) – so odd!

Food: No odd food cravings as of yet. Everyone asks, but nope – I’m still loving everything I’ve always normally loved and I’m happy with variety. I will admit that I have eaten pickles and ice cream… but I’ve been doing that since I was 7, so I don’t think it counts!

Pictures: I’m super behind on these. I was trying to do every odd week, but with fixing up the new house and then the move, I missed a week… so now it’s random weeks whenever I happen to remember…

I tucked in the shirt a little to better highlight the belly

I tucked in the shirt a little to better highlight the belly

After some home renovations, hence the crazy hair (I literally cropped a mountain of tools out of this picture). Also it's a sneak peak to the new paint job in our kitchen!

After some home renovations, hence the crazy hair (I literally cropped a mountain of tools out of this picture). Also it’s a sneak peak to the new paint job in our kitchen!

And for a little comparison:

Only a 3 week difference, but I feel like the belly got so much bigger! Plus, both pictures feature the "I'm not really awake yet" face!

Only a 3 week difference, but I feel like the belly got so much bigger! Plus, both pictures feature the “I’m not really awake yet” face!

Body Image – Part 3

Things are going really well here in my land of pregnancy. Well, at least I think so. I have another ultrasound this week and I’m being tested for gestational diabetes… so I guess I’ll let you know later in the week if the doctors think all is well. Here’s the update from my point of view though:

My latest physical obsession: My fingernails are growing so quickly! They are out of control! I trim them and then bam! what feels like only 2 days later, they look like massive talons. Neither of the cats have complained yet though…

How I feel physically: Great! Besides feeling round, I’m not in pain. No sciatica or anything like that so I’m counting my blessings! Although, I’ve just entered the 3rd trimester, so I have a feeling that things are going to change. I’m hoping I remain pain free and just feel more and more round.

One side effect of pregnancy is a stuffy nose because of increased mucus production, and I’m totally experiencing that. I don’t think it’s a big deal, it just means that I blow my nose about 3 times per day. However, I’m pretty sure it’s absolutely freaking out the two germaphobes that I sit between at work. They keep mistaking it as some sort of illness, but I’m pretty sure “pregnant” isn’t an airborne disease…

How I feel emotionally:  I still don’t feel like a crazy psycho person hormonally, which is great. There is just one exception. Even before getting pregnant, I was pretty easy to make cry. Not necessarily in my daily life, but songs and movies could totally get me going (if there is animal abuse in a movie – forget it, I’m a mess!) So that personal trait has just been heightened. My wonderful boyfriend will say something like “oh, I just heard this song the other day and I thought you would like it” and the next thing you know, I’m full-on sobbing in my kitchen (next to the iPod speaker). It’s ridiculous. At least once per weekend, you’ll find me in the kitchen bawling my eyes out, with T hugging me, swaying slightly, and apologizing for setting it all in motion. And I appreciate it, because he must be trying really hard not to laugh. I know it’s all absurd.  Luckily, as soon as the song is over, I’m fine. For examples of the things that make me cry, check out Same Love  by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and The Good Stuff by Kenny Chesney.

What others are saying: Last time I mentioned a very sweet compliment I had received about not looking pregnant… well I think that has gone out the window! One of the women I sit near (but I don’t actually work with) didn’t know I was pregnant “until she saw me waddle past her office.” 😦 Yep, that’s right, I waddle now. She’s a mother of 2, so I don’t think she meant to hurt my feelings. And I do waddle… so, you know… it was just the truth. (My feelings weren’t really hurt)

Moving: Booger is still wiggling up a storm in there and I’ve learned his awake times for the most part (they usually coincide with when I eat). But I’ve learned there is one sure-fire way to incite a dance party in my tummy regardless of the schedule: get a purring cat to lay across my tummy. Unfortunately, a belly dance party is also a sure-fire way to freak out a purring cat and get him to leave. Within 2 minutes of the purring cat leaving, the dance party stops. I think it’s the vibration and not the sound. Because if my sweet, male cat lays within inches of my tummy (next to me, on my lap, or on my chest), it won’t start a wiggle fest. It only works if he’s directly on top of the tummy.

Pictures:

Slowly getting better at the picture thing? Although it kinda looks like the belly is getting smaller... and it really isn't....

Slowly getting better at the picture thing? Except for the blurry face part.  Although it kinda looks like the belly is getting smaller… and it really isn’t….

Body Image – Part 2

I had a doctor’s appointment a week and a half ago… so I’m going to pretend that all of the information I’m spouting is current… and not delayed due to my own posting laziness. (Most of it’s the same, just not the weight gain part… but I don’t know how it’s changed)

Weight Gain: In the last month, since I last saw my doctor, I’ve gained 9 pounds! That brings her “official weight gain total” to 18 pounds! The suggested healthy weight gain (by week 40, I was only 25 weeks when I saw her) is 25 to 35 pounds… I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be on the high side…

My latest physical obsession: how shallow my belly button is getting! I knew it would happen (I’m still really hoping my belly button doesn’t become an outie – I HATE belly buttons), but it’s so weird to watch it happen. My belly button has always been pretty deep, at least I think so. It’s weird for it to seem so SHORT!

How I feel: pretty good actually! Had I written this right after seeing the doctor, I would have said great. Last night however, both on the couch and tossing and turning in bed, I started to feel like a turtle on its back – it’s getting harder to move around on my own!

Weird fact: The doctor told me that if Booger were born now, he/she would have a really good chance of survival. I still wouldn’t be able to take him/her home from the hospital until after the due date (end of May), but he/she would live! I find that so crazy, he/she is only a little more than half-baked! Stay in the oven, Booger!

(side note: the he/she stuff is weird. I think I’m just going to switch between the two at random – but know, we still don’t know the gender)

Best compliment I’ve received so far (although I totally don’t think it’s true): “You don’t even look pregnant from behind! I didn’t know until you turned around!” Thank you very much, sweet liar. I appreciate you trying to make me feel like I’m not carrying  1/2 of this baby weight on butt/back/hips/thighs!

If you’re looking for a nice way to compliment a pregnant friend, I totally recommend stealing that one! It made me feel good all day!

Moving: I’ve been feeling Booger moving for about a month now. My wonderful boyfriend has felt it all of the 3 times (and 2 of those were back to back). I swear anytime he puts his hand to my belly, the little Booger stops moving! 2 minutes after T removes his hand, I’m back to hosting a dance party. I wonder if it has anything to do with the soothing nature that T’s hand is always comfortably warm. Part of me thinks I’m already creating a brat though. Even the doctor got to feel a flip when she was chasing Booger around to hear his heartbeat!

Pictures: I PROMISE to get the hang of this by week 40!!!!

Week 25 (a bit more than 6 months pregnant). I thought the comparison might be fun, too.

Week 25 (a bit more than 6 months pregnant). I thought the comparison might be fun, too.

Body Image

I thought I would do sort of a “mind and body” update because one of my favorite bloggers, Caitlyn at Healthy Tipping Point, did that style of post during her pregnancy and I really enjoyed it. So… here’s how I’m feeling lately:

One of my wonderful boyfriend’s co-workers suggested to him that he read The Expectant Father during my pregnancy and to prepare for the birth.

He hasn’t read it yet, but when he does, I’ll give you a review. I just picked it up from the library for him this weekend and while I was making myself a snack, I decided to flip through it. I didn’t read much, but I like what I happened to read.

The book was cautioning that during the 4th and 5th month, hormones are haywire and the father may need to deal with some mood swings. Personally, I don’t think I’ve been suffering from this at all. I checked with T and he agreed that I’ve been very even-keel and basically just my regular, old self. (whew!)

In the next sentence, the book also warned that the mother is probably feeling uncomfortable about her own body and hasn’t felt this way about herself since puberty. Holy cow! I couldn’t agree more! That comment in the book totally crystalized all of my recent insecurities.

It really is bizarre to be in a body that’s constantly changing and growing at an undetermined pace. It’s hard emotionally to not fit in your favorite clothes anymore. I’ve been trying to wear some of my pre-maternity shirts while I still can so that I don’t get sick of the few maternity shirts I own, but there have been a bunch of days where I get to work and suddenly feel like I made a poor choice and spend the entire day tugging at my ill-fitting clothes. I’ve been in maternity pants for a while and they are super great. But I only own three pairs. On other days, I wear my old pants and a “BeBand” that T’s sister was nice enough to give me for Christmas.

The marketing photo

It’s basically a tight piece of fabric to keep one’s unbuttoned pants from falling down. It’s a nice thought, but I still know that my pants are unbuttoned all day and I really hope no one can tell.

It was a rough day when I realized that the loosest pants I own didn’t fit anymore (one reality is that they are really high-waisted so they were the first ones I grew out of). Everything is awkward. Also, it’s not just the belly getting bigger. I’m pretty sure that my butt is getting both wider and closer to my knees. It’s really bumming me out (lame pun totally intended!).

Oh and I don’t own a single bra that’s comfortable anymore. Now, let me point out that my “girls” never got bigger, ever! In fact, they got smaller in the first trimester. (And I’m a “card-carrying member” of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, so I was really looking forward to some cleavage!) But despite the girls being the same size, my expanding body makes me want bras with more width around the body.

On top of feeling pubescent again, everyone around me is excited to comment on my shape. So here I am, trying to hide that the shirt that seemed like a good idea this morning, is too tight and my jeans are unbuttoned and my bra is digging into my ribs; meanwhile everyone around me asking how my belly is doing and if they can see the bump (through clothes of course, most of the askers are my co-workers). I’m really glad that at least no one commented when I was actually going through puberty!

Week 23 out of 40. Sorry for the super terrible lighting, and I'm about to put on pjs and go to bed - hense the sleepy look. I'll try for better pictures as the weeks progress...

Week 23 out of 40. Sorry for the super terrible lighting, and I’m about to put on pjs and go to bed – hence the sleepy look. I’ll try for better pictures as the weeks progress…

Additionally, lots of my coworkers (who recently had kids) like to tell me that I’m “too little” and haven’t gained nearly enough weight. Which makes me feel guilty and worried. (Luckily, at my last doctor’s appointment, they told me that I’m doing great and my weight gain is just what they like to see! And they may have told me that I shouldn’t listen to my coworkers’ unsolicited “advice” especially if it hurts my feelings. My nurse practitioner may be a little sassy and totally awesome.)

And the people who are too afraid to ask to see the bump, try to catch glimpses of it. And I totally understand that they are trying to be polite, but it’s a weird experience for me. No one has ever tried to steal glimpses of my body before (see above comment about tiny boobs). Side note: I was one of these people who wouldn’t ask but would try to secretly look at pregnant women around my office. I just hope I didn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable.

I love weekends because at least I feel “skinny” in my old sweatpants. And that’s a huge reason I was so excited about running again. For 30 minutes, I almost felt like I was still in my own/old body. And I know someone else was there with me too, but for a few minutes I could feel good about myself physically.

I hope this didn’t sound like too much of a complaint. I just thought I would shed a little insight into an insecurity I didn’t see coming.

But really, I AM super excited that I’m not suffering from mood swings! And my wonderful boyfriend is living up to his moniker and being awesome and sweet and trying to make me feel pretty whenever possible. And the worst of my “baby brain” has been trying to put Hersey’s syrup in the freezer after making a chocolate milk (and quickly noticing my mistake). Other than that, I think my mental faculties have remained mostly intact (so far).

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