More Self Esteem While Pregnant? You Betcha!

I’m about halfway through this pregnancy.  Aside from the whole sickness thing, the fact that I don’t really like my doctor thing, the overly sensitive nipples thing, the leaking boobs thing, and the fact that my back is already starting to kill me, I feel pretty good!

How weird is it that I have WAY more self esteem while pregnant than I do when not?  I find it weird.  Yet, not really.  I always get VERY annoyed when I hear or read of some pregnant woman talking about wanting to get her figure back.  I remember reading about one woman on a message board who hated her pregnant body so much that she actually said she would never get pregnant again because she couldn’t stand looking like a whale.  Maybe I am being insensitive, but in my head, of all the many reasons to not have any more children the reason that says “I hate looking fat” seems to ugly and vain that it really upsets me.  Again, I might not know the whole story and blah blah blah, but that is complete horseshit to value your looks so much.

I feel good about my body when I’m pregnant.  Because of my glamorous sickness, I always lose a little bit of weight in the beginning so that my arms and legs look nice and slender as compared to the big boobs and giant belly.  Yeah, my face gets huge and I get a fat neck and about 4 chins, but that’s a problem in my non-pregnant life too.  Yeah, I get horrific acne that looks more like halloween makeup than real pimples.  Yeah my already thick hair takes on the texture of a brillo pad instead of that glorious hair all the books try to tell me I may get.  My feet sweat, I have veins sticking out on me everywhere, and I cry a good deal more than I’d like to admit…and yet I still feel better about my body in this state than when I’m not pregnant.

Pregnant women are supposed to look soft and curvy.  REAL pregnant women (not starving celebrity moms) get puffy  faces and feet.  The big boobs aren’t a product of plastic surgery.  To me, by being pregnant, I can finally embrace without discomfort or second guessing all that is beautiful about being a woman.  In a society where the media and entertainment outlets glorify an emaciated female form, in being pregnant I can scoff at all of that and know that this soft curvy body is just as it should be.  That this is healthy and perfectly normal.

I wish so much that this self esteem would carry over after the pregnancy…but I know from past experience that it won’t.  Soon after this baby is born, I will start feeling the pressure to lose the baby weight.  I’ll start feeling some sort of need to get my body to a place where it doesn’t look like I recently gave life to a whole person.  I’ll start torturing myself by once a week trying to squeeze into pre-pregnancy pants and chastising myself for not being able to get them on yet.  I’ll berate myself for having to smoosh my deflated and flappy stomach into a girdle or control top panty hose.  It’s not fun, it’s not pretty, and I hate that I do it to myself.  I wish I could feel about myself like I do now and just say, “It’s ok, Somer.  You’re perfectly healthy and there’s nothing wrong with your body.  Calm the fuck down and relax.”  But that won’t be how it will work out.  I hid a lot of this self-torture after I had Lukas.  By not talking about it, perhaps I felt that I didn’t need to be held accountable to buying into society’s standards all the while calling them unfair.  But I’m writing about it now, before I start doing it.  My state of mind is relaxed about that subject right now.  I like my body and I hope to look back on this and say, “Look at that.  And you were WAY puffier then than you are now.  What the hell are you whining about?  Really?”

Oh well.  I’m going to enjoy the next 20 or so weeks of not having to worry about pants sizes and my multiple chins.  I am going to sit in my rocking chair every night and stroke my enormous belly and giggle about how my big boobs keep getting in the way of everything.    I’m going to take a vacation from trying to be what I’m told is perfect.

Yay me!

Somer blogs at Merry Wife of Canon as well as Smell My Plate.

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