Learning to Love, or at Least Like, Your Pregnant Self

When I was 30 weeks pregnant someone said this to me “how come other people look cute pregnant and me… and you… just look huge?”

I’ll let that soak in for a minute.

This isn’t the first time someone has said something to me that couldn’t be interpreted as anything other than an insult.  When I was pregnant with my second, a customer actually scoffed when I mentioned my pre-pregnancy size.

Even pregnant women can manage to say the wrong thing to other pregnant women.30weeksweight

Now, what was my hormone-charged reaction to this woman telling me I look huge instead of cute?

Well, I laughed. Because it was funny. And I told her that other people looked cute because they were the one who is pregnant and not you and that we always judge ourselves (and apparently sales people) differently.

I was 30 weeks pregnant. Quickly on my way to outweighing my husband, I had dimples in places that aren’t cute, and just holding up a pair of jeans two sizes larger than my regular size I could already tell they’d be too tight.

Compared to non-pregnant me, I was huge.

And you know what? I’m totally okay with it.  I felt great about how I looked, which is why what she said really didn’t bother me.

I work with a lot of women, and I am always shocked how many women seem to truly hate their pregnant bodies.  It seems that at least once a day I hear someone say “I’m just so fat”.

To which I usually say “Stop.”

Just stop.  This will not help you. And besides, you’re completely missing the point.

Now there are extremes on either end, some people who gain too much and people who gain too little, but for the average pregnant lady (who always seem to be the most critical) I look at it like this:

olympiansSwimmers have long bodies and broad shoulders because they need strong arms and a strong back to perform strokes like the butterfly.

Marathon runners are much less broad, they are lean and spindly, they need to be light and muscular to carry their weight for long distances.

Olympic weight lifters have very big biceps of course but also large quads to stabilize themselves as they lift over 500lbs of weight.

And you’re going to need a few extra dimples on your butt to grow a strong and healthy baby.

Pregnancy and birth are nothing short of an Olympic feat. So take it easy on the self-criticism –at least temporarily.

So, no, I didn’t win any bikini contests during my pregnancy (never won one not pregnant so it’s not a hard loss). And, yeah, it’s a bummer when even your pajama pants are tight.  But I wasn’t about to be the one turning to the person next to me on the climb up Mt. Everest asking “Does this snow suit make my butt look big?”.

Because I’ll miss the view from the mountain.

And I’ll ruin the journey.

And I’ll stop myself from enjoying something that most people only get to do a few times in their life– if they are lucky. Some people never get to do it at all.

And who knows… Maybe being able to accept (maybe even love) your pregnant body… you might be able to make a few steps in forgiving that non-pregnant body too.