I want to start this by saying that pregnancy is amazing. It’s an experience full of ups and downs, seemingly miraculous moments and deep, soul-quenching emotions. It is something I hope that every woman who wants to experience will get the chance to. I do not take my fertility and my healthy pregnancies for granted. Not one single moment. I have been VERY blessed. But being pregnant has it ups (as I mentioned) and DOWNS. Besides the less than feminine symptoms (heartburn, gas, constipation, surprise bathroom needs, hemorrhoids, etc.), roller coasters of emotions/hormones, and daily aches and pains, there is having to deal with the general public.
It seems pregnancy is either glorified (as celebs seem to be becoming pregnant and announcing it in droves nowadays, and the media has become obsessed) or naively discouraged, in the form of rude and unsolicited remarks, shocking boundary-loss (don’t touch my belly!) and the insinuations that all woman who are pregnant are FAT and lazy. Though I haven’t experienced extremes in any of these realms, it has been heartrendingly hard to feel beautiful in this pregnancy. I have let this society we live in convince me that I’m not a beautiful pregnant woman and I’m going to have to endure 9+ months of UGLY. And feeling beautiful, I believe, is a deep need for women. Not a desire, but a need. Since the time of Adam and Eve, women were created to be beautiful and pleasing to men. Eve found favor in the eyes of Adam. How terrible to feel that you aren’t beautiful…
Besides the obvious that I’m bigger this time around, more tired, not “glowing” or cheery, I’ve just felt really out-of-my-element in this pregnancy. I have to laugh at magazine articles or even Pinterest pins touting maternity style or yummy mummies (laugh, and simultaneously feel gross about myself). I don’t really care about having style right now. It’s 100 degrees outside and I can guarantee you are going to see me in a tank top, shorts and flip flops on any given day right now. But beyond that, I’m more concerned about my health and the health of this little fetus. And I realize that I only have a few more months to experience pregnancy. This will be the end of our little family and though I sometimes loathe pregnancy, I’ve come to understand it and sort of settle into it. A tiny tiny tiny part of me will miss the miracle of growing a human being inside my body. That part, IS beautiful to me. That part, I love. Hearing that little heartbeat… feeling kicks and rolls… the first moment of locking eyes after birth… growing something from single cells to a 8 (or 9) pound precious baby. So so beautiful.
So I’m choosing to focus on those moments. I’m choosing to retrain my brain to understand what true beauty is and not be dazzled (or discouraged) by the mirage that the world tries to feed me. It may not be a conventional idea of beauty, but there is beauty in so many precious moments that pass by so very quickly. I’m going to find beauty in my bump these last few months… until I get to see the beauty of my newborn son when he arrives. My heart is full.