“Wow, you’re huge!!!”
“Are you sure you’re not having twins?”
“You look like you’re about to burst!!”
“You MUST be due any day now!”
For the last few weeks, even months, I’ve heard these comments (and then some) as my burgeoning belly has taken center stage. One might think I’d be offended by these statements, but with the exception of an ill-intentioned commenter or two, I’ve been quite happy to laugh with my friends over the fact that I appear to have trapped some sort of ball (or egg? or watermelon?) under my shirt, and I smile graciously when I see a stranger’s eyeballs pop out of their head when I walk by. My responses are not forced. They come from a sincere place of growth and acceptance of the amazing, awkward, and at times challenging changes my body has gone through as I’ve been so blessed to be able to carry a precious baby in my womb.
This is a far cry from my mentality the first time. When I asked my husband if he noticed any differences between my pregnancies, he was quick to point out that I’ve been much more confident and self-assured this go round, and I have to agree. In comparing the two, I acknowledge the fact that once I was out of my 1st trimester misery they have been quite different experiences.
From my weight gain, to how it was distributed on my body, to a number of health incidents, it’s safe to say that my darling Alexandra put me through the ringer! For the most part it’s been a much smoother journey with this little one, so is that why I feel so much better about it all?
Maybe I’m able to hold my chin up knowing that I have the ability to work hard and regain my pre-preggo body, because I’ve done it once before.
That’s a possibility.
I suppose the fact that I put more effort into investing in myself this time didn’t hurt either.
But for all the external reasons I could list, the truth is that none of it matters if I don’t make the choice to embrace my body in its current state.
Although I sometimes frown and pout when I look in the mirror, get really disheartened when I flip through photos of myself pre-kiddos, or even hold back tears when I just feel so unattractive, I’m growing a life inside of me and I think that warrants cutting myself some slack!!!!
As my pregnancy comes to an end I find myself experiencing an array of emotions. I’m excited, nervous, relieved and a bit sad to let the super-sized tummy go, but it is a process that will always be close to this mommy’s heart.
From the bump at the beginning…
to the growth in the middle…
and finally the big, PROUD belly at the end…
this time around I embraced it all!
My belly IS large, huge even! My back aches because of the weight, it slows me down, sleep is practically non-existent, and I’m not sure I’m convinced that these stretch marks will EVER leave, BUT any day (or moment) now I will be holding my precious girl and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that all the challenges to come (physically and otherwise) will be worth it 100 times over. For that, I praise the Lord! :)