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Pregnancy and Body Image

Happy Friday! Can you believe next week it will be Labor Day Weekend?  Crazy!!?! I felt like the first part of the summer went sooo slowly, but the second half just flew along! I feel like September will be another quick month which is awesome because I just scheduled our “find out the sex” ultrasound for the first week of October! Woohoo! Nate and I are definitely finding out what we’re having—there’s been no question all along. I feel like once we know what we’re having 1.) Things will feel more “real” 2.) We’ll be able to start doing some shopping and planning 3.) We may have more clarity on the name front.

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My nephew: Baby Judah

We spent some time last night shopping, I was looking for some sort of “in between” clothes or maybe some maternity wear, but nothing was speaking to me. All the maternity stuff was “blah” or too expensive (in my opinion). I ended up getting some black leggings because you can always wear black leggings. I was also pleased that I made it through this shopping trip without a body image breakdown (probably not trying anything on helped).

The last time I went shopping with my sister I had a major sobbing breakdown after I got home. Please hear me that I am so excited to have a baby and I’m so thankful for this incredible gift. But at the same time, as a woman, sometimes I look at my changing body, which doesn’t really look pregnant yet, just uh, chubby, and I struggle. I feel unattractive. The hormones rage. I judge myself. I feel like I should somehow do more to appear totally fit until the day I wake up with the cutest little pop of pregnant belly that looks like a pregnant belly.

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I never thought that I would struggle this way. I was always the girl joking about how awesome it would be to down doughnuts while pregnant without consequence.  But here I was sobbing on the couch with my very surprised husband who was swearing that I look the same, while trying to figure out if I was really, seriously crying over this.

I think the root of my struggle is the lack of control. My body has always been something I could (mostly) control—my size, strength, endurance—and for the time being, I can’t. It is becoming what it needs to become to give life to my child. And even though I may not like every part of the process, it is a beautiful thing.

* It took me awhile to decide to share this, because it is incredibly personal and makes me feel super vulnerable;  but my hope is that this opens up a helpful and encouraging conversation about pregnancy and body image. If you can’t be part of this discussion in a helpful or encouraging way, please don’t be in it all.*

 

Did you ever struggle with pregnancy and body image?  Why do you think you felt that way? 

What was/is your favorite part of pregnancy? 

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10 Comments

  1. I think you’re beautiful! This was so encouraging to me because Josiah and I will hopefully be having babies within the next couple years and I’m afraid of what it will do to my body. I loved when you said,”It’s becoming what it needs to become to give life to my child.” How else could we bear life without our bodies changing to help that process?! You helped me realize the obvious and consider it a blessing that God makes us (women) capable of performing such a miracle!

    Mothers sacrifice so much for their children, especially their bodies.. Being a mother will help you be more like Christ! And hopefully you will grow closer to Him through the process 🙂 He definitely sacrificed His looks and comfort on the cross. I admire people who are willing to be like Him. This post definitely made me admire you more. For being honest and open about feeling insecure, and for working through your struggles to do the Lord’s will. He will surely bless you and your cute little family! Love and prayers!!

  2. Hey Katie Beth! You know I love you and you know I think you’re beautiful! 🙂 A friend shared this link on facebook, and I wanted to share it with you. It may not mean that much coming from a non-mom friend seeing as how I haven’t actually been through this struggle yet, but knowing myself as I do, I know I will probably have the same sort of feelings, so it sort of helped to encourage me even before I really need it. 🙂 Love you! 🙂

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joy-gabriel/kate-middleton-and-the-mom-in-the-mirror_b_3672553.html

  3. You are adorable, and it is so worth it! You are in no way chubby. You are growing an amazing child and the end is worth it no matter what!

  4. I feel your pain.
    I sigh, I cry, I hate all pictures. I also hate it when people say “you look beautiful; you’re all belly!” I say “thank you,” but what I really want to say is, “so I’m having a 40 lb baby then?” or, “so you think I was this fat 7 months ago?!?!”
    It’s pretty telling though when people who aren’t that close to me ask me when I’m due and then get really wide eyes when I tell them November. It’s like they expected me to say I was overdue already. 🙂
    sigh…. Just remember that it’s only for a little while and nursing burns 500-600 calories per day.
    I was below my starting weight and looked amazing 9 months after Ellie was born.
    You’re almost halfway done and barely have a belly yet, so I think you’re going to do just fine. 🙂
    Keep your chin up!

  5. This post is so true for so many pregnant women and yet it goes without being talked about! I am currently 6 months pregnant and have noticed many changes to my body and although I am so grateful for the life that is growing inside me, people still don’t completely understand that there are body image issues we deal with! I’ve had comments made to me already like “I think you’re going to have a big baby.” Or “wow. . your due date is still THAT far away? I thought you were a lot farther along”. I let those comments get to me and I started comparing myself to other pregnant women and it really brought me down for a while (doesn’t help that our bodies are raging with hormones!) But I have made myself remember that I am growing a HUMAN BEING. And as long as I do what I can, I can be at peace with that. Thank you for posting this. More posts need to be written like this.

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