Well, ladies and gents, it is official. I look like a giant, pregnant beast.
Over the weekend, MB and I decided that, on our way back from our lovely day of “playing tourist” in nearby St. Augustine, we would stop by the outlet mall on the way home. I had no idea how many baby stores there are in that place! I guess when you don’t have any reason to pay attention to baby stores, you don’t really notice that they even exist. And I definitely, before now, have never wanted anything to do with these places. Anyway, we bought about 300 little outfits for the wee one and one of them actually made me BURST INTO TEARS. Yes, I cried like a bitch at the mere SIGHT of an adorable little newborn outfit. And then I wanted to thrown myself into traffic. I did not. I, instead, put the item back on the rack and exited the store as fast as my gigantic body could do so.
Then we went into a maternity store.
I was super excited at the idea of possibly finding some semi-stylish clothing that might actually flatter my baby bump rather than making me look like…a house. I tried on 23 pairs of jeans, each one fitting stranger than the last, and ended up leaving with a bra the size of the entire Pacific Northwest, and a pair of those jeans that come up to your neck.
I was overly body-conscious many times in my life before becoming pregnant. And I am no stranger to being totally disgusted with my reflection, but generally, I can recognize that most of this insecurity is in my head. I do know, intellectually, that I am an attractive person. Big ass or not. (As it turns out, lots of people like a big ass!) I have naturally blonde hair and big, blue eyes. I have cute-ish freckles on my nose and cheeks and my eyelashes go for days. I am physically pretty. And on many levels, I know this. I KNOW IT, but I don’t always SEE it.
Being pregnant has made it harder to recognize the things about myself that I have always appreciated. Sure, my blonde hair is thicker and feels fantastic. And my cheeks do sort of glow with that tell-tale pregnant lady rosiness. And even though they make me FEEL a bit bovine, my boobs look pretty damn fantastic. But I can’t help but just feel huge. Huge and unattractive and anxious. I think that, having had body issues my whole life, adjusting to this weight gain and shape-changing has been more painful for me than anything else. My anxiety about being in public grows with my belly. I tend to feel that, without MB, who constantly tells me that I am the most beautiful thing in the world, I cannot brave the world outside. I don’t want strangers to stare at my midsection or try to touch me (because, unpreggos, it is NEVER appropriate to touch strangers’ bellies, I cannot stress this enough!) Up until now, I could convince myself to be confident all on my own. Now I sort of just want to shrink away until this baby is out. OUT!
Yesterday, I cried while I got dressed. And I may have just been having one of those over-emotional pregnant lady days, but it definitely felt like my chest was about to cave in. I am hoping that I start to make progress on accepting my body the way it is. Because I really do INTELLECTUALLY know that the worst is yet to come. The belly is going to continue to grow and the pants will continue to stretch and then, in what seems like years from now, I will finally get this thing out of my abdomen and hopefully start my journey back to my, slightly overweight but pretty damn adorable pre-pregnancy self.
All of this crazy is the main reason that, up until last week, I wouldn’t even take a picture of myself because I couldn’t bear for there to be photographic evidence that this is what I look like. In attempt to get over myself, here I am Internet. Baby bump and all. (exhale……)