The Bump

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……)

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30 thoughts on “The Bump

  1. Just blame the pregnancy hormones, that’s what I do. I know my butt is sagging (and bigger) *sigh* and supposedly my husband loves it (he better keep saying so) but it depressing when so much of your body changes out of your control. I can’t wait for the day that I can have my body back. I never thought of myself as having body issues but it’s been depressing when maternity jeans are too tight on the legs or a medium maternity shirt is too tight around the arms 😦

  2. I have no experience with this, as you know. So all my hopes and dreams of a future baby bump are the puppies and rainbows kind.
    I do think about it though, in the beginning, when you’re showing but it’s the awkward showing stage, where you just feel more fat than you do pregnant. I wonder though in months 6-9 if when the bump takes over you’ll feel more… beautiful or at least purposeful? I think a lot of pregnant women are beautiful. Until one day I searched on youtube for pregnancy bellies out of curiosity and I got all super skinny women that looked like pregnant goats and I was appalled and scared and it felt like the movie alien or something.
    I guess I fantasize about gaining weight in all the right places, belly only. Now that I think about it, gaining weight in the face, arms… back.. ugh.
    I’ve heard the worst shocker is after the baby is born and you leave the hospital and head home, most women are traumatized by the fact that they still have to wear their pregnancy clothes, that it takes months for their bellies to shrink. So you look pregs even though you aren’t. Deflated pregs.
    Despite your discomfort.. I am sure you probably are gorgeous and glowing. Thanks for being honest about your feelings though!
    and agreed, NO RANDOM STRANGER BELLY TOUCHES! You should carry around one of those buzzers from the game taboo, and buzz people when they touch your belly.

    • Yeah, it is weird where you notice the weight. The fantasy definitely is that you will only gain in the belly and be all cute and bubbly about it. And then, of course, your back would also never hurt and your boobs, however porn-star hot they might be, would not be so sore that wearing a bra is excrutiating. I am sure I am a little dramatic, I can definitely, DEFINITELY admit that, it is just tough to watch your entire body to change ALL AT THE SAME TIME! I have hope that I will grow to love it.

      Thanks so much!!! I winced when I posted that picture. (And I just winced again thinking about people seeing it!) Eeeek!

  3. First of all, you look great! I am super jealous of your arms; you would think looking at me that something malfunctioned and that I have babies growing in my arms as well as my abdomen.

    Secondtively, taking that first preggo pic was harder than it needed to be for me, too. I’m just not that woman who takes a weekly picture to chronicle my expanding tummy. Putting the pic on my blog was kind of a strange thing because it was like, “Look. I’m not lying. Please be kind.” Body issues and me go back (way back) so I’ve always dreaded pregnancy because I thought I would become morbidly obese. Luckily, the baby is proving to be worth it. Great post!

    • 1. Thank you so much! I am sure you don’t look like you are growing arm babies, but I know exactly how you feel, I am pretty sure that I am also growing a child on my back. It is super hot.

      2. It really was quite the undertaking for me to finally buckle down and do it. This picture was taken at the start of this week at 21 weeks and four days and it was literally the first time I allowed myself to admit that people could actually SEE me. (Evidently, I thought that if I didn’t have photographic proof that I was pregnant, no one else could tell or it wouldn’t actually be true. I am getting there! My resolution for the rest of the pregnancy is to take a photo every week for the rest of the pregnancy, because I have heard from other mom blogs/moms in general that they regret NOT doing so. (They probably will NOT all show up here…lol)

      3. Thanks again! I feel better already…phew…

    • Oh, B-Dizzle. I love you! Thank you and I will take pictures…but only for you. Because, even though MB won’t let you be my baby daddy, you are still one of the true loves of my life! XOXO.

  4. You are absolutely ADORABLE and your posts make me laugh so hard I’m crying. 6 weeks until we find out what we are having and I’m sure, as you did, I will ball my eyes out at the mere sight of a newborn outfit once we actually know what we are having. You are beautiful. 110%

    • Thank you so much! Seriously, the outfit thing was so strange! We had been looking at baby clothes for HOURS and I had literally picked up a bajillion outfits and I don’t know what happened! I had to hand it over to MB and run away! And he laughed at me for 20 minutes! (oh, the hormones…)

      heh…the buzzer really is a good idea. And it might prevent the PUNCHING which is inevitable!

  5. I definitely went through this, having various points of my pregnancy freaking out about whether my body would go back to anywhere near what it used to look like. People keep telling me that I’m that magical kind of “all belly” pregnant chick but it’s a myth– that just means your belly is SO BIG that your (still bigger) butt looks small IN COMPARISON– I can plainly see that my butt was not nearly so big before. I hope you also get the magic window I had, during the second trimester for awhile I actually felt pretty cute– no pressure to look skinny for once (then the middle of the third trimester hits and nobody is cute anymore). With my baby coming any day now I’m just dreading what that giant belly is going to look like without a baby in it filling it out!

  6. Try as hard as you can to embrace it. I promise it gets better. Eventually. My body issues go way back… and pregnancy really changed how I feel. It took me almost four years to get comfortable with my post pregnant body. But when I did… it was unlike any moment I’d had before. My body… my body (!) grew that prefect creature that amused me endlessly, that saved me from my shitty marriage, that taught me how to love myself and be a mother and grow the hell up. My body did all that. And I forgave it. For not being perfect. And I was glad that it was mine.

    Chin up, mama. You look great!!!

    • Yes, I totally relate to this, Kelly! I was always insecure about this or that, but as soon as I got preg and I was so proud of what my body was doing for the BEBE. I felt like I was a) special and b) glorious. Especially the bigger I got. It was more proof of the hard work my body was going through. And when I gave birth, even though 10 people were staring at my cooter, I got over so much in that moment. I didn’t care who saw me breast feed, or that I gave a 3-hr peep show. It was my body and it did great.

  7. You’re a nut. You look fantastic! I’m shocked and so excited that you actually took AND posted a prego photo! Go you! If this isn’t warming up to the idea, I don’t know what is!

    PS I still want to go out to lunch. We need to make a date. I wanted to do this week but then had a wee crisis. I’ll have to update you soon.

    See you and that belly soon! And don’t worry, I won’t touch… maybe. haha

  8. I can’t believe you posted a picture!!! OMG! You look SO pretty! I did not and still do not regret not taking pictures of my belly weekly. I am the same as you with the picture thing. I did have one taken a few days before I gave birth and still cringe when I look at it.
    I love the buzzer idea too! Elsa was SO scared of that thing and I have it on video.I think it’s also so cute that you burst into tears over a baby outfit. I love you! You will be a great mother! Hang in there with the belly touching. It stops for a little but and then resumes again at the end. I wanted to bend back so many hands and grab their bellies as well. You know me…

  9. I’m glad you shared your picture, and that you’re writing about this. I’m super scared of how this is going to change my body. I’m working on the whole acceptance thing too!

    • It was super hard to write about because I sort of felt weird and superficial, but I figured I CANNOT be the only woman who feels this way and is totally terrified! I think that it is way worse in our heads than it is in reality! But man, thanks EVERYONE for all the support!

  10. You are adorable! No worries, ‘k? (P.S. I did the same thing looking at a cute little newborn outfit. It was hard to believe I would eventually be having something that would be WEARING it. It got me – instinctively, it felt like – emotional).

  11. OMG you so need to shut up, you as always look totally fabulous!!! (Your boobs have always been fantastic btw, and I mean that in the least lesbian way possible…not that theres anything wrong with that…) I have always said you and Jenn were 2 of the most naturally beautiful people I have every known,,,its sickening really!!

    • Oh, Tara, thank you so much! (I know you love my boobs in a non-lesbian way…hahaha!) You are the best, but don’t think this means I will ever post a picture here of my belly tattoo! That will be a private thing…wink, wink. I love you!

  12. Hi!

    With my first pregnancy I hid under baggy tee-shirts and preggie pants from the beginning – I was very scared that people would know I was pregnant. I have also always been very body conscious and I am most often quite displeased with said body.

    With the second pregnancy I obviously knew I owuld fit into my normal clothes for quite a while still and I am looking forward quite greedliy to giving birth and staring breastfeeding as I know my baby, after doing this horror to my body, will drink it to a much thinner state in no time!

    You look wonderful, by the way!

    • It is weird. I don’t care if people know I am pregnant, I just don’t want them to bring it up and make a big deal about it. People tend to be wildly inappropriate when talking to pregnant women and I don’t do well with that kind of thing!

      thanks!!!

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