Today I want to talk about something that is really hard for me to admit. I want to bring it up because there are probably a lot of pregnant women who have the same thoughts, and I think it’s worth sharing that you’re not alone.
Pregnancy is one of the hardest things I’ve gone through, mentally. I don’t like to admit that I have a really negative relationship with my weight and how I see myself. As most people, I look in the mirror and see everything I wish I could change. My legs, arms, back, you name it. This has been the case both before and during pregnancy, and I’m sure postpartum will be a whole new challenge.
After I got married, I was very determined to lose weight. I wasn’t happy with the way I looked, and even though I was healthy, I wasn’t ‘skinny’ enough. From the time I got married to my pre-pregnancy weight, I lost 25 pounds. Which was a huge difference in my appearance. I was finally at a point where I was happy with my body – which I thought was impossible!
When we decided to start a family, my main concern about being pregnant was gaining too much weight. I was terrified. I would cry to Logan about how scared I was for my body to go through so many changes. I didn’t want stretch marks, varicose veins, but most of all an extra 40 lbs. The thought put me into breakdowns… frequently. In fact, when we saw the positive pregnancy test, Logan cried for joy and I cried because all of these thoughts rushed through my head as they all became too real. I think every woman has these fears before she experiences pregnancy. I mean, we’ve never gone through this before and we have no idea what to expect. Every body is different, and we don’t know how ours will react to growing a child.
Now to the present.
Soon after my ‘testing positive’ meltdown, I started to feel excited to bring a baby into the world. It didn’t feel real until we heard the heartbeat for the first time. It was so beautiful! As time passed, I felt more and more love for my baby boy. The first half of pregnancy wasn’t bad as far as body changes go. I didn’t gain any weight until around 16 weeks, and I wasn’t really noticeably pregnant until 24 weeks. Then, all of a sudden, I started growing and gaining weight much quicker. One day I could put my shoes on while standing and the next I can’t see my feet. It’s discouraging to see all the progress I had made to lose weight, just return with even more. While mentally I know that I’m gaining weight because I’m growing a beautiful baby, emotionally I can’t help but feel disheartened by how large I see myself. I hate taking pictures. When I see them I start to get teary-eyed because I want to go back to the way I was. This is a big reason why I haven’t posted very much while pregnant, nor have I done many updates. Logan always reminds me that I’ve got a big belly because I’ve got a big baby (which is true), but for some reason, no matter how many times he tells me I’m beautiful and how much he loves my belly, I can’t get passed the fact that I just don’t look like myself.
Please know that I love my baby boy so much already, and I am so excited to meet him. However, the last few months have been really hard on me emotionally. Luckily, I can make it through this hard time with the help of those around me, and most of all, my Savior.
“Whatever your burden is, you will find the strength you need in Christ… You have and will have worries and challenges of many kinds, but embrace life joyfully and full of faith.”
Howard W. Hunter
I’m sure a lot of – if not most – pregnant woman have a hard time with the changes their body goes through. Since this is my first pregnancy, I don’t know how well my body will recover from pregnancy, either. Being in a state of uncertainty is the worst place to be. Not knowing drags me down. If I could know, I could prepare. I suppose I’ll remain in my uncertain state – just waiting to see how my body decides to react in the series of events waiting to transpire. Until then, I’ll continue to pray to find the positive in every outcome.
“Our Father in Heaven has promised us peace in times of trial and has provided a way for us to come to Him in our need. He has given us the privilege and power of prayer. He has told us to ‘pray always’ and has promised He will pour out his Spirit upon us.”
Rex D. Pinegar, “Peace through Prayer”
Thank you for bearing with me in my struggles. Hopefully, this can help you in whatever trials or doubts you may be having, too.