Think Pregnancy Will Ruin Your Body Image? Why You Might Be Wrong

Those marks on the back of my thighs, that sometimes reminds me of cottage cheese. I like to think the bumpy, round road-marks will give you your round little cherub cheeks. The cheeks that support your magical ear-to-ear smile–which I hope is smiling a lot and not crying.  So I accept them, I give them love and nourish them.

My big round belly, sits soundly on my birthing hips.

I always hated my hips. I wasted countless minutes, looking at the mirror, critically thinking, “They are too wide set for my short frame,” as I would cinch up on my tiptoes giving myself height. Pulling jeans onto them, never a fun task.

Then I gave birth to my first child and realized they were good for something pretty spectacular–pushing her out. She slid easily down the birth canal, with a lot of pushing (and Lamaze style breathing, let’s be real…), and came out–eyes wide like a tarsier monkey from the get-go.  So I accept them, I give them love and nourish them.

Now back to my belly. It is different from most pregnant belly’s I see. I always imagined being a mom out of a Maternity magazine that carried all belly with a beautiful circular bump—rest of my body staying put. Reality check: that is definitely not how I carry.

My belly is wide and small, which I compare to a potbelly pig, but in a good way. I mean, I think potbelly pigs are cute!

I get pregnant in my butt too—it gets wider as my stomach grows—sometimes I swear the baby is occupying that area too.

After baby, gravity seems to leave my body and everything droops downward into  a comfortable sag.

The positive

I feel you in it all day and night. Pitter-patter, I see you move my belly gently up and down and run to get my husband’s hand to feel it. I feel the amazing, you. Vibration, I can picture you dancing soundly around—eventually turning into you spinning around, until your little tushie hits the ground. I know this because my first-born does it coupled with a slew of adorable laughter. So I accept my belly, I give it love and nourish it.

The huge weight of my breasts, that makes them extremely uncomfortable and is that varicose veins aligning them making them look robotic? Yes. But they will feed you sweet milk as they fed my first baby. You will grow strong and healthy and develop cute little rolls that I will nibble and kiss.  So I accept them, I give them love and nourish them.

I was talking to my friend who recently found out she was pregnant who mused out loud about never realizing how amazing the human body really was until now. I agreed emphatically because that was my incredible discovery with my first-born.

Especially being in ED recovery, years of hurt, self-hate, anger and pain toward my body, and myself.

I never felt so secure in my recovery until after my baby was born.

There was something beautiful and appreciative about it—a new understanding we had for each other, my body and I.

So forever, I accept it, I give it love and nourish it.

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