Friday, May 20, 2016

Thoughts on being pregnant

A third baby! How fantastic, how intimidating, how uncharted and how exciting for our family to be growing even bigger. I always knew I wanted a few babies (8, to be exact--that dream has since changed), but now that my dream is actually a reality I'm just as nervous as I am thrilled to be snuggling and getting to know yet another sweet babe this fall. 
There's no denying that we're thrilled about this new addition. So thrilled, in fact, that the morning I found out we were expecting was exactly two mornings since my sweet husband had left his unfortunately toxic job--and we weren't even phased.
"It'll all work out," he said. "I don't even care," I said. We hadn't been trying for very long and after a year of trying for Scout, which seemed like an eternity for us, and pales in comparison to so many that try for so much longer, we knew it was meant to happen and meant to happen now. 
And everything has worked out and the pregnancy has gone very, very well. 
Baby girl #2 is due September 10th! 
She's very strong, active, and merciful. Thus far. I'll keep you posted. 

Thoughts on pregnancy

Me and pregnancy have a bit of a complicated relationship. 
And bear with me on this one. 
I always envisioned my pregnant self as basically the same me, wearing the same pair of skinny jeans, unbuttoned, for 9 months, delivering a perfectly round 8 lbs. baby, and then going back to my normal clothes as if nothing had ever happened. I'm good at controlling what I put in my body and thought this stage of my life would be no exception, minus an exploding uterus.
But with my 5'4" frame, small torso, short legs, and unfortunate genes, these hopes were dashed 4 months into carrying Jude. 
With Scout, the weight gain was slower, a red, itchy rash covered my chin the entire time, and in the last 3 weeks of carrying her I made up the difference in what I had gained with Jude. 

It's not as easy as labeling it a "love-hate" relationship, because there are so many things we naturally love and hate about the experience.
It's more of a struggle with a self-declared war against myself.

I like feeling a sense of control over my body and appearance. 
Why did that just sound so shallow? 
I once told a friend of mine, in shame, that something I have struggled with in recent years was the way my jeans fit being synonymous with my level of self esteem. You might say, "That's so high school of you, Britney." But in all honesty, I was too busy with sports to care about my weight in high school. Also, skinny jeans hadn't been invented yet. 

I've surmised that it really has nothing to do with caring about what others think of me, and it's more of an internal struggle of knowing I am fully capable of not having unwanted face fat, arm pit fluff, and leg girth, but for 10 months out of my life, I have no control over my own body's usually predictable metabolism. It's more about living up to the high expectations I've set for myself, and less about having high expectations for how I want others to see me. 

And the whole time I resent my mind for not allowing me to simply enjoy this time of my life, that is so very temporary, and just take care of myself now, and deal with any unwanted weight or body changes later. 

One night, after prodding Adam to give a straight-forward answer about his feelings on the matter over the years, he finally answered, "Honestly, I don't see it as you getting fat. I see it all as something really beautiful."
And then I stopped. 
First of all, shut up and kiss me, you perfect fool.
Second of all, he was absolutely right. Any change, any skin rash, any face chub, any stretch marks or ankle swelling or extra hair or love handles or leg girth, for the sake of creating, growing, delivery, and nourishing a sweet, innocent babe is extraordinarily beautiful. And being the vehicle that brings that person into the lives of their father, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles and others is no small feat on a body. 
My thoughts shifted from resenting my body for not being a little more compassionate, to taking pride in the life it has already created. 

I mean, seriously, the whole thing is pretty incredible, right? 

So, in the name of 3.5 months to go, I'm giving myself permission to keep going to the gym, eat a cookie or two (or 5) and just deal with it. 

Because in the end, this is the only time in my life when I get really awesome boobs. 

photo credit to Myra Kjer! 

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