February 6, 2007

What goes Bump in the night?

It's bad enough to be pregnant and each morning have to face a closet full of clothes that hate you (some of them even sneer and cackle, which is quite insulting). It's even worse on a Saturday evening when you are attempting to get ready for a gathering that includes not one, but TWO other pregnant gals. That night, I obsessed over what to wear. Which caught me by surprise - I didn't realize how bothered by the whole thing I was until I stood there trying on shirt after shirt after shirt. I can still wear my non-maternity clothes, but they look like crap on me. Much of my maternity wardrobe is still too baggy. Sigh. Furthermore, I didn't want to look "more" pregnant than the other gals because they are ahead of me in weeks. Then again, I wanted to look pregnant "enough". The other two gals ended up not showing up for the gathering and that's when I realized how stressed I was about the whole thing.

Then I came across this article by titled Bump that discusses women's changing perception of body image during pregnancy and the increasing pressure on celebrities to remain stick thin while sporting a basketball-sized baby bump. It made me think a little more of how my body image has changed over time. For the most part, I am more comfortable with my body than I have ever been - it's when faced with the prospect of being compared to other pregnant women that I break out in hives. When I gain weight, my stomach has always been my weak spot - other women fret about their butts, hips and thighs - not me. It's always been my stomach. Always. However, while I'm pregnant, it doesn't bother me that I am gaining wait in my stomach - quite the opposite. For once, there is a valid reason for that Bump. No, what bothers me is when people make comments that I look further along than I am. Unfortunately, it's still not considered to say "Fuck off" in Polite Society when folks can't suppress their surprise that my due date is farther along than they thought. Whatever.

I've mentioned my weight several times in regards to Pregnancy Weight - I am not necessarily that concerned about gaining weight, I would just like to keep it to a reasonable 25 pounds or less. Despite the appearance of Vanity, it's actually for Practicality. With my height and normal weight, I would be absolutely miserable if I gained more than 25 pounds. Besides, it helps with losing the weight - I had lost all my pregnancy weight by the time Arun was just 3 weeks old. So no, I am not dieting (hardly!) but do try to eat responsibly once I am past the 1st Trimester.

Anyway, the article is worth reading.


Jeni said...

i absolutely hate this topic. not that i hate u writing about it, but i hate having to think about my waist.

my kid ruined my stomach. i lost all my baby weight immediately after she was born, but her birth left me with a saggy, gross tummy.

what is a girl to do?

zoot said...

I hated my body when I was pregnant. But when I see pictures looking back? I don't see it as awful as I did then. But then again - I have a bizarro body image as it is.-

Leah said...

I agree. I had d. on July 26th (her due date). My first "Hey, are you due in a week?" comment was in April. Aaaaargh.

Mojavi said...

the security gaurd at my work building asked me if I was still pregnant. WIth a stupid grin on his face. I was to shocked to reply. However, next time I see him I am going to let him know all the responses I have come up with since then!
btw, you look absolutely adorable and perfect for your due date.

pharmgirl said...

blogwhore....getting a tummy tuck is PERFECTLY ok to fix post-baby yuck belly.

While five months pregnant with my son, I had a DOCTOR at an event I was attending express shock at my size by asking "wow! are you having twins?" Turns out a PhD doesn't buy you class. Bitch.

Blondie said...

I think pregnant women are HOT. If I was a lesbian, I would exclusively date pregnant women (I wonder how that would work...). Anyway, embrace it, baby. It's beautiful!!!

Diana said...

I completely agree. After my 1st baby, I got down to my desired weight (and belly) in about 8 months. After the second, even though I dropped the weight over the same period of time (though I gained less for her), my belly would not 'de-sag'. A friend told me that that would be the case and sadly, she was right. It bothers me, but not enough to do anything about it.

I also remember being accused by my Ob that I was not eating with my 1st as I was not gaining weight for several visits. I kept telling her that I was eating fine, I just was no longer able to run and was losing scads of muscle. On her orders I scarfed up tons of desserts and burgers and such and started gaining what the scale said I should.

Of course, I was right. After all was said and done, I needed to lose over 30 lbs (and put back all that muscle that had caused the false alarm in the first place). Bah to scales.

MLE said...

I'm not pregnant or a parent, but I think someday I might like to be. And then I read sites like Shape of a Mother and read parent blogs that discuss body issues and I get scared that my already fragile body acceptance won't be able to handle what pregnancy might do to my body. I have a pretty good idea, judging by my mom and my dad's sisters (I'm unlikely to get stretch marks, but very likely to end up a D cup), but I have a hard enough time as it is right now accepting my athletic muscular curvy body that will never be below a size six unless I'm bedridden for months and lose a ton of muscle.

Thanks for writing about this, Cagey. I appreciate reading a well-thought-out piece by someone who seems to be level-headed and knows the world won't end if her body isn't perfect after childbirth. And maybe in a few years I'll be able to feel the same way.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

I was born in the days when they actually told people to limit how much weight to gain!!! My mom said it was only 20 lbs with both me and my sisters.

Then again, we were all tiny little bugs, barely tipping 6 lbs and my dad said a solid pound of that was actually pelt (isn't it awesome to have pelty genes? I exited from the womb with my bangs in my eyes)

Anyway, I just want to point out one thing...all those Hollywood chicks are wearing GIRDLES or, they get tummytucks (I know this because my sister finished surgery at NU over the summer and saw plent of women getting them). I hate this feeling that US Weekly gives us that they all naturally look like that when it's the end result of multiple colonics, industrial grade Spanx and multiple frocking hair extensions. Check out Katie Holmes on Go Fug Yourself. Those are Spanx she's wearing as she's getting out of the limo.

I don't think you should let anyone make you feel like you're "too far along" or showing too much or whatever. Everyone carries differently. My adorable co-worker is on her 2nd (with the same age diff as Arun and 2.0) and people are like "is it next week?" and she's like "umm, not till the end of May." I mean, whatever, she's a doll, you're a doll and the security guards should STFU unless they have some sort of medical license they're keeping on the d-low.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Girdles DURING pregnancy btw. They have maternity spanx, too.

I mean, wouldn't you rather just be comfortable? Barring Angelina Jolie and a few other people, most of those celebrities are gaining the way other women gain...it's just that they have money to buy steel-girded Spanx and a zillion makeup artists to make people think "OMFG THAT IS THE MOST AWESOME PREGNUNT LUK EVER!"

Dude, CSI (NY and Miami) films in front of my office weekly and I've seen tons of extras and stars around. A pound of makeup and good lighting is all I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

I have tried to comment on this several times and have yet to find the words I am trying to say, I thought I had a pretty good handle on my body image but if I really think about it, I am not so sure.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was 12lbs heavier than I had ever been not pregnant and well I was upset and my ob sensed that and he said as long as I was eating healthy that we would not worry too much about my weight and so far we have stuck with the plan and due to being repulsed by food the first trimester, I actually lost 7lbs and at my 5 month check had just gotten back to my weight.

Now, I am more than a little worried that I will have trouble losing the weight I do end up gaining as well as those extra 12 I already had. As hard as this to admit, thank you for this post as it has really forced me to be honest with myself.