My Pregnancy: Week 16

My Pregnancy Week 16We’ve reached that point where we are bursting at the seams. Not with our budget for maternity wear, making room for new baby, or too much on our to-do list. I’m referring to my jeans. They are getting snug. I think I still have a couple more weeks of wear with them, but I have pulled out maternity clothes to bridge the gap, the literal gap between button and button hole. I appreciate my investment in a previous pregnancy of the Belly Belt. Bra extenders are also helpful in the coming months until I switch into nursing gear.

Underneath all of this is a little bit of discomfort. I used to be in shape, workout-an-hour-most-days and run-long-distance shape. Then a hubby and family happened. I’m not blaming them. This is generally on me. Baby #1 brought ten more pounds and baby two matched that. I know many women by now have the obvious baby bump. I know that isn’t going to come for me for another month. Usually I’m pretty happy about myself in general. My body is capable of amazing feats, you know, like childbirth and balancing two 35-pound kids on my hips while doing three other things.

I think part of the reason involves the pregnant woman’s body becoming public. Whether I personally or we as woman like that is questionable, but still I experience more public interest now than usual. Even though I’ve experienced less attention this rodeo, I still have little pieces of shame that go along with knowing I don’t look pregnant the same way that some others do at this time…the way I did with my first pregnancy. You see, I’m not assuming they are happy with their bodies. I’m not judging their bodies; I am judging my own.

For me it is a small piece health related but mostly just that world many mamas are familiar with. It’s the world of lacking long-term perspective because in-the-moment has you overwhelmed. It’s the being worn out from a full day of work to come home to family and juggling everything. Something has got to give and fast food happens 10 percent more than it used to, exercise about 30 percent less. It’s not shocking to me that I haven’t lost the weight I gained since marriage and during pregnancies. I even, at least on the surface level, accept and love the way I have managed to balance everything we do as a family.

But clearly, in these moments when I’m disappointed at not looking clearly enough pregnant, I know I still have a little work to do on self-acceptance. I’ve recommitted myself to taking walks most evenings for both my health and the baby’s. Now that I’m not working, I’m focusing again on where I can add a veggie in and leave take-out…out.

In the mean time, I’m reminded of the awesome things my body is doing—incubating life! That still blows me away. What an incredible thing to live in the midst of. On the one hand, I’m not really doing much to make this baby thrive. On the other hand I’m reminded that every dimple, jiggle, and mark on my body tells the story of a life lived. My bump may be meager, but I’m proud of me.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. She’s less tired than the last three months but more tired than 5 years ago.

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