Twice now this year I have done posts about having a baby body + body image, both at 12 weeks and 24 weeks. The split the first time was unintentional, but for this third (and most likely final) installment, I purposely waited another 12 weeks between posts so I would hit each trimester of this journey. Other writing has surfaced between this and the last post, however, via my second outlet in my monthly Her View From Home spot, in which I wrote about treating mamas-to-be with the utmost of care. Because really, we have no idea just how much our words can mean to someone else or how they will be taken once spoken, and there is just so much a pregnant woman does not need to hear in regards to her daily-changing body.
Thankfully, in the last few weeks, I have heard less and less from outside sources. I’m taking that as a true blessing, especially because I’m getting to be the size of a house. And no, I’m not saying that in hopes people will say I am not the size of a house. I am supposed to be the size of a house, at least one for this little acrobat/future Zumba instructor growing in my tummy, and I am OK with that. Actually, most times I look in the mirror (more on mirrors here), I feel pretty fantastic about my current size/shape/what-have-you which is, well, fantastic!
The bummer about this particular update, however, is that when those comments from Joe Q. Public do come, I still don’t deflect or even handle them very well. This is perhaps a reason to stay fairly well holed-up in my house for the next few weeks in hopes of avoiding these people without filters, but since that is not going to happen (Hellooooooo, Start of School!), I am going to have to work on taking some deep, deep breaths and reminding myself that those comments are about those saying them, not me. If I wake up and feel good, and I think I look good, I have to go with that. That means there is a certain level of confidence I am working toward here and in my case that is tricky/sticky even without the baby bump and hormones, but if nothing else, I am proud to say I have kept at the work.
Perhaps keeping at it means this time around I’ll be able to be kinder to myself post-baby. Or maybe it means I will be able to learn even more to take my own assessment of self as Truth as opposed to what I hear from others. And possibly this dedication to myself (and talking to and about myself with compassion) means I am finally on the path to redefining what I see and what really matters about my physical body which stems from the mental and plays into the emotional, as well.
And hey, I even did the whole Mom-put-your-swimsuit-on thing that was circulating the internet this summer and got B to snap some photos to document the belly and the bravery, in all their summer glory*: *plus a little b&w filter and a heel-pop for, you know, kindness. because, you know, baby steps. 😉