Maybe this is a gift of the 5th baby.
Maybe it is a result of now being 35.
Maybe it is both of those things and the work of the last (almost) four years on body image and a dedicated yoga practice.
Whatever the reason(s), I’m writing today to check in and say “Hey!” and “Yay!” because not as many check-ins regarding how I physically look during this pregnancy have seemed necessary. With Truman’s, I was in the middle of some big work in therapy in regards to a whacked out body image, so I wrote – a lot – about my body and people’s reactions to it and my reactions to their reactions. In fact, I did regular trimester updates (including the fourth) and probably some extras here and there, too. But with Baby No.5, I’ve made it to darn near the halfway point before feeling the need to type away on the subject matter.
Now this doesn’t mean everything has been a breeze and I am now 100% magically fine with every random comment I get or sideways glance they throw at my belly when people find out how far along I am (however, I feel I fall far more into the category of regular pregnant lady annoyances than body image over-reactor these days, so there’s that).
For instance, last week a person I don’t know was chatting with me, in a perfectly fine and friendly manner, when she looked at my bump and asked, “And I see you are expecting again soon?”
Friends, I’m 19 weeks. You see the word there that was the problem right? I know some people say you should NEVER ask a woman if she is pregnant (let her tell you about it, if she wants) and I do follow that as a personal, general rule. That being said, I would not have cared about her question at all had she left off the ridiculous word “soon” there at the end. If you simply must comment on a stranger’s tummy (see how this can become a slippery slope?), never EVER assume you know how far along she is (because, hi, she might not even be pregnant).
Anyway – there are moments like those. But fine. Because this IS my fifth kid and my oldest is only just about to turn eight and my belly knows very much where to go on this process and so what? So what if it looks like I am due soon but I still have 21ish weeks to go?
For the record, I don’t look like that, or if I do, I don’t think so, and instead of spinning off into my head as a result of that comment, I was able to laugh (not directly at the woman, but almost) and use it as fodder for jokes with friends that same day. This is a big change for me from the past.
So cheers to being a more mature mama-to-be and doing the work of accepting my physical shape with more grace and ease than ever before.
As we continue into the second half of bump growth, I very much hope this trend continues, and to support that (along with a bunch of other facets of pregnancy), I’m super excited for these gorgeous affirmation cards I just got from Mama Natural. No product endorsement or affiliation here, but thanks to the weirdness of the internets, these showed up in my feed and I ordered some because I love them. They are a beautiful set of 50 cards that I plan to use with my prenatal yoga teaching for always and for myself in the coming months. The few shown here are the ones that highlight the beauty and acceptance of the physical body which is just perfect.
And so. There you have it. An update on being a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and whole lot grateful for both.