Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Pregnancy Story - Part 2.


After writing all my thoughts and feelings regarding my body image during pregnancy in Part 1 of this post I went to the women who I love and respect and asked them their thoughts.


How did/do you feel about your body during pregnancy?

"I was so amazed at my body when I was pregnant. I was in awe over how my body knew what to do to support this tiny baby. It was probably the only time in my life I was so happy with my body and loved seeing that beautiful bump grow." - Amy

"I have never felt more beautiful or aware of the power of my body as a woman than when I was pregnant". - Kristen

"I'm certainly an "all belly" pregnant person. In the end it's fun to have people fawn over my big belly on a small frame, but all five times it's been hard at the beginning. I get very sick with pregnancy and lose a lot of weight in the first few months. I am 12 weeks with my fifth and I probably won't show hardly at all for another 10 weeks. I've gotten many comments all five times about how maybe my body is "too skinny" or "too sickly" to keep a baby healthy. It's discouraging and I wish others could just be supportive to all body types during pregnancy. Growing a human being is seriously terrifying without any added worries or insecurities." - Alice

"I'm definitely not an "all belly" kind of pregnant girl. I'm just huge all around. But know what? That huge made a PERFECT child. So, my body did what it was supposed to and didn't let me down. Fat comes and goes. A beautiful child remains." - Adelle

"I don't really remember having any deep thoughts or feelings about my body pertaining to my successful pregnancies. With my miscarriages I felt overwhelmingly betrayed by my body. I felt like it was a traitor to the deepest desires of my heart. I felt inadequate and broken and like a failure at keeping those tiny lives alive. I felt bitter at sore boobs and nausea that were "all for nothing". My body couldn't even make enough tears to let out my overwhelming disappointment and heart wrenching sadness. " - Mary

"I was pregnant at twenty-five, and was so excited about the life growing inside me.  I gained fifty-four pounds. Maternity clothes were not especially attractive 34 years ago, and it definitely was not like it is today, where the norm is to accentuate and show off your baby bump. Maternity clothes seemed to be designed to "cover up" the fact that you were pregnant, so consequently they were not that flattering. I honestly don't remember if I felt beautiful - I think I just felt big! I remember how awesome it felt when the baby kicked and moved around inside me. Because of complications I experienced giving birth via c-section, I stayed in the hospital a week afterward with my baby, and lost 35 pounds of that 54 pound pregnancy weight which was great! I have a picture of me holding her right in front of my belly, and remember thinking how incredible it was to realize she was INSIDE me just a few days before!" - Annette



How do you feel about your body post pregnancy? "Well, it's never been the same since. C section scar, new stretch marks. I was thrilled over my ability to nurse my baby, but otherwise, not thrilled with my body! I'm still about 12 lbs away from my pre-baby weight...9 years later!" - Amy

"I have a hard time loving myself after I have a baby. I don't lose the weight quickly and I get jealous over the fact that other women are wearing pre-pregnancy jeans 3 weeks later." - Anonymous

"Everyone told me to be prepared. At first I was really surprised when I looked in the mirror. But it wasn't too long afterward that I felt really good physically and wasn't disappointed when I looked in the mirror." - Jenny

"What I was most surprised about was the unrealistic expectations of what a woman should look like after having a baby. It was crazy to me that people would say things about how I still looked pregnant after giving birth. It takes time to heal!" - Samantha

"My stretch marks were all over. I didn't just get them on my belly, I got them on my hips, thighs, and my breasts. It devastated me. I've found ways to dress differently, but I still mourn the body I had before." - Anonymous

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Our body image during and after pregnancy (and really before pregnancy too) doesn't always have to do with weight. It can be the absence of weight gain, the loss of a baby, the inability to even become pregnant at all.

Some women find a supreme amount of joy at watching their bodies change while growing another life.

Some women experience the frustration and agony of losing a baby or never getting pregnant at all - and therefore the betrayal of what their bodies should be able to do.

After giving birth to our children it's inevitable that our bodies have changed. There are some things that will never be or look the same. It can be hard to feel like ourselves in these moments looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing a changed person.

Pregnancy does not look the same on anyone and it's not supposed to. Each woman's body, heart, and feelings are affected in a different manner. I don't understand it all because it's too intricate, too extraordinary, too profound.

What I do know is that pregnancy is beautiful. Being pregnant is not the time to be ashamed of how we look. It's a time to enjoy. It's a time to celebrate. 

I look at the women below and I see so much beauty, so much strength, so much grace and dignity. It takes my breath away. 

Angie (3rd child)


Lacy (2nd child)


 Adelle (1st child)


Mary (3rd child)


Lydia (5th child)


Heather (1st child)


Corrina (1st child)


Andrea (3rd child)


Rachael (1st and 2nd child)!


Kristen (2nd child)


Sara (6th child)


"There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation."
- Pamela S. Nadav

"Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain – your life will never be the same."
- Catherine Jones

"Let us make pregnancy an occasion when we appreciate our female bodies."
- Merete Leonhardt-Lupa


9 comments:

  1. What a lovely post - yes there are so many feelings about our bodies around having babies - but it is sooooo beautiful!!! Love this!

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  2. Funny how so many women have so many different experiences. I really didn't enjoy being pregnant, although I loved what it represented, I pretty much felt awful the entire time x3!!! Lovely post! Thanks for sharing! xox Christine | Amidst the Chaos

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  3. What a great post. It's nice to hear all the different feelings. I was not all belly, and still have pregnancy weight three years later. I had a very difficult, high risk pregnancy, so I had to learn to forgive myself for not losing it all right away, and just love my miracle babies.

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  4. What a celebration!! I loved this post. All the quotes from mommies and the pictures. What a great way to head into Mother's Day.

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  5. It's great to hear honest thoughts from women about their bodies. I remember being surprised I still looked pregnant after having the baby.

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  6. What a variety of feelings - yes pregnancies are all different to different women! And I love love these pics of all these beautiful women!

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  7. Melissande, what a beautiful tribute to pregnancy. I really appreciate how you prefaced this post with body issues. I actively shyed away from the camera with both babies. Looking back, I think I look fabulous in the very few I have. If we have another, I want to reread both posts and almost use them as my mantra. You did suh a good job on both posts. Love your own photos and all of the photos at the end <3

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  8. I love all of these beautiful pictures of pregnant women! I haven't gone through the pregnancy thing yet, but I know from friends that the post-baby body can be hard to deal with. I enjoyed reading all of these quotes you included here. :)

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  9. So sweet! I loved hearing how everyone felt about their pregnant bodies and thought they were all beautiful!

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