The one where I admit to the body image issues

Yea, yea, another Pregnant Me post. This is my life, and I blog about my life, and so (for now), I blog about pregnancy.

I’m afraid I’ll be a puffy overweight round dumpy pregnant woman and (here’s the part where you’ll avert your eyes or gasp in dismay or close the browser) part of that is an ethnic hang-up.  I’m Hispanic (and never sure whether I should capitalize the term, but WordPress believes I should and so I shall) and I have this mental image of a frumpy little lady with a huge belly and unkempt hair looking… well, round. Yes, with a tired face, surrounded by kids, cooking something.

I said it was a hang-up, didn’t I?

Despite this fear, I am wearing an ill-fitting sweatshirt with my hair in a messy bun because I didn’t wash it today, nary a lick of make-up to be found on my semi-greasy face. Yes, I work from home, but I do have enough of a social life that when a (adorably pregnant) neighbor drops by to bring me a dress she’s sweetly offered for my upcoming business trip, I feel dumpy.

Because I look dumpy, let’s be honest. My mental picture of myself isn’t very far from reality, as it turns out.

So she leaves after a couple of hours of catching up (and only one sad comment about how she’s now a former neighbor *sniff*) and I come inside to buy some maternity clothes, all inspired by her cuteness, because she’s due in April and just freaking adorable.

And then I confront my mental picture of ME as a pregnant woman – round, dumpy, ethnic (more than usual?) and… something I can’t put my finger on and am not trying too hard because I’m chicken.  You? I think you look adorable pregnant. I love seeing belly pics and checking out how you’ve managed to accessorize a body part that’s quickly approaching the size of a watermelon. Even (especially) if you are ethnic.

But me? Nope.  I was perusing the sale at Isabella Oliver (because they send me emails every single day, I kid you not) and realized I’m uncomfortable with the idea of a sexy pregnant woman.  Their clothes are very body revealing and unabashedly sexy, something I cannot get my mind to accept, especially for a business trip. This is somewhat hypocritical since my work uniform of choice is a slim pencil skirt and sweater set with three-inch heels. That’s sexy, right?

To be very honest, this isn’t just a pregnant thing. I dress like crap and then wonder why I don’t feel like I have it together.  Then I have occasion to dress up and am surprised by how together I feel.  After, oh, I don’t know, TEN YEARS of struggling to clothe this boobs-too-big not-tall-enough body, I had kind of figured it out, but now I’m back to the drawing board.

How does one clothe a short, busty woman with a belly? Drapey layers seem like a bad idea; skinny jeans make me think I look like I’ll fall over; heels are ridiculous when one works from home; tight tank tops under sweaters might not work anymore.

And, well, okay, I’m uncomfortable with the whole pregnant woman thing altogether, an awkward place to be when one is pregnant. I never dreamed of being pregnant, didn’t imagine myself with a newborn in my arms, didn’t want to be the mommy when playing make believe.  I much preferred to be the boss or the teacher, both positions that came with authority and didn’t require that I pretend to birth the baby first.

So now I’m a little lost and a lot uncomfortable. I watch birth videos and think, “Ugg, so grunty” and peruse maternity clothes and think, “Ugh, that belly is so awkward.”  My mind doesn’t want to accept the idea of my pregnant body or of myself as a mother.

I want the kid, but wish I didn’t have to be pregnant to get there. And look, I get that many woman would badly like to be pregnant and can’t; my heart goes out to you if that’s you and my fist bashes me in the head on your behalf for being such an a-hole and whining about how I don’t like the way I look when I’m pregnant.

This is similar to all of my whining and complaining about how I didn’t want to be a bride. ‘Twas not a title that ever fit into my mental picture of myself, hence the entire engagement spent fighting everything  a bride should or should not. Wasted energy.

But it’s there and until I deal with it, I’m going to continue to wear the same pair of cargo pants because I’m refusing to buy more, so I guess it’s time.  Consider yourself warned.

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7 thoughts on “The one where I admit to the body image issues

  1. I am one of those women who has been trying desperately to get pregnant with no luck (for about a year). However, I didn’t find this annoying at all. I think I’m only jealous of people who I already find annoying anyway. If some mean woman at work announces her pregnancy, I’m mad, but if I find out my sweet neighbor is pregnant, I’m happy for her.

    I can relate to this whole body image thing because, while my body type is very different from yours, I’m worried about how I’ll look pregnant (and after, for that matter). My stomach is currently the slimmest part of me – I have a bug butt and chunky thighs – so I’m nervous that when my slimmest part is my hugest part I’ll look ginormous.

    • @AmyC83, I’m so right there with you on the hating annoying people for getting pregnant when I can’t. I’d be happy for my friend and I’m always thrilled for bloggers, but when my awful coworker got pregnant I was devastated.

      I’m terrified of how I’ll look pregnant because I’m already heavy with huge boobs. At least it is only temporary?

  2. I love your honesty, lady. I’m having a hard time feeling good about myself at the moment as my ankles are quickly approaching the thickness of my thighs = hot. What helps me is what you’ve already suggested… actually showering, doing my hair, makeup… also it was a big help to me to buy maternity clothes that FIT. I tried for many weeks to keep pulling regular shirts down all day long (and then back up to cover the boobage) and it helped so much to have something actually made for my (new) body. Hang in there…

    Also- for someone who wasn’t into being a bride, you sure made a gorgeous one!

  3. I don’t know about pregnancy because I’ve never been there, but I do know about feeling dumpy because I refuse to dress myself. In the past, I’ve just thrown out my dumpy clothes. If I don’t feel good in them, they go, and I try to only wear things that I feel like I look decent in. That works, for a little while, until I buy a new pair of fleece pants.

    I imagine that is more difficult with an ever-changing body, and that something that fit well one day will not the next.

    Anyway, you’re a beautiful woman. If you feel less than amazing about your body being pregnant, that’s a shame, but it’s okay–you won’t be pregnant forever. Do the best you can with the belly, but then get rid of clothes that make you feel bad afterwards! Life is too short for self-loathing.

  4. “This is similar to all of my whining and complaining about how I didn’t want to be a bride. ‘Twas not a title that ever fit into my mental picture of myself, hence the entire engagement spent fighting everything  a bride should or should not. Wasted energy.”

    Ohmygoodnessyes! This was me, bridal. Then it was me, pregnant. It is currently me as a stay at home mom of a six month old. I really, really enjoy it, but I don’t feel like I can claim the title of Mommy yet for some reason. I just never saw myself specifically in this role I guess. So just a heads up that analytical, grappling people can become analytical, grappling moms.

  5. Ok, so I am definitely not pregnant and have not been yet, but I wanted to let you know that I share some of these same feelings. I was never the little girl who wanted to play “mommy” – I’m pretty sure that I didn’t even HAVE a baby doll in my collection of toys. Didn’t want them…give me teddy bears or something like that instead!

    Anyway, now that I’m married the pregnancy thing is constantly creeping up into conversations…and it freaks me the heck out. I can imagine myself pregnant; but I think I’d want to be that way for like, a week, and then I’d have my fill. I KNOW I want to be a mom. I KNOW I will be a fantastic mom (love my false confidence here) – but do I want to physically be pregnant, go through the body changes, and go through childbirth? Heck to the no. It is the most terrifying thought to me in the world right now. I have never been to the doctor other than for a physical exam; I’ve never broken a bone, never had surgery, and I’ve only been very sick once with walking pnemonia as a child. I have to take Xanax before going to my OB/GYN appointment because it gives me terrible anxiety. I cry when I think about having to get a shot. I am a MESS…and if I were to get pregnant, that is signing myself up for a ton of medical related interactions. I feel like such a failure of a woman for feeling this way in the end…everyone says to me “Oh – you’ll change your mind…you’re just not there yet,” and I think…yeah right – you don’t know me…

    Ok, sorry for the over-sharing there, this just hit a note with me. And – I want to echo the others who said that for not wanting to be a bride, you were a seriously gorgeous one!

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