Pregnancy has definitely altered my relationship with my body. Before my pregnancy, I would also describe myself as “body positive” and someone who accepted and (tentatively) loved her body. I say this with the caveat that this was an everyday struggle due to all the stigma, judgment, and bullshit the world attaches people’s bodies.
So it’s been quite a shift to be pregnant because I find myself really loving my pregnant body. I think this is partially due to my body getting public validation for just about the first time ever. People smile at me and ask me about the baby and how I’m feeling. They also jump up on public transportation when I ask for a seat. It’s like my body is finally confirming in some way to the world’s expectations of what a woman’s body should look like (and be used for). Due to this new-found acceptance, I’m finding that I like showing off the bump and prefer wearing clothes that accentuate that I’m pregnant. I’m also not looking forward to losing this validation after I give birth.
I think some of this is also tied up in still not completely trusting my body. Most of my trying to conceive/infertility process focused on how my body was inadequate and wasn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. I really, truly, didn’t think I could get pregnant despite my doctor’s assurances. I just assumed my body would fail me like I’ve felt like it has for my whole life. Even now that I’m pregnant, I’m still in some way convinced things won’t go the way they are supposed to. A few weeks ago I completely convinced myself my body was incapable of breastfeeding. Now, I just can’t shake the feeling that my body will somehow betray me.
I’m also having more and more of the “holy shit what have I done?” feelings where I worry that this was a huge mistake and I doubt my ability to be a good parent. These feelings are interspersed with a lot of excitement and anticipation to finally meet my little girl. Sometimes I’m like “3 weeks is too long to wait” and other times I’m petrified thinking that I only have 3 weeks of “freedom.” I know that these feelings are normal-especially at this stage of pregnancy (with all the crazy hormones coursing through my body). But I also want to be thoughtful about my increased risk of post-partum depression. I already have depression/anxiety and have been taking Zoloft throughout my whole pregnancy. Also, my mom and sister both had really bad PPD. I’m planning on mentioning this again to my OB during our next visit and asking a few friends to check in with me. I may also try to get back into therapy-although I’m unsure how to swing that with a newborn.
In other news, I’m still feeling pretty good physically. While I’m still throwing up daily (usually at 3am), struggling to keep my fasting glucose levels in check and have increasingly bad heartburn, I’m also sleeping great, have had very little back pain and have completely avoided round ligament pain and “lightening crotch.” And I still walk about 1.5 miles daily for my commute (at a snails pace). I’m pretty exhausted at the end of the day but I just don’t expect to get anything hugely productive done when I get home. That said, I’m definitely looking forward to going on leave in 7 days! I should have two full weeks off before the baby is born (unless she decides to make an early appearance). I’m planning on a lot more sleep, eating out, and seeing as many movies as possible. Fingers crossed the baby stays put.