My fear is simply this: I will look fat, not pregnant. I know, logically, this really shouldn't matter because of the struggle it's been to achieve pregnancy, because of the miraculous job my body will be doing of aiding a child to grow and flourish inside of me, because quite frankly it's silly and ridiculous to worry about something so trivial when you're pregnant. BUT. That is my fear and I'm allowed to have it. Thing is, I want to also let it go and no longer be held by it. Therein lies the problem.*
My book, The Mind-Body Fertility Connection, relates such inward fears to struggles with fertility. I'm not so sure it's that simple. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not my fear of looking fat rather than pregnant that is keeping me from actually becoming pregnant. However, I do appreciate it for raising the possibility because it at least has given me the perch from which I can start to examine any fears and/or insecurities I do have. Is this fear of mine causing subconscious and undo stress in my body? I cannot say for sure. Thus isn't it better to address this issue head-on, just in case?! It definitely cannot hurt.
Today I had Momma B take a full body picture of me. I post it with a heart of trepidation, but it's a starting point. It is a rare occasion that I allow such photos to be entirely because I am ashamed of my body. Even though I am still 15 pounds lighter than my heaviest weight, I cannot keep the thought out of my head that I am still 100 pounds away from when I looked and felt my best.
Thing is, in my head I still look almost the same as I did back then. Seeing photos of myself in the present is always a shock to me. I inspect it and scrutinize it and shake my head in disbelief - that cannot possibly be a true representation of what I look like, can it?! It is.
So this is my attempt to begin another type of healing and look to myself for even more forgiveness. My body has been amazing even while I have treated it unkindly. It has survived and sometimes even thrived through depression, working full-time while going to school full-time, many moves, rowing and kayaking lessons, 5K walks, too many glasses of wine, and too many more trips, stumbles, and bumps. It takes me through my days and always knows what it needs to prevail even if I try to refuse or abuse it. It is itself a miracle. I would do well to remember that.
So I may not have a cute little basketball baby bump? So what. I may have a harder time finding cute clothes to wear. I may have less people sure if I am pregnant or just fat. I may have to look harder to find an OB or midwife that isn't going to lecture me on my weight or scrutinize what I eat or expect that I will develop gestational diabetes or hypertension because of my weight. BUT perhaps, for once, I'll get to stop worrying about being fat and instead just enjoy what my body can achieve. Perhaps I'll not have to endure strangers hands constantly trying to touch my belly, or receive unwanted advice, or listen to comments about "popping". Perhaps, for once, my belly will be a thing of wonder and not a thing of resentment. Perhaps.
I won't know until it happens, but for now I can begin to visualize myself seven, eight, nine months pregnant and actually start to smile because I'm no longer focusing on the trivial things that don't matter but rather the one little thing that does.
*Perhaps if you're not a plus-sized woman you may not be able to truly relate. That's okay. We all have our own fears and issues surrounding our bodies and our bodies in pregnancy. But if you are, I would truly appreciate anything you would have to share with me related to this - whether you struggled or embraced it. I would enjoy hearing it all.