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Dear Pregnant Women,
Lately I have been hearing some of you outright trash your bodies during this miraculous state of being and it has infuriated me on many different levels. At five, four, or even as soon as three months pregnant, some of you describe yourselves as large, fat, obese or humongous, and one of you even referred to yourself as the size of a “Mac truck.”
I am begging you to stop this trash talk, if not for your own sake, for the sake of your infertile friends.
Having had the blessing of being pregnant with my daughter, I have lived through the extraordinary changes a woman’s body goes through during this incredible time. I know and can appreciate how hard pregnancy is. I clearly remember the nausea, the aches and pains, the stretch marks and the multitude of other bizarre and seemingly unreasonable conditions a woman will experience throughout her pregnancy. But having struggled to get pregnant with my daughter, and then not being able to carry my subsequent pregnancies past 8 weeks, I also know what it is like to want to be pregnant more than anything else in the world. I see pregnancy as a miracle, a gift and something to be cherished. When some of you trash your bodies, it saddens me to the core. I realize these comments come out of great insecurity as you struggle to come to terms with your new body. But when I hear a four-month pregnant woman who is starting to show, say, “I am humongous and gross,” it makes me so angry. I feel she is not appreciating this incredible gift of having a baby growing inside of her.
When I look at the same four month pregnant woman, I have feelings of wonder and amazement. Truth be told, there might also be some feelings of envy and sadness as I start to think about my own unfulfilled desire to be pregnant. So when I ask you, “How are you feeling?” and you say, “Disgusted. I am huge already,” I must admit that I am disgusted too--not by your size but by your negative attitude. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was grateful for every pound I gained and every pant size that I had to retire. To me, that meant my baby was thriving and getting bigger. Everything on my body got bigger, my butt, my legs, my arms. I don’t even want to talk about my bra size. Let’s just say that I didn’t know until I was pregnant that cup sizes reached well above the DD’s into the middle of the alphabet. I was just grateful my baby was healthy and I was able to be a part of this incredible phenomenon that I had hoped and prayed for, for many years. I have to be honest, I did not carry my baby to full term. I can only imagine how “large” and “humongous” women feel towards the end of the last trimester, and God help those women who carry well past their due date! I have friends who have carried and naturally delivered 9 and 10 pound babies, and I am inspired by them. I also can’t imagine carrying multiples. But those feelings of being “large” should come out of understandable discomfort and a desire to not walk around feeling like you have 20 pound weights attached to each ankle, not out of a desire to want to look like a super model.
I guess what I am saying is this: Pregnant ladies, be gentle with yourself and love your pregnant body. Please appreciate and cherish this gift, especially out of sensitivity to all of us ladies dealing with infertility or those women who may never have the opportunity to be pregnant. We as women, pregnant or not, beat ourselves up and often compare ourselves to Hollywood standards. Looking like a glowing and pregnant Natalie Portman did on Oscar night is not reality unless you have a team of people getting you ready each morning. And yes some starlet pregnancies may come and go and their weight may not reach the non-pregnancy weight of us real women. But that is not reality either. So please, cherish and love your body! Enjoy your curves for at least this short period of time! And for goodness sake, remember that the changes your body is going through are on account of a beautiful baby growing inside of you, and there are many women struggling with infertility who would give anything to have your growing belly!