My body image has been a bit bi-polar of late. On the one hand I would really like to have a round preggo belly. Instead, I am stuck with a bit of a pooch that just confuses people. (“Is she pregnant, or has she just let herself go?”) This desire is especially strong when Mr. F. and I attend our Bradley class on Monday evenings. All of the other couples in the class are well along in their pregnancy and have the belly to show it. I, however, feel like a bit of a poser as I’m not even into maternity clothes yet. Yesterday we practiced “deep abdominal breathing” which required the women to sit in front of their husbands on the floor and rest against them. The husbands wrapped their arms around to place their hands on their wife’s belly. The other men in the class had their arms fully extended as they attempted to reach around their wife’s girth. While doing the relaxation exercise, they were able to feel the baby kick underneath the pressure of their hands. Mr. F. arms however, were relaxed as he reached around my (relatively) flat stomach, and all he felt was the rise and fall of my (seemingly) empty abdomen.
On the flip side, I feel a bit unhinged at all the changes going on with my body, and I wish I could push a slow-motion, pause, or even a rewind button. I hardly recognize myself anymore, and I can only imagine that it will get worse as the pregnancy progresses. I feel a bit like an adolescent, Judy Blume character on the cusp of womanhood. However, just like puberty freaked me out, It shouldn’t be surprising that I am less than excited to see the monumental changes occurring now, later in life. I am, after all, a person who really doesn’t like change.
*(as an aside) I remember when I first got my period—an event that was nothing short of a tragedy to me at the time. I was seriously annoyed when my mom chose to get all sappy and sentimental on me, “My baby is now a woman!” I looked at her like she had grown two heads. Seriously. Who would want this to happen? I surely didn’t. Nor was I all that excited to cross into the realm of womanhood. Gag.*
Mr. F., the poor fellow, gets to ride this rollercoaster of emotions with me as one night I complain about how big and bulky I feel and while the next night I am fussing about how I am not showing at all. I think we are both waiting for these pregnancy hormones to level out.
So all you mothers out there, how did you deal with the changes of pregnancy? Loved them? Hated them?