So, here I am at the end of my second trimester of pregnancy. I'm 26 weeks today, or yesterday depending on if you pay attention to my pregnancy app or my OBGYN. And I have to say, other than the horrible morning sickness, the hardest part of this pregnancy has been the change to my body image. I kind of hesitate to say it just like that, because there's so much swirling in my mind that isn't covered by that statement. And at the same time I'm totally fine with what's going on, it's just a big change.
Let's just start by saying for those of you who don't know me personally, I've always been a petite person. I grew up taking ballet lessons and for a long time thought I'd be a professional ballerina. Even though I've always been petite, I'm totally fine with the weight gain associated with pregnancy. I weigh more right now than I ever have and I think it's great. I don't even mind that my body is changing, that I've got this giant belly that's just getting bigger. I do miss some of my cute clothes, especially my skirts and dresses, but I tell myself I will get to wear them again this summer.
I guess what is hard for me, what bothers me if you will is the change in how my body moves. I can't touch my toes for the life of me. I drop something and have to seriously weight the pros and cons of bending down to pick it up. My belly bumps into the sink at work every time I wash my hands. I've fallen down twice because I just couldn't recover the same way from a stumble. I'm just not as agile as I used to be, and that is so frustrating! And that lack of agility is what makes me feel huge, even though I have 14 weeks to go. And even though I'm OK weighing more, I guess it's the constant feeling of more weight on my belly that bothers me. I'm constantly aware of my belly because I feel it constantly. If it doesn't feel heavy, I'm getting kicked and prodded by my little one. I miss just not thinking about it all the time. Sometimes I beg Shawn, can you just take this for an hour or two so I can stretch and bend and take a nap on my belly? I'm starting to be jealous of all those animals that do trade off the responsibilities of incubating the fetus. (I'm staring at you penguins!) And what I wouldn't give for a night of sleep that didn't involve thinking about how I'm sleeping. I wake up constantly on my back, and that's a big no-no for pregnant women! I know I SHOULD sleep on my left side, but sometimes my right side is just more comfortable, or simply the less uncomfortable of the two. And it's more comfortable to sleep with a pillow between my legs, but it's harder to turn over, and then there's so much less space in bed with an extra pillow, and since I'm feeling huge anyway, space is important.
Oh friends, I want to embrace my body. I want to embrace this pregnancy, and I think in a lot of ways I really do, but at the same time I feel frustrated, and big, and tired. I'm not ready for it to be over because I'm not ready for a newborn, and I certainly don't want this baby girl coming before she is good and ready, but I do want a break. I want a pregnancy break, just a few hours of my old body maybe in my old favorite dress. Does anyone else feel like this or is it just me? How is my body image going to change AGAIN when I've had the baby and need to lose the baby weight? Will I ever feel like me again?