Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Body Positivity and Pregnancy

Warning: this post includes a photo of me in my underwear. Just as a heads up.

I, like many women I suspect, have often struggled to feel comfortable in my own skin. I was a little bit worried about how I'd feel during pregnancy as a little being took over my body and made it go through all sorts of weird and wonderful changes.

I worried even more when in the throes of liver failure inducing hyperemesis because clearly that was yet another sign that my body wasn't up to the task I was asking of it. Just like it had let me down when I wanted it to get pregnant in the first place and when it had decided that five foot two and a half inches was a perfectly respectable height for me and so we were done with that pesky growing business.

I can remember writing in my diary as puberty hit, feeling utterly confused by the way my body was developing. Boobs seemed to creep up on me gradually, while hips appeared almost overnight (leaving me with some nice attractive stretchmarks which seemed to take years to fade from angry purple-red to the creamy colour they are today). All the books seemed to talk about how your body would change but mine, like everyone else, followed its own schedule and I'm not sure I was too happy about the reminders I was growing up. I've never really been that good at accepting change.

As teens and young women do, I compared my body to those I saw around me; actresses, singers, models, adverts. Even though I wasn't into fashion as such, I was aware that their body types were rarely an example of my body type. And I just wasn't into hair and make up and clothes the way many of my peers were, I just wanted to be comfortable, which for me meant keeping as much flesh as covered as possible.

And those hip stretchmarks bothered me more than I really realised at the time. There are probably zero photos of me wearing a swimsuit, though I did go swimming, even out at the beaches on the island (those of us raised in Scotland think little of putting on a swimsuit and jumping in the sea during almost 20 degree weather, it's summer damnit!) but I'd often wear boys' swim shorts over the top of my swimsuit, the better to cover up those chubby little thighs.

In my mid- to late-twenties, I gained a little more confidence. I started wearing dresses and feeling happier with the way I looked. Sure my bum could be smaller and my legs more shapely, but my nose is cute and I've got a pretty awesome chest in the right bra!

Surprisingly, this coincides with our fertility treatment. Once you start regularly undressing from the waist down and exposing yourself in front of a myriad of medical professionals, suddenly a bit of thigh flab doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore.

My journey to get pregnant has obviously shaped how I view my pregnancy with Baby Bo. After so long of thinking it would never happen, perhaps I see these changes in my body as just a little more miraculous than some mums-to-be might. I can't help but be amazed at the changing shape of my belly (even if the appearance of my belly button grosses me out more than I'd care to admit).

My breasts are doing weird and wonderful things, like changing colour and trying to leak a sticky sort of gel, but I'm cool with that, they're getting ready to feed my son. I could do without the constant up and down size changes as it's going to cost me a small fortune in bras at this rate. But I can feel happy about these changes, they don't seem to bother me as they might have in the past. Because it's all happening for a very good reason.

Roughly a month ago I took a shower at my in-laws' house where they have a big mirror in the bathroom and as I stood staring at my new body I couldn't help but feel proud of myself. So I did the natural thing and snapped a photo.

This is probably the most flesh I've shown in public (albeit virtually) since I was about ten!

I'm all pink and scrubbed from the shower. My hair is wet and unbrushed. My bra and pants don't actually match (but you weren't looking that closely, were you?)

And I feel absolutely gorgeous.

My body might have failed at being sporty, at allowing me to reach stuff on the top shelf in the kitchen, and actually getting pregnant without lots of physical, emotional and financial effort. But you know what? It's really got a handle on this baby growing business, and I've never felt so good about it before.

And as for the future?

I'm aware that in the next two months it's going to change again. My belly will go from being round and firm to soft, flabby and empty. My boobs will almost certainly have another growth spurt. I'll probably have stretchmarks, possibly new scars, and I'll be learning how to provide for a new little person myself rather than letting my perfectly capable body handle all the important stuff.

But I'm hoping I can see those upcoming changes as badges of honour, proof that together we did this, my body and I.

And hopefully I'll be able to continue to look in the mirror and feel fabulous.


  1. It's a cliche to say people look blooming when they're pregnant, but it's so true. You have an incredible beautiful glow here and every right to feel fab :)

  2. You are beautiful.

    I absolutely LOVED being pregnant and never minded the body changes after pregnancy. I joyfully breastfed my babies and all worked out. I don't think you will be flabby and all. You look like someone who takes care of themselves and will be busy taking care of your little Click baby.

    1. Thank you. :) I don't really mind what my belly looks like when it's done making a baby, hopefully looking after Baby Bo will give me plenty of exercise. ;)


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