Your whole body will never be exactly the same.
Actually, your whole life will never be exactly the same--but that’s expected.
It’s called pregnancy. Let me tell you how it is:
My ankles ache.
And the headaches are severe. Gosh, sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode and I can only take Tylenol as a cure, which is like taking a placebo.
My foot feels like someone stepped on my tendons, crushing them. I have two kids in the outside of belly world, so it’s highly probable a person under 2ft did.
Hair grows in places I never knew could grow hair.
My left earlobe has a hole in it that is about to breakthrough my ear. When my eldest was about nine months she thought the diamond in it was pretty and shiny-- it was-- and tried to yank it out because she wanted it. That was the day I saw stars, maybe even fireworks, like I was in a cartoon. It recently got worse to an I-can’t-even-wear-studs-because-it’s-breaking through status. It looks lovely. I can't get it fixed yet, because my doctor would rather I do it when I am not pregnant.
I carry from side to side, so I look a bit like a pot belly pig. Another way to describe it is that I carry in my butt and thighs—like, I didn't know it was possible to carry a butt baby until it happened to me. All joking aside, people may not know if I am pregnant or put on some weight until close to the third trimester because of how my pregnancy weight distributes.
As I describe to friends, I feel like a hot mess minus the hot part.
Okay maybe I am hot (at least temperature wise) sometimes but only because my hormones are all wanky.
So, do I love how I feel pregnant? Nope. But, do I love being pregnant? Yes.
In all seriousness, I forgot how hard it is being pregnant in terms of having your body change so drastically, especially while being in recovery from Eating Disorders.
It’s strange to think, within the past six years of recovery (official rock-bottom date December 3rd, 2012), I have gone through weight restoration, followed by two pregnancies, and now my third. That's a lot of body evolutions in a short period.
As much as I hate to admit it, it hasn’t been easy for me. I can preach all day about self-love and the new respect I have for my body since creating my amazing girls (next one coming in May), which I do, but I don’t feel body confidence at every second, especially when pregnant. In fact, I think it’s important to say that I do struggle a lot, so others know it's okay not to feel perfect about your baby bump all the time--especially others in eating disorder recovery. I don’t believe that anyone feels perfect about their body all the time. Even the most confident people have bad body image days.
When I complain about my size, I am met with “but you are pregnant and so lucky so don’t complain.” I know I am, but just because I am pregnant and lucky doesn’t mean I can’t express my normal rational body fears.
I want to make a clear differentiation too. I struggle with how I look, but I do practice total self-love in the way I nourish and care for my body. I am not self-destructing because I am thinking of the beautiful child I am fortunate enough to bear (and the two that are outside my belly looking at me as a role model); and in addition to the above, I would never go there again. I am way too happy in my life of recovery ever to look back. I just don't think I look hot, or even kind of good, but I know I am much more than my body, plus my Eating Disorder was more about coping and control than actual size and weight loss, as most peoples are.
Bottom line, I’m healthy and how I feel about my physical appearance while pregnant is never going to stop me from growing my family—or being the best version of me for them. Also, it is not about acceptance, because I accept every part of me wholeheartedly right now, because it is giving me the best gift in the world—another daughter.
This originally appeared on the author's Facebook . Her book Living FULL: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorder is available for preorder on amazon: https://amzn.to/2O4mJId
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