I originally wrote this article as a guest post several years ago for Mothering Beyond Expectations.
I’m sitting in bed, notebook propped against my knees, pen in hand, and phone comfortably balanced on my third trimester belly. I’ve been mulling this topic over in my head for awhile and now feels like a good time to finally start writing.
The first time I got pregnant, an older acquaintance told me that she had never been pregnant because she never could’ve done that to her body. Yikes. Perhaps not the greatest/most encouraging thing to mention off-hand to a first time mom, ha!
But you know, I don’t think she was being rude; I think she was just being honest.
Pregnancy = a lot of body changes. That’s pretty obvious. But I think sometimes people kind of jump right over the body change part like it’s no big deal.
Most of my life I’ve been blessed to not struggle much with my weight (except for that awkward freshman fifteen haha!) Back when my husband and I got married I was at what I considered my perfect weight – basically very skinny – and I felt really good about myself.
A year and a half later, I was thrilled to be expecting our first baby. It was such an exciting time. It makes me happy thinking back to all the fun memories I have of preparing for our first little one.
But there was one thing I wasn’t prepared for: the way my body would change.
I mean obviously I knew I was going to gain weight – that’s a given. I just wasn’t prepared for how hard the different body changes would be for me. My new pregnant body certainly didn’t feel like mine, and that puffy face definitely didn’t look like mine.
Now, before I go on, let me say really quick here that pregnancy is a GIFT. God has been so good to me to allow me to carry children. I am amazed every time at the incredible miracle that I get to be a part of as a sweet little baby grows inside me. But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
And it’s okay to admit that.
I’ve heard people make comments implying that it’s ridiculous, even selfish, to feel upset about the weight gain and other body changes that come with pregnancy.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not ridiculous. No, friend, on the contrary it’s completely understandable – and absolutely okay.
Pregnancy is hard, and it will change you. Even if you lose all the weight after baby comes, your body will never be exactly the same again. That can be tough to come to terms with.
A year after my first baby was born I tried on my wedding dress. I’d lost all my baby weight so I assumed it would fit. Well, it didn’t. I cried.
And while I’d far rather have my sweet babies in my arms than ever fit into that dress, it was okay that I felt sad about the dress. And if you’ve struggled or are struggling with something similar, know that your feelings are valid.
Change is hard. The sacrifice that pregnancy requires of you is hard. But also know this: while your post-baby body will never be quite the same again, neither will your heart. Because once you have that baby, a piece of your heart will be in your arms. And that’s a change that makes everything else worth it.