Dear Pregnant “Fat” Girl,
Congratulations! You’re pregnant and carrying a life inside of you. You are about to embark on one of life’s greatest blessings. I know how excited and happy you must feel. I know how every time you close your eyes, you envision what your little baby will look like. You’ve signed up for every baby registry and email list. You are over the moon about this next chapter of your life.
I also know that you’re terrified. You’re terrified of what is going to happen to your body over the next nine months. You’re terrified of gaining the weight back that you already lost before. You’re scared of getting more stretch marks all over your body. Maybe you’re even scared that nobody is going to be able to tell your pregnant. You wonder if you’ll even have a round baby bump. Will anyone be able to feel the baby kick? Will you be able to see the baby move? Will you have an unhealthy pregnancy because you’re overweight?
It’s ok. Everything is going to be ok. You are perfect just the way you are. Your body is amazing. It’s strong. It’s creating life!
You’re pregnant and yes you are going to gain weight. It may not be easy to see the scale going up at every doctor appointment but it’s ok. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that your body needs to gain weight in order to take care of your baby.
I know. I get it. That doesn’t make it any easier. You are still filled with so much anxiety and then you feel guilty about feeling this way. You want this baby so bad but you can’t stomach the thought of what this pregnancy is going to do to your body.
I completely understand. I was you last year. I had all of the same thoughts. I wanted my baby. My baby was planned. But when I saw that pregnancy test turn positive, my initial excitement was over shadowed by thinking about how much it was going to ruin my body. The one that I’ve struggled with my ENTIRE life. The one that has lost and gained weight so many times I’ve lost count. The one that had recently lost 50 lbs and was determined to make it to goal by the summer. Those plans got derailed. I got pregnant.
I gained weight. 70 lbs to be exact. Somehow I ended up with zero new stretch marks. I gave birth to the most perfect, beautiful little girl named Catalina Rose. Once I heard her heartbeat at my first ultrasound appointment, I was hooked. I was in love. It was real. That still didn’t take away the fact that I was terrified of what was going to happen to my body. BUT, it got easier as the months rolled on. It got easier each time I got to see her on the ultrasound or feel her kick. I realized that my body was actually pretty damn irresistible and it was creating a new life. Then my bump started forming and I actually loved it. I loved how I looked. I loved that I didn’t have to suck it in anymore and I could be pregnant and own that shit! I think being pregnant gave me a totally new outlook on body image and body positivity that I didn’t have before.
I didn’t get to see myself in the mirror until the day after she was born. I had a c section and wasn’t allowed out of bed until then. It was after I took my first shower that I looked at my naked body in the mirror. Except I couldn’t fully do it. I was so scared of what the “aftermath” would look like. It wasn’t until day 3 that I really got a good look. I’ll warn you now it’s not pretty and it’s not easy. You are still going to look pregnant immediately after your baby is born. You are also going to look pregnant and deflated all at the same time. I literally felt like my stomach was lopsided. It’s weird but that is NORMAL!! Things will shift back into place. Just keep this in mind the first time you see your naked body. Give it time. Give it weeks . . . months even. I’m now 3 months postpartum and I’ve still got 40 lbs to lose that I gained during the pregnancy. Don’t listen to those haters that say your body will never be the same. Yea, it will change but you can get it back if you want to.
I always dreamed I’d have the “perfect’ body when I decided to get pregnant except I didn’t. In fact, I was still 50 lbs overweight when it happened. So yup, I was the “fat girl” who got pregnant. In case you’re wondering I actually hate that phrase but more on that another time. I’m here to let you know that you’re beautiful and everything is going to be ok. I don’t want you to waste your entire pregnancy obsessing over your weight. That’s how you miss out on life. Embrace this time because before you know it, it’s over. That said, here are my tips for you.
Take the Pictures!
Take pics of your bump. Lots of them. Take them with clothes on and without. Chronicle your pregnancy every week and month. I created a photo book of my pregnancy that my daughter can look at when she’s older. You will regret not taking the pics. Do them even on the days when you feel fat and ugly. Trust me, hormones WILL make you feel this way. One day your baby will want to see pics of her mama when she was pregnant. Teach your child to embrace and love their body. This starts with pregnancy.
Touch the Belly!
I’ve always hated my stomach. It’s my #1 problem area. So much so that in the past I could barely touch it because I used to hate it so much. True story. Pregnancy changed that for me. I loved rubbing my belly and talking to my baby. Touch your belly. Talk to your baby. Let your partner rub and touch your belly. It’s his way of connecting with baby.
Wear Cute Maternity Clothes
Wear the maternity clothes that show off your growing baby bump! Don’t hide yourself in baggy clothes. This is time to celebrate you and your body. Don’t be afraid of what size they are. Nobody else knows the size. They just see a glowing and beautiful pregnant woman! Find things that flatter you and make you feel irresistible.
Own Your Body & Don’t Apologize for It!
Your body was good enough to get pregnant and it’s going to be more than enough to deliver a baby. Be proud of that. Will you gain weight and maybe some stretch marks? Yes but who cares! Don’t apologize to your doctor or anyone else for your weight. Trust me I found myself doing this before any doctor could have a chance to make a negative comment about my weight. If you have a doctor that is rude, find another one! You don’t need that bullshit. Truth? My doctor had zero problems with my 70lb weight gain. I was perfectly healthy at every appointment and so was my baby. Weight does not always equate to bad health!
Schedule a Maternity Photo Session
For goodness sakes, find a photographer and get professional maternity photos taken. Even if you are swollen and feel huge. When I had my photos taken, I was incredibly swollen everywhere (feet, face, hands). My wedding rings didn’t fit and I couldn’t squeeze my feet into any of my shoes. Plus, my session was rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew. In fact the hurricane literally happened the day before and our entire house was flooded and a disaster zone. The last thing I was in the mood for was getting glammed up to take pics. I did it anyway. They aren’t perfectly what I imagined but I love them and that’s who we were at that moment in our lives. Your family will treasure these forever.
Enjoy Pregnancy and Don’t Stop Living Life
Yes, you’re pregnant. No, life is not over. You can still do things! I was kayaking at 6 months pregnant. While pregnant, I flew to Phoenix for the annual BlogPaws conference where I was both working and speaking. I went on a road trip to Savannah in July. Yes you will eventually slow down and will get tired but live your life! Life doesn’t stop just because your pregnant. I know that you may want to sit and hide inside your house because you feel fat and unattractive. Don’t! Get outdoors. Go for a walk. Go out with friends. Do things!
You Are Irresistible
I wanted to wrap this up by saying that I totally understand what you’re going through. I also want to get really corny and say that every pound, every ache, pain, and my c section incision scar are totally worth it. I can’t even imagine my life now without Catalina.
You might get stretch marks and you may not. You will gain weight. You might even gain more than is “medically suggested.” You might not. It’s ok. You have the rest of your life to get in shape and work on your body. You are still irresistible.
Most importantly, enjoy your pregnancy. It goes by so fast. Don’t waste your time and energy obsessing over your growing baby bump and stretch marks. Don’t obsess over the number on the scale. Your body is irresistible and it’s doing the biggest job of its life. Stay calm, connect with your baby, and remind yourself that you are irresistible.
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