I got a lot of comments about the openness of last Friday's post. I'm not usually one to be so open and deep - I keep a lot inside - that's just who I am. But I also know being open and honest about some of these hard things is good too. It's difficult for me to do this...but this is my blog and a good place to have that openness - with the good and bad about life.
I'm a people pleaser. Always have been. Always will be. It's just who I am. For as long as I can remember, people would always make comments to me about what I'd be like when I got pregnant. "You'll hardly gain any weight." "You'll be ALL belly." "You'll be so cute!" "You'll lose the weight right away." Most people brush these comments off. But an extreme people pleaser like me remembers these comments. Instead of them being just silly comments, I catalog them as 'expectations.' Things I think people expect from me when the time comes I get pregnant. Now don't get me wrong - I know these people had no idea this is how I took those comments. They did nothing wrong. This is just a 'me thing.' This is just how my brain works.
And now here I am. Pregnant. VERY pregnant in fact. Having heard these comments for years now, I have a lot stored in this head of mine. And as each week goes by, I'm constantly wondering what people are thinking of me as I go through this process. Am I gaining more weight than people ever thought I would? Am I carrying the way everyone thought I would? Am I already bigger than what most people expected me to get? Do people think less of me since I had to stop running so early on in my pregnancy? Are people judging me when I might not pick the healthiest thing to eat?
And, therefore, I'm constantly questioning myself. My body. My decisions. Everything.
Pregnancy is hard enough. I haven't enjoyed being pregnant. It hasn't been easy on me. I'm in constant pain. We've had a few scares. The body changes are overwhelming. My anxiety about everything is at the highest level it's ever been. On top of ALL that I'm constantly thinking to myself, "Am I, in fact, letting people down with how my pregnancy is going?" (even though I know these 'expectations' are all in my head and that no one is getting disappointed by how my pregnancy is going so far, except maybe me.)
But at the end of the day, I can't control how my body reacts to being pregnant. Accepting that and accepting my body during all this has been difficult for me.
Yup, I've probably gained more weight already at 32 weeks than most people thought I would my entire pregnancy. Yup, I'm not 'just belly' - I've got love handles I never had before. My face is fuller. My butt and thighs are larger. I have more cellulite. Sometimes my ankles will swell. BUT I'm doing the best I can to have a healthy pregnancy, for myself and for my baby. I work out 5-6 times a week. I try to make smart, healthy food choices (though I have most definitely struggled with this.) I try to relax as much as I can. I'm going to physical therapy to help with the SPD. So, even though I'm doing all this stuff there's still a lot I can't control (and not being in control is not something I'm good with!) Maybe I'll gain 30lbs. And maybe I won't be able to lose it all after baby. I'll probably have stretch marks. And I may never fit back into some of my old clothes. I don't expect to rock a bikini anymore (not that I was ever really comfortable wearing one before so no big deal there!) And I may not ever get back to my pre-pregnancy fitness level. But I need to be OK with all that. Something that I may never be. Something I'll always need to work on.
So, with these last few weeks, my goal is to try not to be so hard on myself. I know no one else has expectations of me, except to take care of myself and the baby. These are things I put on myself. And for once in my life I need to learn to go easy on myself...if pregnancy isn't the time to do this I don't know when is.
Yes, I can't wait to have my body back...to work hard at getting back to the fitness level I would like to be at. To not be in pain all the time. To feel like myself again. But I also know my body will never be the same. Learning to TRULY accept these things is something that will always be a work in progress for me. And I may never get there. But I'm going to continue working towards that goal, working hard in all areas of my life, and try to be that well-rounded, strong, confident person I long to be.
Hey ~ I'm Renée...just your ordinary, 30-something Accountant, new mommy, wife, runner, foodie, & Pinterest addict! Welcome to my newest adventure...stay awhile...look around...and keep comin' back!