Coming to terms with a changing body

5 mesesOne of the most beautiful things about pregnancy is how your body changes and adapts to accommodate this new life growing within you. The miracle of life is exactly that, a miracle. I’m absolutely awed every time I think about how my uterus goes from about the size of my fist, pre-pregnancy to the size of a watermelon at birth. (And that it will go back again!)

Another part of this growing and changing is that mama-to-be will gain some weight. It’s no surprise to any expectant mother, but even when you’re anticipating packing on a few pounds, the sudden ‘sticker shock’ that comes with stepping on the scale for your monthly visit can still be tough to handle.

During the first 5 months of my pregnancy, I gained a total of 5 pounds and felt comfortable with that, even if I had lost my waist. But at my most recent appointment, I was shocked to discover I’d gained 9 pounds in one month! I wasn’t so much upset about the 9 pounds as I was the total number on the scale. I hadn’t seen a number that high in about 5 years, and I felt a bit of ‘sticker shock’ when I realized how high it really was.

For most of my pregnancy I’ve tried my best to embrace and love my growing and changing body. I realize that I’m not going to be this way forever, and that any weight gain is (chocolate-covered corn nuts aside) for and by a good cause.

There are some days when I feel as big as a house, which were mostly when I was newly pregnant, (looked nowhere near as large as I felt) and I really didn’t like my body. I’ve spent so many years struggling with my weight that it almost felt like a failure to see myself getting bigger and the number on the scale rising. It’s been through much hard work and a very loving husband that I’ve come to terms with the new, fuller version of myself.

My legs are strong to support me and the baby; my full breasts will help to nourish this new life; my giant belly is a safe home for our little one to grow; and my ass, well, that’s from one too many morning pain au chocolats – and I’m to blame for that, but I’m OK with it.

I still have moments where I catch myself ‘fat-talking’ about myself, and I have to consciously remember that’s not a healthy or safe place for me to let my thinking live. All in all I eat respectably well, and I try to do some activity every day, whether it’s hitting the trails for a walk with hubs or a gentle rejuvenating yoga practice. I’ve also been able to better manage my stress the past six months than I have my entire life.

I find now that most of my negative body issues are as a result of frustrations at the limitations of my body. Not being able to run or bend like I used to, pulling a muscle when I sneeze, and having to reach extra far into the sink to do the dishes are just a few examples. I’m not mad about it, it’s just frustrating to be a little more reliant on those around me for certain tasks.

There are so many positives that have come as a result of this exciting new adventure I’ve embarked upon that  I couldn’t imagine myself on any other path. Pregnancy is such a wonderful game-changer.

Mamas: How did you feel about your changing body? Did you struggle to accept the changes?

Photo via: josemanuelerre, Flickr.com

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