I know I haven’t been keeping up to-date with my weekly wrap-ups but I can assure you that all has been good and healthy. I’ll be posting wrap-ups in order as I complete them along with some other posts I’ve been meaning to write.
There has been a lot of news spinning around regarding celebrity moms posting photos of themselves and their children, and I think this brings up the important topic of self-image during pregnancy.
Body Image During Pregnancy.
When you’re pregnant you go through a ton of changes. Most of them come on slowly, which is a good thing. If you woke up one day with a giant belly, super sensitive skin, weight gain, water retention, and heartburn that would turn a dragon green with envy, you’d probably freak out. Even when these changes are gradual, you find that many of your favorite body parts have changed somehow, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. Other things you’d hoped would change haven’t (my bump hasn’t rounded out those awkward stomach rolls).
The bottom line is that anything can shatter your positive body image during pregnancy, be it a warped mirror, fitting room lights, or clothes that don’t fit right even when they fit yesterday. At some point during pregnancy you will feel humiliated with how your body looks, even if only for a fleeting moment. Women who tell you they loved their bodies their entire pregnancy are either saints or lying. They probably don’t remember staring at themselves in the mirror at what used to be their best angle, thinking, “Well, this is as good as it’s gonna get.”
I’ve found that the best way to power through the pregnancy body blues is to 1) have a super supportive husband who rubs my shoulders and jokes with me about all the body changes I don’t like and 2) spoil myself in ways completely unrelated to my body image. I don’t go out and buy a new dress or a cute pair of shoes. Instead I’ll indulge in some new lotion or that tea that I haven’t bought yet because it’s just a little too pricy. I’ll do my nails or take a bath, maybe shamelessly spend an entire day lost in a book. These things help me focus on what’s important: that I keep myself healthy, stress-free, and smart throughout pregnancy.
Also this week, I’m starting to lose that pep that gave me the get-up-and-go during my second trimester. It’s not too bad yet, but I can feel it coming on much like knowing a cold is going to hit you like a brick wall. Baby creeps into my ribs earlier in the day, which puts me out of commission sooner. I also can NOT handle the heat. Remember that saying, “a bun in the oven?” Guess what: you’re the oven.
People keep teasing me about having nesting habits. I don’t think I’m hitting the nesting habits stage. I’ve always been pretty OCD, to a point where I have to consciously stop myself if it begins to interfere with my productivity. I hear tell that “nesting” really gets going in the last two weeks or so before baby, if ever. Here’s the deal: I’m unpacking my house because I don’t like living in boxes and cleaning because I like things clean. I’ll let you know when I start spontaneously fluffing every pillow in sight… or arranging them into nests.
At a recent OB visit my CNM told me my weight gain isn’t really too big of a deal, which is a HUGE relief. I was really getting down on myself about that, but my weight gain has slowed and she let me know the big reason they were keeping a close eye is due to a family history of diabetes. So I’m not terribly overweight. In fact, I’m within the brackets. *whew*
OB verified: sleeping on my stomach does not harm the baby. I’ve developed a bizarre form of sleeping on my stomach where I use a body pillow to support most of the weight surrounding my stomach, and that’s super comfy for me, and I assume for baby too. I still do sleep on my stomach semi-regularly. The CNM verified that the baby is so cocooned that there’s no way I could “squish” the baby, which was good to hear. I had nightmares about flat-headed baby.
The OB also warned me about the possibility of Braxton-Hicks contractions. This being my first pregnancy I naturally asked, “What do they feel like?” She said they just feel like menstrual cramps, sometimes a little stronger. You get all kinds of aches and pains and pangs and twinges and cramps etc. during pregnancy, but these feel specifically like menstrual cramps and last a few minutes. Sometimes they’re dull and achy, sometimes sharp and painful. Luckily I haven’t had any yet, and I really hope I don’t. I’d like to know decisively when I’m in labor.