But I'm supposed to be big....

***Before I launch into this story and my rant, let me say that I’m not that big and I don’t even think I am. I am really enjoying being pregnant. ***

A woman asked me the other day if I was sure I wasn’t having twins, cause I was huge for six months and she wasn’t even showing at six months with her first.

She wasn’t trying to be rude. Even after she said it I don’t think she thought it could be hurtful cause in her mind she was remembering her first pregnancy and making a statement about it. I laughed it off and made the conversation light and didn't let it bug me. I even consciously thought how it’s a good thing I’m not self-conscious about gaining weight while pregnant or that could’ve really hurt me.

Then something weird happened. It did kind of hurt me. The rest of the day I was paranoid. I saw a friend that night, I told her about it and we laughed about it…but then I brought it up again. And again. Cause it was on my mind and I needed to laugh it off again to feel okay.

 I got on Facebook that night and saw an acquaintance posted a pregnancy picture of herself with the caption ‘seven more weeks!’ – she looked like I did two weeks ago and I’m still in my second trimester. I started rationalizing why I’m showing:

I’m small normally. 

I have a small torso. 

I’m having a boy so I'm all carrying in front.  

Husband was a huge baby, so maybe baby Wade is big right now. 

I used to push my belly out after a big meal joking that I was stretching for someday when I was pregnant and now my body is expanding to that capacity.

I needed to pee when she made her comment, so my belly was looking bigger. 

Each rationale was as ridiculous as the next simply because they were all unnecessary.

I’ve always been thin and had a relatively good body image. But I live in western culture, so of course I’ve been affected. I feel somewhat unscathed, but who is entirely woundless?! (look at this amazing TED talk by the model Cameron Russell where she says that models are some of the most insecure people in the world because they look perfect, but they fret about remaining perfect and looking more perfect). Isn’t it tragically funny that we all look at skinny women like they’ve accomplished something paramount and amazing like they had any say in it? Not saying they didn’t do anything or that individuals can’t work towards improving themselves – but a lot of it is genes that we have no say in.

This is even more true when pregnant. I have no say on what my body will do. That’s not entirely true, I can eat healthy, exercise, take care of myself, ect. But really, if my body decides to pack on the pounds even though I’m not shoveling in the calories while I’m pregnant – fine, I’m still going to feed my little man. If my body looks eight months pregnant when I’m actually four – fine, I’m just going to wear maternity pants a lot sooner. If my body gets hemorrhoids, varicose veins,  crazy acne, heartburn, swollen limbs or whatever – fine, I’m going to deal with it. I’m amazed how every week, day or hour I am changing. My grandma had to tie my shoe the other morning but by afternoon I could retie it myself.

Same goes for postpartum. I keep seeing people post things like ‘one week postpartum and I’m only five pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight!’ They’re proud of it, even though they’ve really had no say in how their bodies will react at that point postpartum! They are conditioned to be proud of this as if they had any control. There is also a certain undertone of relief in these posts – as women in western culture we have to consciously tell ourselves to be okay as we watch the scale edge upwards because we’re housing a miracle…but we’re often gripped with a little fear as we imagine working those pounds back off afterwards.

Maternity is the time, more than any other, that I’ve wanted to compare myself to others simply because I don’t know what normal is. I want to make sure I’m being a good incubator. But the comical juxtaposition here is that this is the time, more than any other, when I can’t compare to others because every pregnancy is so different! Even for the same women. But I have the knee jerk reaction is to do it anyways.

Here’s another thought – I think comparing is often good, purely so I know that being 400 pounds is bad. It can be good for a benchmark. On some things. But I’m entering an era when all I should do is not compare at all. My good friend told me to get on social media judiciously postpartum cause you’ll see new moms posting about their babies sleeping though the night or self-soothing or being potty trained at 10 days old. Who cares? My baby might be a little terror. Or he might poop gold. But especially in the first few months we’re going to figure out what works for us and do it our way. Not to say that I’ll ignore millennia of good practices – but Husband, baby and I will work to take a day at a time and go at our pace. I’m predicting a lot of pajama days.

I’m excited for where I am at right now. I am even more excited for everything the next few months and years holds for us. I hate that sometimes I let outside influences rock me. Life is beautiful and I want to enjoy where I’m at right now – even if it includes hormonal acne. 


  1. It amazes me how people think that because their pregnancy or their babies were a certain way, they think everyone else is the same. I had people tell me, towards the end of my pregnancy, how they never got as big as I did, even with their last kids (turns out I had like twice as much amniotic fluid as most people do). I had people ask if I had twins, had someone tell me I should be up and walking when my doctor put me on bed rest, told me I looked like I was about to pop, etc. Now that I'm not ranting...haha sorry. I love your take on it; you're totally right, that every pregnancy is totally different. And whatever difficult things it brings, it is all totally worth it in the end :)

  2. Way to have a good out look! A friend of mine from Eagle River that I follow via blog, FB, ect. had a baby a couple months a head of me. It was her 4th child and one that slept through the night early in life. Everything seemed to be so easy for her and I kept finding myself comparing and then being disappointed. I learned what she does for her daughter isn't always something that will work for mine because they are different girls and that it takes time to get to know your baby, at least for me it did. When I learned to do what worked for us it was so much easier!!!
    Also rock the pajama days, they are great!