I feel fat.
There, I said it.
I know, it sounds horrible but I really do.
Please understand, though, that this is coming from someone who has struggled with body image issues and weight almost her entire life.
My weight has always fluctuated as much as the Dow Jones Industrial Average. As a child, I was thin and lanky but when I hit puberty I began to fill out, so to speak. I had hoped no one would notice but when you grow up in an Asian family, nothing goes unnoticed. My parents, mother especially, constantly commented on my weight and would ask me why I was eating so much. I would have Korean ladies (friends of my mom), dissect every aspect of my body and click their tongues if I had gained more weight since the last time they saw me or praise me if I had managed to lose some.
Towards the end of high school, I began losing weight. I didn’t do anything — it was my body adjusting to the puberty hormones and essentially dropping the baby weight. Suddenly I was too skinny. People would outright ask me if I had an eating disorder (I didn’t) or tell me I looked sickly and weak. I couldn’t win.
My 20’s were spent discovering myself as well as all the latest fad diets. Late night partying and grubbing meant weight gain and constantly checking the scale. I cringe looking back at my 20’s now because I really did a number on my body then. I never developed an eating disorder but I was probably borderline anorexic (and definitely neurotic).
Finally I began to feel comfortable in my skin when I entered my 30’s. Whatever body issues I had in the past I left them there. I got out of a toxic and emotionally abusive relationship, I left a career I hated to begin one that would become one of the most fulfilling things in my life, I met the love of my life, and most importantly I learned to love myself for who I was — flaws, weight, and all.
And then I got pregnant. And pregnant again. And again. And again again.
12 weeks pregnant. (And I thought I was big then. HA HA)
I am one of the lucky women who immediately bloats up as soon as she gets a positive on the pregnancy stick. Each and every time. Oddly, all 4 pregnancies came with the same symptoms. It was almost like the movie Groundhog Day. I had the same cravings, I had zero morning sickness, and I bloated up like a puffer fish (which makes me wonder if the other 3 were boys, as well). And I gained a lot of weight in the beginning.
With my past 3 non-viable pregnancies, I gained about 10 lbs. during each one. I’m 5’2″ so 10 lbs. is a lot. After each miscarriage, I would go through the process of trying to get back to my start weight only to get pregnant again a month and a half later. I spent most of 2015 gaining and trying to lose weight.
After my 3rd loss back in January/February, Christopher and I decided to take a break and try again in the late Fall. I also wanted to be as healthy as possible and be in the best shape when I got pregnant again. Around our elopement in March, I started feeling really good and I was almost back to my original weight before all my pregnancies. By April I felt “normal” and was beginning to feel comfortable in my body once more. I was also finally down to my previous pregnancies weight.
Then I found out I was pregnant. Again. HA.
On our wedding day, a month before I got pregnant with Baby Boy Lance.
I’ve been struggling a lot with my changing body. This is the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life and my past issues with my weight have reared their insecure heads.
I’m also struggling with trusting my body. I was so angry with it because of the miscarriages and for not doing what it’s “supposed to do”.
Some days I feel great and I’m appreciative of everything my body is doing and providing for Baby Boy and a lot of days I just don’t know whose body this is anymore. I feel and see my face becoming fuller, my feet and ankles are beginning to swell more, and I just feel BIG. I feel more tired now and tasks that were so simple and easy before are now laughably challenging (socks are my new enemies).
Photo taken this morning – 28 weeks pregnant.
I’m now 28 weeks pregnant. I still have one more trimester to get through and more weight to gain and I’m trying my best to be ok with that. I know how fortunate I am to be here today with our Baby Boy. I’m thankful for each day I get to spend with him. I truly am. And I know a lot of women would trade anything to be in my position right now. I know because I was one of them.
I remind myself of this all the time. The last thing I would ever want to do is take this pregnancy for granted because it took a lot for us to get here. Also because I know compared to a lot of other pregnancies, mine is considered a walk in the park.
I’m trying my best to embrace this new body of mine and telling myself it’s only temporary. Instead of complaining and criticizing, I’m working on thanking my body for being a vessel for our rainbow baby and being his home for now. I’m working on trusting my body again and trying to believe it won’t fail me once more. I need to trust my body in order to embrace and prepare for childbirth and be in a healthy and happy state of mind when we finally get to meet Baby Boy. I want to be the best mother I possibly can be in all stages of his life.
Pregnancy is beautiful. I see my maternity clients, my pregnant friends, and pregnant women on the street and I always think how beautiful they are and what an amazing and miraculous thing their bodies are doing. I need to see the same in me when I look at my own reflection. I promise I’m working on it.
Can I get an amen! Thank you to my friend Caroline for sharing this.