Friday, October 19, 2007

The Pregnant Body

Its been really something to watch my body change over the past 5 months. It's almost a surprise now, when I look back at pictures of me without a baby belly. One of the disappointments I felt, silly as it may be, about pregnancy was that many women don't even start to really show until halfway through the pregnancy. Sure, you might be a bit bloated and look/feel different from normal, but many won't have that baby belly to show off till between 18-24 weeks! So I spent a long time waiting for it to show, and then as soon as the abdominal swelling started I'd steal glances at my profile whenever possible-- at home, in store windows as I walked around in town, etc.

I now feel like I'm right in the middle of that "cute pregnancy stage" where I have a nice, round belly that's not too big but is definitely there. My body is fuller, rounder, and I love it. I love what it is doing as it creates and nurtures this life inside me.

At the same time, worries about what I'll look like after the birth have started creeping in. I've been blessed with good genes and have never really had to worry about my weight. Sure, I've always tried to be relatively active and eat well, but I've never been good at keeping up a workout regimen and I do love me some chocolate cake. I've always wondered how I'd react if I did start noticing the pounds creeping on. Would I act quickly, eating a bit less and moving a bit more, till I got back to "normal?" Would I have the self-discipline for that? Looking at the women in my family I don't have many worries-- both my mother and grandmother (maternal, anyway) look fabulous after birthing 4 and 7 children, respectively. But I wonder what it will be like in those first months, as my body adjusts back to not being pregnant. It's fun watching the number on the scale grow now, b/c it's supposed to-- it's a good sign. But what will I feel as I look down at my belly, no longer taut and round but instead squishy and flabby? How long will it take to get back to "normal?" What sorts of permanent body changes will I notice? Will I be able to lose the weight before my sister's wedding, 4 months post-partum?

And I guess the answer is, we'll see. I like to think that instead of worrying about how flabby I look, I'll be proud of my body for the feat it will have just accomplished. I also like to think that, thanks to good genes and breastfeeding, I'll get back to about my pre-pregnancy size without too much trouble. We'll see. I may also have much bigger (or, smaller) things to worry about at that time, like our precious baby to take care of and get to know.

We'll see.

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