Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pregnancy and Body Image

Pregnancy and Body Image.

I think FAR too often these things go together with a negative connotation, I however, love (at least 90% of the time) how I look pregnant. I have looked different each time but each time I have felt pretty powerful and confident. I also love that I don't have to suck in my belly in pictures! :)

With Annabeth...

The summer before we found out we were expecting I gained 60 lbs in a few shorts months. Quite a few doctor visits and tests later revealed imbalanced and elevated insulin levels in my body. I switched a few diet/exercise things and started a medicine regimen and quite a bit of the weight came off that fall as the medicine worked. Then we found out we were expecting in late January 2011! I was so excited and never gave a second thought about how I would look. We had waited and wished for so long that my appearance was not what mattered. In the end, it didn't matter. I was so severely sick with Annabeth that I lost over 50 lbs during my pregnancy (originally over 60 but I did manage to gain some back in the last 10 weeks thanks to McDonald's cheeseburgers) Other than my giant belly (she was 9 lbs 1 oz), I was teeny tiny! I had little bird arms and legs, no cankles, and an itty bitty face! I loved it! Once I had Annabeth, I looked really good and much better than I had the year before. Since I had lost all of my weight while pregnant, I had none to lose after. I did do some toning and since I nursed her I lost even more. It was, for most people, such a strange way to be pregnant and post-partum but for me it was my only experience.

39 Weeks, 4 Days with Annabeth.
All belly 19 hours before Annabeth arrived.

 2 weeks, 1 day after Annabeth's arrival. 
Look how tiny! I just needed some ab work!

1 Month, 2 Days after Annabeth's arrival.
At my "perfect weight" as determined in college :) 

With Owen...

Thanks to a family weight loss challenge, I lost 15 lbs last winter/spring in preparation for Luke and Cassidy's wedding in June. Then, we found out we were expecting in late October. Again, I was extremely sick in the beginning, but it leveled off around 28 weeks and I have actually gone days in a row without vomiting this pregnancy. I am yet to gain back any weight, I am down 20 from October, but I don't have that tiny look that I had with Annabeth. Obviously, I am happy to be healthier for Owen but it makes the body image part of my brain feel a little crazy. What am I going to look like after he comes? How long will it take to go back to normal? What is the stretch mark damage going to be this time? (My stomach was a complete stretch mark mess after Annabeth and they never faded so Owen's have just added on top) This wondering is the unknown for me since I didn't have to do it the first time. I have not gained weight but my body has certainly changed. Praying I can handle, gracefully, whatever the outcome is. Just 7 more weeks until Owen!  

32 Weeks, 1 Day with Owen 

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