Saturday, November 3, 2012

Body Image part dos

I'm going to be vain today and talk about body image in pregnancy. 
Honestly, I know I've said before how I was really feeling large. I did feel big, but I still felt like I was doing a good job and that I was still me. 
A switch in me changed about two weeks ago and now I just feel extremely fat. Did you notice there have been no belly pictures lately? I don't know exactly what did it. 
It could be that I've had extremely terrible swelling in my legs and feet. 
I can't even wear normal shoes anymore. I'm outgrowing some of my maternity pants because they get too tight around my calves by the end of the day, but I'll be darned if I wear a skirt and show off my kankles. I feel like it makes me look HUGE. Also, I have absolutely nothing to wear. 
 You see those lines? My skin is literally folding over itself.
(yes, those are finger prints after poking my ankles. And NO, pictures definitely do not do justice to how huge they are)

It could be the endless comments from everyone and their dog lately. Mostly it's about how my belly is too big. My baby must be 10 pounds, minimum. They must have messed up my due date and it was actually yesterday. Once someone was trying to assure me that my hugeness was normal and said "don't worry, I got really big with my first too." Words like huge and unhealthy are often used. People also ask me how much weight I've gained. The answer is actually that I'm right on schedule. Or they ask my due date and when I tell them (how "far" away it is) their eyes get wide. Someone even told me that I really need to be better about exercising. 
So far in pregnancy I've tried really hard to shrug off those comments but they're just stacking up and I'm starting to feel like they're true. When you hear something every day, sometimes more than once, it's hard to shrug it off. Way more people tell me how big I am than that I look good. 
Also, can I just say we should just tell pregnant women they look good no matter what? They're carrying a child for goodness sakes. That's enough reason to tell them they're looking good. 

I'm even getting teary typing this. Maybe it's just hormones. Maybe they play tricks on your eyes. 

No matter what the reason is, I'm trying really hard to remember that the important thing here is that Ainsley and I are healthy. Still, there's part of me that wants to be that cute girl who still wears heels and the cutest outfits at 9 months pregnant. I don't want to be the girl who can only fit into sweat pants for the last two months and always looks like she just got hit by a truck. I want to be an Immortal magical unicorn pregnancy princess fairy, gosh darn it! Honestly, some people get bigger than others in pregnancy. I'm trying to accept the fact that I could very possibly be one of them! I'm trying not to compare myself to the girls who just look like the swallowed a baseball at 9 months pregnant. In about 2 months, I'll have a baby and it won't matter what I looked like pregnant. I'm trying to remember all this!
It's really really really hard. 


katilda said...

I totally support the part where you mentioned that we should just focus on the fact that you're carrying a child. I wish more people would mind their own business! On a deeper religious note, there are so many parallels between Christ and pregnant women. You're giving life, and your body is going to bear marks because of it. He knows all about that. Those are all my thoughts :)

Becca said...

Hey Alexis, I know how you feel! I was really big with my pregnancies and didn't feel like the girls that are like sticks with a beach ball up there shirt. I was the whale. I waddled as early as early as 5 months and then it got worse and I couldn't wear normal shoes or tie them and had to resort to pants for church because my belly was so huge I couldn't keep my knees together, :) I lived in my hubby's pj bottoms because they were big enough and comfortable, :) But on a better note people were always letting me have their chair, asking if I needed help lifting or carrying anything, holding the door, etc. I've had one or two things said to me about my situation that were really hurtful to me. I miscarried in August. And while I was angry and upset that people could be so clueless and hurtful, they must have no idea what their comments sound like. I hope things get better for you and that people think about what they say before they say it. We love you and think you are beautiful!

Emma Frances said...

Love Katie's thoughts on pregnancy being a little like what Christ went through. I honestly never thought of that. Being pregnant is hard! But having a baby makes it so worth it! I hope the hard days get a little bit easier! And I don't know why people ever say rude things to pregnant ladies! It's ridiculous! Also, I think you and your belly are just perfectly adorable! :) xoxo

karajean said...

I'm really sorry you are feeling crummy. No matter what anyone says, it is really really hard. Keep hanging in there, girl.

Denise said...

Oh Alexis some people just need to shut their mouth. Anytime someone mentions how big you are just say pregnancy is your excuse to be big and then ask them what their excuse for being big is?! Haha only two months left! I'm so excited for you :)

jessica said...

1. You see tiny which means the belly has no were else to go.
2. You are perfect size for 31 weeks, I was twice as big as you I'm talking Jessica simpson big.
3. People like to comment on anything if you were smaller people would also say that you are unhealthy blah blah blah
4. You are swollen not fat, it will all go away once the baby gets here, I promise.

Camille said...

1. You look great- just like a pregnant person! I wouldn't let the haters get you down!
2. I have many friends, and even my sister, who had to buy maternity clothes 2 sizes bigger just for their last 6 weeks or so. I know my sister had 2 outfits she had to rotate her last 2 weeks, this is SO normal! I wouldn't get down on yourself in any way!
3. People think because they were born they are automatically the authority on pregnancy. I hope being out of a more public job helps you weed out some of those who have lots to say based on their own birth.
4. Comparison is the worst thing for anyone's self esteem. Maybe some girls wear high heels, but they aren't crazy funny or optimistic. It's not a competition, we all rock at some things and that's great!
You look great- I hope you feel that way soon too :)

Megan said...

Oh my gosh, please please please don't let it get you upset!! I promise that people say the same things to me!! I think that the only thing keeping me sane about it is that my best friend is 2 weeks ahead of me and she gets the same exact comments! So I know that I'm not alone in it. People can be so rude!!

Katie said...

I think maybe you should tell those people to go to *&$&! Ok maybe not really. But seriously. I think you look adorable, and really, the important part is that you're carrying a precious daughter of our Heavenly Father, like you and Katie and Emma all said. And if you're doing all the right things - which I already know you are - then don't even worry about what everyone has to say. Their opinions are worth just about what they cost.

LaynahRose said...

Aw :( This makes me really sad, and I think like this all the time! When did it become okay for everyone to give you their unsolicited advice on everyone else's appearance anyways?
I'm not pregnant but I've had wayyy too many people comment on my acne for me to feel pretty without makeup. And it feels good for a little bit to just sulk about it, but in the end I end up feeling ungrateful for all the blessings that I do have. You and Ainsley are perfect!

Chelsea said...

I think that you might be blind. I just looked at your Facebook pictures, and girlfriend . . . you look freaking gorgeous! I can't even imagine people thinking you look "too big". You look amazing! I always call hormones "whoremones" because they really are. I think they play nasty tricks and make you feel terrible. You are a beautiful woman, and you are doing the most incredible thing your body is capable of! Baby A is way lucky to have you as a mama.

Autumn said...

I don't understand how people make the comments they do without empathizing with others and how they must feel.

I think you make a beautiful pregnant lady and I'm sure whenever I am pregnant...I will get all of those comments too (especially because I am 5'3).

Anonymous said...

That sort of swelling (edema, as evidenced by the ability to leave imprints with your fingers) could be a sign of other problems. And I only say that because you've unfortunately suffered from other problems, so I would be sure to call your doctor and ask when you should be concerned about swelling.

But yay, only 2 months left!

Tisha said...

In my country, people believe that women get "uglier" if they're having a boy, and more beautiful if they're having a girl. So some stranger went up to a friend of mine and said, "You're having a boy, aren't you? You sure are ugly!" To which my friend replied, "I'm pregnant. What's YOUR excuse?" So yeah, there's only so much nodding and smiling you can do.

I actually wanted to do a post about shit people say to pregnant women ("You shouldn't be eating that." The appropriate reply: "F*** off!"). While a lot of people tell me I look really good, I've gotten comments like, "You look like you're about to pop!" (um, no, I've got two months left) and "Are you having twins?" (um, no, and my doctor says the little monster is average size).

I'm not going to tell you to just shrug off the comments, because I completely understand how they can really affect you. Just know that other pregnant women out there are going through the same thing and know exactly how you feel! (And maybe have some handy comebacks for days when you're feeling really snarky!:D)

Maggie B. said...

I'm sorry you are feeling so stressed about this. People are so funny about how they must give their opinion at all times. I've never been in this situation, so I can't give any advice. I mean, I'm not pregnant {and never have been} but I have been asked a bunch of times about when my baby is due. {WTF?} And since I'm not pregnant, there were quite a few years where all I heard was "when are you going to start having babies?!?!". Mostly I tell people to shut the F up and leave me alone.

And it's probably perfectly acceptable to freak out on people and tell them to leave you alone. Although I'm not sure that'll make things any better.

Shay said...

I wish I had something to say to help you feel better- I just posted about having these same feelings post baby! Aren't we blessed to know that we are daughters of God who loves us no matter what?

Elise Frederickson said...

Remember that time that I met you and can officially say that in blog world AND in real life you are BEAUTIFUL? You are. You are beautiful. And I'm not saying that to be nice or anything, you really really are. I do not look at you and see any fatness or anything, I see Alexis, the cutest, nicest, sweetest, most gorgeous momma to be.

Courtney B said...

First off... the swelling. I totally understand! I feel like I'm going to have permanent kankles for the rest of my life. I used to wake up to normal legs each morning but they are permanently swollen now! Ah!
And second, I don't understand why you're getting those comments. You always look AMAZING! I love your belly pictures and think your belly is perfect! People are just dumb... and blind. They must be blind!

Bryce and Dani Carter said...

My ankles and legs got the same way! I used to say "my ankles have ankles!" Don't worry I lost 35 pounds of water weight a few days after I had my baby! Definitely watch the swelling! I got severe preeclampsia. Scary!...and I don't know why people are so rude. Some people would say I looked huge and others would say how tiny I was. Remember most people are idiots! :)