The Beautiful Bump

monday morning musings
As you know, I have crazy maternal instincts. The very idea of one day being someone’s mother is absolutely thrilling to me. I spend ample time dreaming about waking up in the early morning, putting together a lunch for my – at the point – six year old daughter or son (as well as an equally youthful lunch for Omar complete with dunkaroos and chicken) before walking them to the bus and beginning my day of work (ideally, working from home as a therapist/wellness consultant).
Several hours will pass, as I help my normal rotation of clients and write my freelance pieces for the magazines which I have contracts with before my little one comes home. I’ll meet them at the door, them looking endearingly messy, from the activities they partook in during both recess and lunch and me looking somewhat exhausted at the mere thought of getting that stain out of their shirt. They’ll run to me, looking for an embrace – which, I will of course oblige to – before we head to the kitchen the prepare our afternoon snack (ants on a log, anyone?)
The next few hours are kind of a blur. Will I still have clients, or will I only schedule myself during the hours of school-time? Which, leads me to the question, will a babysitter be required? Will my future partner be home, or will they still be at work? You know, typical things which will one day all fall into place, I am sure. Regardless of the specifics, this is my one true dream.
Oh, and there will be a dog.
Probably a husky.
Maybe a lab.
Okay, definitely a lab. Deal with it, Baba.
The other day, I decided I wanted to recreate my ‘vision board’. I made one about a year ago and when I looked at it, I’ve seen just how far I’ve come already. Clearly needing an update, I ventured out and bought two magazines to get things rolling. One of these magazines was Self Magazines newest issue. Before cutting the heck out of it, I decided to flip through the pages and see if there was anything of interest (does anyone else find it extremely annoying navigating through magazines? Why don’t all the pages have numbers?), when I spotted an article:

“Does this Baby Make Me Look Fat”

I froze.
The article discussed several statistics relating to issues with disordered eating and pregnancy. For some reason, the idea of carrying a child – to me – seemed like a surefire way to let go of my personal insecurities. I would not longer be eating for me, but for the child inside of me. So, I assumed I would just snap out of it completely. When I saw this article, I immediately wondered, ‘what if I don’t?’.
The article states that “nearly half of women polled used disordered eating to control their weight while preggers” (Jennifer Wolff Perrine. “Does This Baby Make me Look Fat?” Shape Magazine August2012: 114-117, 126. Print.). If you ask me, that is a whopping statistic. I am not judging women on this, by no means. In fact, I can – sadly – attest to understanding this fear. How horrible is that? How horrible is it to worry that my baby will make me lose confidence in my body?
I am not going to sit here and say that this fear was something that I was able to rid myself of, but it is something I’ve decided that I mentally need to work on. More than anything I want to be a mother; more than anything I want to have a family. Am I going to let my past and my fears get in the way? Of course not. As a woman, my body will change and those changes will be beautiful. I will go from a young woman, to a woman who gave life to beautiful children – there is absolutely nothing in that to be ashamed of. These are some of things I am going to begin to tell myself, day in and day out, so when the opportunity does arise, I will not be caught being one of the 21% who restrict their calories while pregnant, or the 49% who refuse to eat certain foods.
I refuse.
It scares me to think that so many women out there think this way. Granted, I have hurt myself in similar ways, as well, but it doesn’t really occur to you – however self-involved this may sound – that you are truly (and unfortunately) not at all alone in the matter. Every woman, not matter who they are, is in some way plagued by how they look. It is almost as if it is a requirement for being female – that, along with the ability to handle intense pain once a month for roughly one week’s time.
Not too long ago I had a lady I work with say to me, ‘I want to be like you’. I didn’t know what she meant, so I responded with an awkward laughter and inquired why. Evidently, my size was appealing to her. I assured her immediately that she was absolutely beautiful and should be in no way comparing herself to… me, of all people. She began to express how after having children she was never able to fully get her body back. That’s when I had to stop her. I told her that there was nothing more beautiful than the body of a mother; nothing more miraculous than the body which gave life. She blushed, unsure what to say, but definitely affected by my words. I expressed to her that as women we are suppose to go through changes – our bodies included. I had been so taken aback by this woman’s comments because I never thought that she would feel this way, at all. Yet, she did.
I hope that everyone girl, young or old, reading this knows that the changes you body will go through before, during and after pregnancy are nothing to be ashamed of, but rather something you should pride yourself on. Remember my statements yesterday regarding love for one’s self? This is a prime example of when that self love is at it’s most important, because trust me… that will be the most beautiful bump you’ll ever see.
Please stay sweet,
Caitlyn.
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