Learning to accept body changes during pregnancy

Last week we had a play date at a local park with a friend and her two little ones. It was lovely and we had a great time. The kids all got on well, Miss Belle was really adventurous (for her!) and even went over the wobbly wooden bridge. And for the first time ever she went on a zip wire! A monumental moment, I think you’ll agree. I sat her on the seat, she crossed her legs and held the pole and I ran alongside her. She was laughing her head off having the time of her life, and so was I. My friend videoed it for me so I could show Matt. But when I played it back, instead of feeling happy, my first reaction was to feel a little bit sad.

Learning to accept body changes during pregnancy

I was wearing maternity leggings which I thought were pretty baggy around the front and a dress/tunic thing. What the video showed was the dress clinging to my lumpy body. My leggings looked like they were digging in around my back fat and at the side, showing my love handles in all their glory. Yes I’m 16 weeks pregnant. Yes I’m at that awkward slightly crappy phase where you just look a little bit fat. Like maybe you’ve just put too much weight on, not that you have something the size of an apple in your tummy.

I was sad that the film that should have made me super happy, made me sad. It’s made me really self-conscious.

I knew I had put on a bit more weight at this point compared to when I was pregnant with Miss Belle. The nausea was so bad that all I can do to stop feeling ill was eat, pretty much every 45 minutes. And when I say eat, I mean eat all the carbs. I also cut down my exercise from two to three times a week, to absolutely nothing, for about nine weeks. It’s not surprising that the increase in toast, bread, crisps and biscuits and the lack of exercise, has had an affect.

You might think so what? We’ve been there, pregnancy is a bit rubbish to start with sometimes. I know that. But I am really struggling to accept how my body is changing during pregnancy this time. I don’t feel I have a proper bump yet. I just feel, well, fat. Yes, of course you know I like cake (I’ve made quite a lot of it recently!) but I’ve always liked cake and really I’m not eating that much more than I was, now I’m feeling better. I don’t know if I feel under some sort of pressure this time to look “better”. I don’t think I felt under any pressure last time. Maybe it’s because I see other pregnant women posing for lovely photos on Instagram. Last time I wasn’t even on Instagram. It’s that bloody social media platform again!

 

Keeping healthy

I am going to start swimming regularly now I’m feeling better. I went last week and it felt good to do some proper exercise again. Plus, now that my energy levels are higher I’ll be able to walk more. And can I just add, that although I’m writing this from a whiney “I look so fat” mindset, it’s actually not just about that, it’s about health too. I was considerably out of puff running alongside that zip wire and that wasn’t good. My fitness levels have plummeted. Part of me wants to keep as active as possible because I know it’s good for labour. When I was pregnant with Miss Belle I was as active as I could be, working in a desk job full-time. And it stood me well, having a relatively straightforward, active labour. I really want that this time too.

When I replayed that video again, I saw Miss Belle having fun. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care what her Mummy looks like. It’s such a shame that we always feel so critical of ourselves. My husband always tells me to be kinder on myself, and I know I need to be. I love how happy she is in the film, I just wish my heart hadn’t sunk a little bit when I watched it for the first time.

This really isn’t meant to be a pity post. I’m not writing this to hear people tell me I look fine. I just wanted to get it down on paper (well, screen) and say that actually, if you’re struggling with your changing body, you’re not alone. Learning to accept how our bodies change in pregnancy is hard. Yes, I know there are thousands of women who would probably want to shoot me now for moaning. They’d give their right arm to be in this position and I’m not taking it for granted. I know how lucky we are.

I just need something to make me feel a bit better and know that I’m not alone. Can you relate to feeling like this? Did you eventually accept your body changes during pregnancy? Have you got any suggestions of how I can make myself feel better? If so pop them in the comments. I’ve had a pregnancy massage last week which helped my aching back a bit, but I don’t know, maybe I need to get my nails done or something?  Maybe I just need to get a more flattering wardrobe!?

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28 Comments

  1. 24th July 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I am really surprised that you saw yourself the way you did as when I saw the photo I did not see any of what you mention. I say surprised but perhaps I’m not because I think that we are our own worst critics when it comes to our bodies. I remember being exactly the same when I was in the early stages of pregnancy. However, what we should be seeing is how amazing our body is as it is growing a life and that’s pretty special. I understand your wish to try and do something and I think that swimming is an excellent idea. I hope that you feeling better soon xx

    • thisismenow
      24th July 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Thanks Emma, I do feel better after seeing it in a more positive way now. I know I shouldn’t moan, it’s just not the best stage. And our bodies are amazing. I heard the heartbeat today and that is really special. Thanks for your kind comment xx

  2. 27th July 2017 / 1:10 pm

    Sending hugs! Social media has a lot to answer for….Showing all these perfect looking people. Ugh!
    We are too critical of ourselves but you are growing a little human. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You look great by the way! #SharingtheBlogLove
    Kim Carberry recently posted…It’s not OK to take & use photos of my children.My Profile

    • thisismenow
      27th July 2017 / 1:38 pm

      Thanks so much, I will try! x

  3. 27th July 2017 / 1:35 pm

    I think accepting body image at any stage of pregnancy is hard. I would recommend some light exercise (not for weight loss) – purely because exercise has a fab way of making you feel better about yourself. Swimming is fab during pregnancy, pregnancy yoga, aerobics class etc. It also helps with sleep which is a bugger when you’re pregnant. I think you look great though. Hope you’re feeling more positive soon x
    #fortheloveofblog

    • thisismenow
      27th July 2017 / 1:37 pm

      Thanks so much, yep going for a swim later and going to try some online aerobic type classes. Just fitting them in is hard too but I know I need to make time! X

  4. 28th July 2017 / 6:50 am

    The in between stage is so hard. Like you I didn’t feel it during my first pregnancy but with my second I seemed to put weight on really fast and you couldn’t tell it was a baby and not cake for ages. I felt really self-conscious until the bump popped out. Honestly though, when I looked at that picture all I saw was a mum and her daughter having a really great time, a happy picture where you can almost hear the laughter. Just goes to show that what we see, and what other people see is totally different, we are all far too self-critical of our own bodies. It will only be a few more weeks though and you’ll be able to show that bump off with pride and hopefully the swimming will help with your self-confidence and keep you fit x
    #FamilyFunLinky
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…Review: Wobbly Worm GameMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      28th July 2017 / 7:32 am

      Thanks lovely, it’s good to hear other people often feel like this too xx

  5. 28th July 2017 / 7:52 am

    Oh, but you look gorgeous. And I love your smile, the smile of a happy mama. Yes, the skin sags here and there, or you no longer have those skinny legs, not to mention the flat belly. Whatever… As long as you feel happy, the little changes in your appearance don’t play a part in your inner peace. After my pregnancy, I was lucky enough to become thinner than before (no dieting, it just happened somehow). Then, I put on some weight despite the regular workouts and I realised that pregnancy had left its marks. And that’s OK. I prefer not to focus on my body’s imperfections. It wasn’t perfect before pregnancy anyway. Why should I pay so much attention now? 😉 Many hugs. xxx #SharingtheBlogLove
    Marina Ilieva recently posted…9 Delicious Superfoods You Need in Your DietMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      28th July 2017 / 8:31 am

      Thanks so much. I also lost more weight after I had more daughter (a combination of exercise, breastfeeding and slimming world) and then it’s just crept on again. You’re so right though, I shouldn’t focus on that, there’s better things to think about at the moment! X

  6. 28th July 2017 / 7:37 pm

    I really do know how you feel! That stage where you don’t have a noticeable bump but have definitely put on weight is really hard – especially when all your clothes start being really uncomfortable. I highly recommend splashing out on just one outfit that really makes you feel good and will see you through the pregnancy – I had one lovely dress from Seraphine, which was a bit of a splurge, but really made me feel good. And I definitely found that once the bump started to come through it was easier to just embrace it all. Not long now and I’m sure you’ll have a bump to be proud of! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • thisismenow
      28th July 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Ah thanks, yes I’ve heard of this brand, I’ll have a look. We have a wedding reception end of Sept and an afternoon tea so maybe a new outfit for one of those would be good. Thank you xx

  7. 28th July 2017 / 8:31 pm

    At 26 weeks I still have a pitiful bump and I hate to wear clothes! That’s not me running round naked but I just don’t feel comfortable.. it’s definitely the fitness I struggle with, like you I was fairly fit with baby one and had a good labour but I’ve never got back the same fitness since and now pregnant again I get quite exhausted. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a good labour again!! Not the best tip, but I still try to get out and walk or cycle even though I don’t feel like it, I sort of see it as at least I’m doing g something, that’s got to help!
    Oh and I’m not sure I knew you were pregnant so many congratulations!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…Bloggers Block #FamilyFunLinkyMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      28th July 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Ah I didn’t realise you were either, I was PT of the loop for a while and had a bit of blogging time off when I was rough the first trimester. Congratulations to you too! And wow cycling that’s great, I should I just thought it was dangerous incase you fell. Definitely need to up my walking. Thanks for your comment xx #FamilyFun

  8. 30th July 2017 / 11:40 am

    Definitely can relate to this. When I was pregnant with both of mine no body thought I was pregnant until almost 7 months. I had such small bumps both times people really did just think I got a bit fat. I always made Mr Tammy slip into conversation that I pregnant as I felt so self conscious about it. It’s a hard one because it is inevitable and you’re right we have to accept as best we can but I can really appreciate why you might have felt a little sad. Not that I think you need to as you look fabulous! Thanks for joining us at #familyfun
    Tammymum recently posted…Tips For Creating A Child Friendly Summer GardenMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      30th July 2017 / 5:41 pm

      Thanks lovely. I’ve ordered a new dress today which I’m hoping will make me feel better! xx

  9. 31st July 2017 / 6:29 pm

    I can relate to this. I really struggled with my body changing with my first pregnancy, especially that stage where you don’t have a nice big bump. I was better with my second pregnancy because I knew what to accept. It’s my post pregnancy body that I need to embrace. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  10. 1st August 2017 / 8:04 am

    I think it’s so important to make sure that you spend enough time on you. Do what makes you happy. Whether that’s taking half an hour to read a book, paint your nails or eat cake. It can be so tough as your body changes so much but it’s such an incredible thing. I put on 2 stone being pregnant and found it so tough afterwards to lose it, but really? As long as you are happy, that’s what matters. Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofblog

  11. 3rd August 2017 / 8:14 am

    All pregnant woman are so gorgeous. I put on huge amounts of weight with each of my pregnancies. Thats ok! I lost it afterwards. Take care. #Sharethebloglove

  12. 3rd August 2017 / 12:13 pm

    Your body does what it wants during pregnancy and is out of your control, keeping up fitness, as much as possible and a healthy diet is all you can do. Also treat yourself to a few maternity pieces where you feel good and the items that bring a little lushness to you. A bright lipstick, earring, pedicure or a hair do. Most of us don’t look like the styled pregnancy but as mothers we carry life should be just as admiring of what’s going on. I hear you and feel you. I know you don’t want pity but I will say your body is amazing. #SharingtheBlogLove
    Mama Grace recently posted…A Few Wee QuestionsMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      3rd August 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Thanks so much – yep our bodies are amazing! Trying to remember that. Already feeling much better x

  13. 6th August 2017 / 9:08 pm

    I felt god awful in all three pregnancies till about 18 weeks when i finally had a nice rounded bump, I felt a bit down because I really did just look fat! Im nearly 25 weeks now into pregnancy number 3. Our bodies are amazing and can do great things, but pregnancy is not my friend a lot of the time; SPD, hyperemesis, severe acid reflux etc the list goes on. I just focus on things day by day 🙂 #sharingthebloglove

    • thisismenow
      6th August 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Oh poor you, I never had acid reflux last time but I did get SPD and ouch that hurts! Getting a bit of ligament pain already too. Don’t think it’s my friend either!! Congratulations on your pregnancy, hope the rest goes as smoothly as possible! Xx

  14. 6th August 2017 / 10:03 pm

    I think I put on about 2 stone during each pregnancy and as I’m usually 7 stone it made a real difference to how I looked and felt! My tum is now covered in stretchmarks and very wobbly so I never plan on wearing a bikini again but I really don’t care. #sharingthebloglove

    • thisismenow
      8th August 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Aww thank you. I think we are always hardest on ourselves! X

  15. 17th August 2017 / 12:24 pm

    It is so hard to accept the way in which our body changes after pregnancy I think. Even though we feel we should be celebrating how remarkable it is, it is still easy to feel sad about your saggy boobs and tummy. I think a lot of women can relate xxx #SharingTheBlogLove

  16. Jija
    21st August 2017 / 1:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this Susie, I can totally relate to this. Pregnancy can/is stressful and difficult especially if someone is a first time mom (me). Set up some exercise routines even if it’s just one exercise. Trust me it will help aloooooot!

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